I hope all is well for you. I know that you’re going through a stressful and chaotic period right now; you are probably feeling lost and angry; you want to escape. I know that like me, you occasionally immerse yourself in the fantasy of the future as a form of dealing with hardships in the present. Yet I also know myself that sometimes, the more I think about the future, the less answers I will find, which will lead me to feeling ever more lost. If there is one thing you could sincerely do for me, I implore you to contemplate less on how the endless scenarios of life, good and bad, will play out for you; instead, see the beauty in the choices you can make today, in the present, at this very moment. For it is only in the present that you have complete dominion over your own life. At this very moment, I dare say we are immensely blessed with what life has offered us; if you were to hold on to the thought of what you already have and are blessed with, it will give you an anchor of peace, it will leave you feeling grateful, and it will lay the support for you to deal with whatever that may come in your way. In the coming future, I can guarantee you that life will surely greet you with hardships and pain that are going to be many times harder and more painful than what you are currently going through but do you know what? Everything is going to turn out okay. Why? It is because I know you’ll be fine today, then tomorrow, then the week next, the month next, and before you know it, you will grow into someone strong enough to overcome all of these and you’ll be amazed by how you could actually do it. There is nothing to fear. Everything is going to be okay. How do I know? It is because I’ve seen the depth of your strength and the amazing support from your family and friends. Do not underestimate yourself – you are the kindest, most thoughtful and capable woman I have ever known and dated. Everything is going to be okay.

Did I feel hurt when you said you couldn’t see me as part of your future? Yes. Did I feel hurt when you said you could not say the same for me when I told you that I love you? Yes. But do you know what was the most painful? It was losing the opportunity to support and fight your battles alongside you. What was most painful was me not knowing that wanting to be more intimately part of your life was in turn, making your battles harder. Jodie, I did not know your battles were so hard, and when I knew, it was too late. I only wanted you to share a little of your burden with me because I think this is what a relationship is supposed to be. At times when I was pushing for meetups with you – they were just me wanting to communicate more with you because I sincerely believe communication is the single most important ingredient in any meaningful relationship. If I could understand you and your battles better and how I could help, it means I could fight them with you or at the very least support you. Even if I can’t help, I want to be closer to you so that you will know I am always available to listen to you and be there for you when you need me. My love for you when we were together was a personal commitment to never let you feel alone and neglected. It was never my intention to make your battles harder and more overwhelming for you. I do not know why everything turned out this way – maybe some battles are meant to be fought alone; maybe you did not want to trouble me with them; most probably you were just not ready for me to come into your life (these are the things I wish we could have talked more about and hope to learn more about before our relationship reached such a breaking point, but alas, some things are not meant to be rationalized; hindsight is always perfect and it is meaningless to ponder “what ifs” and harp on them, as they are already past)

I know we are no longer together, but it does not mean I no longer care for you. I still do love you – just in a different way now: in a way that arises from the end of our short but beautiful time together; in a way I will feel when I am watching the closing credits of a movie that truly touched me. In our time together I have learnt and experienced so much happiness from it: How can I feel anything else but immense gratitude? I am thankful you tried, and you tried hard, for if you did not, all of this wouldn’t have been possible. Do I regret asking you to walk into this movie with me in it? Never. Do I wish that our movie would continue forever? Definitely. But I also understand that for you, our movie was impossible to continue, for you believe the longer the movie drags, the more painful it will be when it ends abruptly halfway (or in your language, some “bomb” in in the future might go off and be too destructive for us to handle). I don’t feel the same way, but I get it. I truly only want you to be happy, and if this means letting you be carefree and free of relationship commitments at this juncture in your life, this is something I will have to accept and do. In fact, I sometimes think this is the final last thing the universe has allowed me to do for you, and therefore, I shall do it well. One day, you’ll be ready, and when that time comes, you’ll definitely find the right person – and when this happens I also know that I will grow out of this and truly be able to feel happy for you.

I’ll be completely honest that I haven’t completely left the cinema, but I am making progress. At the very least, I am up from my seat and finding my way. For one, I no longer feel anger – I no longer blame myself, or you. The plunge I took to open my heart and commit myself to you required courage and effort over time; I now also know for sure that if I could that, it also means I can muster the same courage and effort to walk out of this; however, similarly to falling in love with you, moving on from you also takes time.

Fighting my inner demons completely consumes and exhausts me. Tidal waves of sadness will surface from out of nowhere, carrying the memories of us being together – a together that I want so badly to continue but could not have. I also know that they will continue to surface again and again because this is just how the way things are. I have to summon everything I have within me to let these thoughts go and if I manage to do that, I win the battle for that moment. Sometimes the demons win and I lose instead. I carry on however, because I know this is a war they will eventually lose.

Despite these agonizing moments, there are strangely moments of immense peace and clarity. I am in one now as I am writing this. We all have our unique ways of coping, and mine is writing. As I write this I feel I have already grown yet again. I write this only with the hope that it might provide some comfort for myself and maybe for you. I ask for nothing more. If however, you want to reciprocate whatever I have given you and done for you, then do this one last thing for me: Don’t feel guilty. Smile for us whenever you reminisce our brief but beautiful time we were together.