I have no idea why this line “Got a boxful of emotions, got a head of shattered dreams…” from Take That’s “Back for Good” song keeps popping into my head the past week.
Yes, I realise it’s “fistful”, not “boxful” when I checked the lyrics. Still, I can’t stop humming it. Bite me.
Once we were at a museum exhibition which featured Tang dynasty crockery and antiques salvaged from centuries old shipwreck. There was this particular display that had a vase that was as tall as a human being. As we stood in front of it, she turned to ask me something about the vase in an innocent manner. I forgot what she had asked but when I turned to her and was about to answer her, she burst out laughing maniacally.
“You’re such a kind person. You have this patient look and you were about to explain it patiently to me, right? Even though I asked a very stupid, very duh question, you were still going to explain it to me. You’re so kind.”
I might have blushed a little. “I really thought you didn’t know.”
“I knew the answer! I was just acting dumb/bimbo! And you cannot tell! Most people would have rolled their eyes and not be as kind as you. You really have a very kind heart.”
But I could sense she was very impressed with how I had reacted to her as we walked to the next exhibit.
Maybe I am really kind. I would have never described myself as kind until I met her. In that case, I’m also a romantic at heart. And I like planning surprises (even though they may not turn out as expected).
Two and a half months ago, I started planning for a birthday celebration that was to happen last weekend. I wrote down a list of items that I was supposed to get/buy/make and some fun activities we can indulge in and some fancy restaurants we can wine and dine at.
And every day if I had no overtime to finish up or no classes to attend after work, I’d go scour around the shops to see if I can purchase the items on my list or add new stuff. I’d research on the web for the right measurements and to see how something(s) can be made properly. I’d set aside at least one hour every night, no matter how tired I am, and devote my whole weekends to start work on the planned items.
Some gifts required more time spent because they consist of different components put together. So sometimes I’d skip lunch to travel to specialised shops to have the item customised. I was happy to have been putting so much effort because I kept thinking about the joy I’d see on her face.
I kept scrolling my list over and over again because I was afraid to miss out on getting something. Sometimes I would add new details or things on to my list whenever I thought of another possible item to get. I wanted everything to be as perfect as possible, you see.
Then two weeks closer to the big day, I increased my efforts. Item by item started going into the box. I kept visualising how her face would lit up when she open the box and that spurred me on. I slept minimally, I kept little contact with the outside world so focused I was on the project.
Then one night just a few days before the big day, the conversation happened.
I realised I needed to give myself some very much needed pride back. The whole time I was so focused on someone else that I forgot to love, care, respect and trust myself. Yes, I had forgotten how to put myself first.
For the past two months, I had cried my eyes out every night (that’s probably another reason why I had minimal sleep), I had felt my heart broke over and over again like it will never mend back and I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. There was so much pain inside I became numb and distant from everything. It was a terrible time to be me.
Until that night.
I always thought the best way to love someone was giving them as much love and care as possible and to treat her as best as I can. And then when something went wrong, I always thought maybe if I had done better, tried harder, needed lesser, been more accepting, everything would still be fine and we’d be alright.
I was wrong. How much longer can I hold onto the “boiling pot” with my bare hands?
At some point, I have to let go. I have to accept that I would have never been able to make someone happy no matter how hard I try or no matter what I do if I am not what she wants.
I feel like that guy in the movie “The Notebook” where he and the love of his life were forced apart by family pressure and social differences. So he restores an old house into their dream home, believing that she would one day find her way back to him, after all they have been each other’s best friend and lover.
There was a scene where they were standing in the rain and he said to her: “You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love.”
As they were crying, he told her: “I am not telling you it is going to be easy, I am telling you it’s going to be worth it.” (Ok, this may be a shorter version of what he said to her.)
Maybe that’s why being apart has hurt so much because our souls are connected. But what do I know? I am just a simple, kind-hearted person who is in love with a girl and who just wants to treat her well.
I guess no matter what happens to us in the future, the happy days we spent together were some of the best times of my life.
So yes, there is a boxful of gifts sitting in my room. And I guess… now it’s time.