Looking Through the Window

Outside my window, I saw a most unusual occurrence. Lightning hit this house across me and a fire truck was there doing what they can. It made me think – why and how. Why didn’t that bolt hit me, as if by some strange chance, striking me on the exact time I step outside the door? How did it even happen, did it rain while I was at the hospital? Is there a plan for everything, like fate or destiny? Or do we live our lives randomly according to every decision we make.

I like to think it was the latter. It could have been different. Maybe I wouldn’t be looking through this window and seeing a lightning-charred roof. Maybe I still would be looking through this window, but she could have held my hand and pointed at the same lightning-charred roof.

It has been 5 Januarys ago now but the memory of it still feels like yesterday. Everytime I think about it, I get drifted back and time becomes suspended. I look without even looking, my empty stare not at all congruent to the number of images I see in my head. Through all that montage of emotions, one face stands out. She had brought it all and she took it all too.

I keep thinking if it were chance or destiny that brought her to me. Did she imagine something like me before even knowing me? For me, she came as a surprise. I didn’t really care about romantic feelings anymore. It might come or it might not, but then she happened. After that, it felt like I could do anything for her. I wanted to give her the best of me.

She used to write me sweet notes on post-its and love letters in sticker-sealed airmail envelopes. One of them dropped on the departure area in Japan as I was reading a book. She must have slipped it there just before we slept. Real men don’t cry – that’s a lie. I cried.

It broke my heart everytime she thought I was unfair. I guess I was, but what could I have done? There wasn’t a night that I kept wanting to take her with me so I can hold her. There wasn’t a moment that I didn’t think of her smile. When I ate dinner at that bare apartment, I imagine her across the table. But I knew I had to live through the sadness or else I would have gone crazy. It hurt when her smiles became tears and her laughter became sobs. I was supposed to make her happy but I couldn’t so I distanced.

How do you say ’I love you’ without saying the word love? How do you tell her you still care and you still wish for a life with her forever? How do you make her feel that nothing has changed? I tried.

She said if we ever got through, she’ll have the most beautiful story to tell our kids. That story will remain to be a fairy tale. Maybe she’ll tell it to her kids, and in that story the boy and the girl kiss and live happily ever after.

So was it fate? Was I really meant to lose her, or was it one of my decisions that brought me here without her, looking through this window. I know without me her life is fine. Without her, I’m okay too but I will never be the same again.

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