“You are always gonna be my love, even if I fall in love with someone once again. I’ll remember to love, you taught me how.”
—Translation of Utada Hikaru’s “First Love”
It’s a wonder how amidst the difficulty that my heart suffers now because of my second love, I had a chance of talking on-line to my first love.
We all cannot forget our first loves. I met mine quite late in life. We were seventeen then. He’s quiet, unassuming and reserved. He seems a bit cold for me actually. Our professor then told the class to introduce our seatmates in class and he then turned to me. He broke into a smile, one of the warmest and kindest smiles that I had ever seen. He is definitely not one of the men which I consider handsome but he’s definitely the most charming. After introducing our names and high schools to each other, he told me that he has a girlfriend which made me hear my heart crack a little.
It’s easy to fall in love with him. We sit to each other almost all our days in college. Every day that I learn something from him, the more I like him. Believe me, it feels like a curse. He treats me as a close girl space friend and he is comfortable in telling me everything especially about his ex girl no-space friends. I had no choice but to listen intently and wear a mask every day saying how happy I am for him but how I felt disgusted with myself telling such lie. I cannot tell him anything, not only because I fear losing our friendship but I would have no idea working with him in activities wherein he is my partner or group mate. Thus, every day then, I take a deep breath and whisper to myself, “You can do this, Maica. Just grin and bear it.”
But what made me really like him? Back then, I cannot pinpoint what particular traits in him that I like. What is important to me is that I really, really like him far more than myself or anyone else. However, after a few years of moving on, I see things more clearly. I like him a lot because of how he treats his then girlfriends (he had three ex back in college). He likes giving them surprises. When he looks at them, it’s as if everybody else disappears in the world. He is also proud of them. When he tells me and my classmates about them he is not ashamed in expressing how special they are and how much he loves them. I also like his kindness and his playful mischievousness at times. I like the fact that he always maintains his cool and never gets angry despite pressure. I like how passionate he is with things that he loves like basketball. I love how he intently listens to me whenever I’m too happy or too sad. I like how he treats me like a woman unlike our other guy classmates who treats me as well, one of them. I love his simplicity and pure-heartedness.
I love that I realized that I am capable to love.
I love that I realized that I want someday to love a good man like him who, unlike him, would love me back.
I love that I know myself as a woman in love—which I am the type of woman who would selflessly wish for every day for the happiness of the man he loves even if I am not included in his happiness.
He may not have loved me back, but I know this: Unrequited love is still love. It is the most painful, sorrowful yet it is still a beautiful and pure kind of love. It is the kind of love that excruciatingly learned yet it gave me wisdom on how to love virtuously, without waiting for anything in return. In the end, I am also proud that the experience in loving him unrequitedly showed how strong a person I am because I survived it.
In case you’re wondering, yes I told him in the most unconventional way ever. I told it to him in front of our classmates during our retreat. That was definitely unplanned and according to one of my guy classmate who was his dorm mate, he was too shocked. He stared into nothingness the whole night according to our classmate. I really am sorry for shocking him like that. Truthfully, I am as shocked as him. Never in my dreams would I do something as crazy as that. It was aching at first especially how he avoided me on the first weeks but in the end, I’m glad that I did that. My complete honesty for him on the last weeks of my college years liberated me.
But, now that I could not recall the pain I felt in loving him before, I could truly say that I moved on. Now, I could only remember the joy he had given me as a very loyal and good friend. In the end, I do not regret knowing him. I do not regret choosing to love him. Because at the end of the day, I could tell myself that I loved a very good man. I’m indeed glad seeing him do what he had planned and is now very independent from him parents. When I talked to him, I felt he never changed and he wished me luck on the path that I have chosen. That makes me very much happy.
Whatever happens or wherever path we may go, I can only have good words for him and would forever be proud that he is my first love.