Lost Love: A Short Story and How You can Bounce Back from a Break-up?
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, wen I sorrow most,
"Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all ~ Alfred Tennyson
After reading Dohn's beautifully crafted story, "The Road that Leads to Your Heart," I'm inspired to share my little sad story. A little slice of my life that left an indelible mark.
It was raining softly, peppery light and gentle like a fine dusting of talcum powder. Ripples radiated in intersecting waves across the Kio pond. Lively dashes of orange, red, yellow and shades of white and grey splashed, happy Kais greeting the early rain. The miniature Bonsai plant glistened with jewels of raindrops. A perfect Zen garden, showcasing the beauty of nature. Everything was quiet and peaceful, but not my heart. There has been a continual downpour of conflicting emotions ever since I heard the news.
I first met him when we both volunteered to set up a children’s program in the newly formed daughter church in a run-down part of Singapore, with the purpose of reaching out to these deprived kids. He had just finished his internship as a doctor, and was working in a government hospital and I was a newly certified teacher. I know it sounds like a trite doctor-teacher story in a cheap romance novel but it happens in real life.
The church was set in the heart of a densely wooded area, hence the name Woodlands. Shrouded with dense jungle undergrowth and a mud road that led up to the little church, a flimsy wooden structure that used to be a little sundry shop. Wind, sometimes rain, wafted in and out of gaping holes in the wooden walls. Every Sunday morning, I set off early to gather the kids in the neighborhood--kids plucked out of dirt-floored dilapidated homes, kids whose parents were too busy to bother and were glad that I’ve come to relieve them, kids who came only because we served a brunch after.
As the kids grew to like church and the number increased by word of mouth, I was fast becoming the piped piper. Each Sunday morning, I would be trudged through dirt paths to gather the kids One scrawny kid and then another and then another—and soon, the group of us would tumble into the forlorn structure like we’re headed to a real exciting adventure.
No, it was not love at first sight. Actually, he was the quiet guy with wry sense of humor and infectious smile and he actually carried a Sunday School bag-- a nerd if you examine him on a social level (not exactly my type). You would never guess that on weekdays, he donned a tie and looked very professional with a white coat and a stethoscope for a necklace.
When I decided to include game time after Sunday School to get to know these kids, he jumped right in. He looked like an overgrown school boy, chasing after balls or balloons with a bunch of displaced, often times emotionally neglected kids. Week after week, he didn’t mind getting in the action--dirt, sweat, water (when we had water fights). He disarmed me. I felt drawn to his unassuming, “wearing the love of Jesus on his sleeve” kind of way.
I was also becoming aware of the growing chemistry between him and I. Unspoken but palpable and real, like sandpaper between fingers--in his wide grin, in his eyes and the way he behaved around me. The connection grew with each passing week and often, our eyes met over the bobbing heads of kids running around—the longing in our eyes, the hands that trembled when we accidentally brushed against each other, the silly laughter over nothing and always, the look of longing….yet the hint of hesitancy.
I was falling and I don’t fall easily. I waited for him to make the first move.
It never came.
On that sad evening, after he invited me to dinner, I knew something was wrong.
“I’m going to England to do some further studies,” he started awkwardly, eyes on the steering wheel.
“Ohh, I never heard you mention that before,” I was surprised, “When are you leaving?”
“In three months’ time, but I’m not going alone,” he managed to get it out.
“Who are you going with?”
“Well…actually I’m getting married, so yes….my wife.”
Wife? My head was screaming. “I didn’t know you had a girlfriend.”
“She was my girlfriend before you came into the picture. I wish you were there first. I really felt something, didn’t you? “he paused as if expecting me to say something.
My heart had stopped, my tongue was in knots. No answer came from my mouth—all I hear was screaming in my head—this can’t be. It just can’t be.
He stammered out the rest, “I can’t tell you how much sleep I lost over this—do I run with my heart…. or do I do the right thing—the thing expected of me? My family would not hear of it—they expect me to marry her. I couldn’t bring myself to disappoint my family and her—we were together all through med. School.”
Commitment? Filial piety? –None of these make sense, not now, not ever. What about true love? What about giving me a chance? I wanted to go on a rampage of questions. I wanted to rant and cry but the Asian upbringing in me surfaced—I had to do the honorable thing even if my heart was bleeding.
I forced a smile, “Good luck. Maybe we can keep in touch…”
The breakup line given to me was less than conventional, but here are some jaded lines that people use to indicate the initiation of a breakup. If you ever hear one of these uttered (either in your face or in a cowardly text message), you know the end is near:
- Umm...I think we need to talk.
- I want you to know it's not your fault. It's me.
- Ok, I lied
- You're like a brother/sister to me.
- I think this is not working out.
- I need a time-out.
- Give me back my keys.
- I don't love you anymore.
How to Bounce Back After a Break-up
So, your relationship ( mine too) didn’t last. Maybe it was not meant to be. Maybe, the differences are too wide to bridge, even love cannot build a span that strong. Maybe, the other person found someone. Maybe you found someone. Whether it’s your first break-up or one of “too many to remember,” break-up can evoke some pretty negative emotions and here are some pointers to help ease the break-up blues:
How to Bounce Back After a Breakup
1.Time to Maul Over
Shock, disbelief, anger, jealousy, confusion, bruised ego—these are some of the backlashes of a failed relationship. What do you do with them? Allow them to come out (just as long as you don’t hurt someone). Deal with these emotions. It’s perfectly alright to cry, to barricade yourself in your room, to drown yourself in music or to indulge in your favorite food. OK, for a while at least…just don’t let them become your clutch and excuse in the long run. “Grieve” and then move on—there are many other fish in the pond, or ocean as they say.
2. Rejection is Part of Life
Show me someone who has never been rejected, and I will show you a perfect person. The truth, everyone faces rejection at one time or the other. Maybe, you didn’t get into the cheer team, or you fail to make the writer’s choice award, or you were fired from your job or your trainer told you are you’re hopelessly untrainable—been there? Rejection stinks and it hurts real bad but if you focus on the fact, the rejection is not unique to you, you won’t be beating yourself up. Instead of thinking of yourself as rejected “goods,” and feeling all useless and hopeless and ugly—reverse that and think what the other person is “missing out.”
3. Make Positive Changes
Instead of spending time wallowing in rejection and self-pity, it’s time to “giddy up” for some positive moves to get yourself back in the game of life. In one phrase, get your groove back. Your injured inner self may protest or recoil at such as suggestion. Why? How? Making positive moves to enhance your life can bring dividends—it can restore bruised self-esteem, make you feel enpowered with new activities and new adventures, take your mind off the “sorry” incident, and get you back on your feet faster.
What exactly does that mean? Pursue your hobbies, reconnect with old friends, engage a sports or a fitness program, enroll yourself in personal development classes or take a much needed vacation. Or it can be as simple as changing your wardrobe or revving up your hair-style.
4. Keep a balance
Do you subsist on relationship? Do you always need to be in a relationship to feel needed, loved and validated? Free yourself—discard that self-limiting thought and do some level-headed reasoning. Life is more than that—happiness can be found in hobbies, serving others through volunteering (in fact, that’s a given fact that helping others generate happy hormones), solitude and plain chores like gardening or DIY projects. Enjoy and engage in a number of healthy activities, so you won’t be twittering your thumb and wondering where the next prince charming is when the present one made his exit.
5. Remain Open
One failed relationship is not going to determine the outcome of other relationships. Stay open to possibilities. Get out and enjoy people as a whole. Make connections, make friends without an agenda. And because you’ve no hidden agenda, that may make you irresistibly attractive.
Five simple ways to banish breakup blues. But if you're still down in the dumps, wondering if you'll get over it, consider this piece of wry humor someone said:
“Love is like a booger. You keep picking at it until you get it, then wonder what to do with it.”
© 2010 anglnwu