Of a bruised heart

My heart is bruised. It is swollen. If you take it carefully in your hands, you’d see it also has dents. As if it has taken many beatings and with each depressing force, some parts chose to return to surface, some just remained hollowed and defeated. Together with the bruises, swells, and depressions, my heart is a bumpy surface to thread on.

Ed Sheeran’s Photograph has lovely lyrics. There’s just this one line I don’t agree on: that when things get hard—”it’s the only thing that makes us feel alive”. Why should hard things be the only things that evoke feelings of feeling alive? I bet you if you take a roller coaster, all that exhilaration and stomach-dropping sensations when its just you, the sky, and the adrenaline in your beating heart—you’d feel very much alive. But obviously Ed and Johnny didn’t mean for the lyrics to mean that way. This song is about looking forward to a reunion,  to a continuation of of what’s paused and shouldered by hope. But there’s no hope in my story, as much as I can identify with and like this song. There is a protest in me that fights with the bitter-sweetness I get from this song.

Some time two years back, my heart underwent a long trial of beatings. But even during then, I’d felt the joy of feeling pain as it made me feel alive. I’d thought that my heart needed to be tempered for a reason. Now, I’m done with that bullshit because I’m sick of it. Being pain is being in pain. There is no beauty. There is no upside to it and I won’t allow and can’t even feel the upside to it this time. I just want it to stop. Times I murmur a soft prayer, I ask for this ache to be taken away because I don’t want to be in it anymore. It’s ridiculous the number of times I’ve been subjected to heartbreaks.

I want this dull ache to be doused. I want my heart whole again. But each time I love, a piece is taken away from me and I am never quite whole. Do ENFJs feel the most happy in a healthy, loving relationship? I suppose, until the right one comes along this bruised heart will remain fragile and unhealed with all its blemishes—scars, scabs, dents and all.


The Journey to Paraíba (an edited account)

I am still in the bus, but I’ve have entered Paraíba. There is a great amount of greenery here, but not like the lush greenery in England; it is a dry, crispier kind of green on the wide expanse of lands that stretch into the distant hills and mountains. At one point I just…stared, quite transfixed at the hues of orange in the horizons that’s so beautiful in the blue sky.

And so I travelled along such greenery. At one part of my journey, I saw lots of white horses grazing the field through the curtain. So I parted it excitedly, thinking, UNICORNS!! That smile promptly faded when I realised they’re just cows.

And then the bus moved on. Brief moments the bus passed through the villages, I saw boys playing football on a small piece of light, camel-ish coloured ground with self-constructed small, netless goal posts. A few moments later, boys playing football at a wider space at the edge of the woods. I thought how different these sights were compared to the boys playing on concrete back in my home. Roofed houses after houses, scattered across Brazil land, or built in clusters on sloping lands – such inconsistencies in design and unlike the carefully designed flats back home.

More undulating lands. Rolling hills. I thought, so much land, so much potential. What if this area were to be made into a golf course? There’s a random small lake in the middle of the greens too. It sure looks like a golf course with such unevenness. Just as this thought crossed my mind, I saw a meandering river in between two plains, of about six to seven metres in width. Its path turned and reached gently towards the road I was travelling on. It twinkled under the setting sun in such a quiet, beautiful way. I was startled out of my reverie and blinked in surprise; I hadn’t expected its sudden appearance. Then I smiled as the scene passed me by.

December 20, 2015

The Pregnant Lady

This morning I managed to get a seat on the train but it was a reserved seat for the needy. It always had not mattered to me that I sit there as I will gladly give it up when there’s someone who needs it. So I eagerly switched on my Kindle to continue Josie and Jake’s story because I was DYING to finish it to start Transcendence (love story of a Neanderthal and time-travelled modern woman – now tell me you’re not excited). When I looked up as the train stopped at a station, a caucasian lady waved her right arm to catch my attention. “Excuse me, can I seat?” she asked. I looked at her, noticing her slender build and short hair and also… bulging pregnant tummy. I was mortified. Promptly jumped off my seat. “I’m so sorry!” I apologised with a very sincere, sheepish face. Here’s what surprised me; very sincerely as well, and I’m sure, she beamed brightly at me replying, ”It’s okay!” As she settled down, I said again, ”So sorry ‘bout that.” “It’s okay!” she assured. I returned to my book thinking how genuine she looked, but soon noticed the lady had also whipped out her book. I smiled inwardly to myself. She is a reader! I thought. Could it be she saw how absorbed I was that she wasn’t angry I kinda usurped the seat rightfully reserved for people like her because she being one, understands a bookworm? I alighted the train thinking how this lady impacted my life. I have always strived to learn from the good of others and treat others with as much sincerity as I can muster. Thus, the next time I find myself heavily pregnant on the train, instead of glaring menacingly at the seat usurper, I shall open my mouth to ask for it and be kind and gracious if the person was unintentionally not seeing me.

Sometimes when you’re running to a safe harbour your thoughts get directed to the harbour that makes you feel safe but hurt you the most.  When that is the case, familiarity isn’t your answer.

In any case, since your absurd texts to me two weeks ago I’ve heard nothing. I regret not responding but you weren’t making any sense anyway.

I miss you, the one familiar but a stranger. Sharply, tonight, I miss you.

The Test of the Strength of My Heart

This chapter of my life is about self-discovery, finding out things I’ve never known about myself before, getting to know myself better. This chapter concerns the test of the strength of my heart.

I didn’t go in search of this – it just presented itself to me. Because I was the most suitable around to take on this role but was not the most suitable person for something else. Anyway, that ship has sailed and sunk so I am accepting it that way else I’ll go insane.

Yesterday, when I felt the magnitude of your infatuation with the girl it felt like I was a dartboard being rained on by darts in succession. Across this three weeks coming to one month, I was hurt again, I cried hopelessly at feeling worthless again, I experienced losing you again, but the most enriching of all was the transition to being just a friend to you. Lover, to Friend.

So today I saw you. It was trepidation; it was nervousness. It was looking at your face again at that bus stop and trying to play it cool when in fact, I was aware of my nervousness and heart beat. It was noticing immediately you have lost a lot of weight, your thinner-near-gaunt face was unfamiliar yet the facial hair attracting me in its usual scruffy sexiness. It was sitting in small awkward silences, attempting small talk while watching familiar bus numbers go by but not being able to exactly remembering where it stops when I used to. Even sitting next to you in close proximity on the bus seemed strange.

It was hearing your voice in person again, walking down a familiar route slightly behind you while you were on the phone, deliberately trailing that familiar but already faint perfume scent that’s mingled with a hint of tobacco. It was walking pass that bus stop where I last hugged you good-bye. It was sitting at the coffee shop we once agreed to sit at to relax, only we did so today finally as friends.  You left behind your phone again and once again I rolled my eyes in annoyed affection at your carelessness. (It’s a wonder you haven’t lost it yet I swear.) It was also a nostalgic visit to the hair dresser’s where curious people have asked us separately on separate occasions where we were. And then it was us again at McD’s where I watched you blabber nonsense but I knew you were overwhelmed inside. I saw that tooth peek out from your grin but it was not a sincere expression from the heart.

“Don’t worry for me, Eliza,” you later said at the traffic light. No, I can’t stop doing that just yet.

Arriving in front of your place, saying good-bye. Feeling your arm around my shoulders at your thanks, shoving a stopper to feeling teary at a lost familiarity, touching that hand on my shoulder to assure and comfort you it will be okay. Did you feel the wave of nostalgia like I did? “Walk me to the end,” I said on a slight desperate impulse, “there, before the traffic light,” I pointed. “It’s a long lonely road, you know it.”

I tried to make you brave in our last few minutes together. You attempted smiles and jokes. We parted. I was shaken.

On the bus ride home, I thought to myself on the bus, that no matter how flawed you are and the mistakes you’ve made, I still love you, blemishes and all. I feel strangely happy that I do (is because I can still show you so in my actions?) but I cannot and will not force you to a corner, nor can or will I abandon you – not when my heart can still take it. There is a time for everything, and our time is up. For now, I will have to be happy being your friend and experience familiarity in a different way, feelings in my heart. On the bus, I realised seeing you again makes me feel what I feel every day – that  I have missed you. But more than usual yesterday, I felt strongly that I’ve missed the very presence of your being.

Hence I conclude : My journey of self-discovery the later part of this year is to love someone from afar. It is to accept what has passed, and make the best of what remains. It is to watch someone I love ‘love’ another, enduring pricks of pain while plastering a smile on my face. My heart will be broken but tempered over hardship and love, stretched, moulded and re-sculpted till I know its limits and size.

Stepping into September Two Zero One Four

It is September. This is the first week I last heard from you, the third week I last saw you. I have caught wisps of your perfume on the train and am guilty of glancing up to look even though I knew it wasn’t you. You’re constantly on my mind and a constant weight in my heart. But I don’t gasp for breath no more, don’t feel stabbing pains no more. I have stopped my nightly small intake of alcohol that removes you from being the last thought in my mind when sleep comes (how true is this?). The pain has settled into a silent, invisible weight that forms a compression downwards on my heart. But still I’m scared. So even though my thoughts swings towards you, I try to stop them. I try to haul myself up before I sink deep in thoughts. Just this morning as I looked out of the train window, I wondered when this weight will lift. It is September.

Have you laid down your letter? Will you leave this country and decide against seeing me one last time? It seems like it’s another hurdle I have to cross – dealing with your departure. I hope that doesn’t come. Even though I don’t see you, my heart is comforted to know we’re in the same country. A lie my heart can’t help but believe, I know – for what difference does it make since we see each other no more? But if you leave this place, your presence will leave me forever – physically. Another lie; it already has. It further makes no sense that I think it’s unfair you leave here before I do. But what does it matter? What does it matter?

It is September. I am getting better. I walk the office with better steps.  I am laughing more. I even started doing lame elevator dances. And then there’s of course, my books, animes and J-dramas. Those occupy most of my nights. Fortunately, the month of October and early September lined me up with books to read (I just finished a series that consists of eight books!!!). When I’m not reading, I am watching something (what will I do without my sight?!). At the recommendation of two friends, I started Akame ga Kiru on Sunday. It is a new, fast-paced anime but lacking in justification of  the whole “killing in the name of justice” thing really. The main character, Tatsumi, basically gets paired up with a senior assassin each episode so far. They witness an evil deed and Senior and Tatsumi go all that-is-unforgivable-YOU-WILL-DIE-FOR-YOUR-DESPICABLE-ACTS-!!  before wielding their weapons and most of the time the villains get slashed into two/decapitated/shot at but you can see through the holes in their bodies/killed basically in gory manners. You may wince at the sight of the deaths but trust me, the graphics aren’t great like Shingeki. In fact, I kinda think the graphics look like a phone game.

And then there’s the release of Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno. I remember feeling my lips turn up in a fangirl-besotted smile at Takeru slashing his blade in front of my eyes again. This installment wasn’t as cleanly done as the first though. With my Takeru-love reignited (actually, it was never gone! A constant flame!), I occupied myself with watching the variety programmes he appeared on recently too. Oh, if I do think of something, I’ll write about the book series I recently completed.

Two Septembers back, I remember recalling Green Day’s Wake Me Up When September Ends. This September, I am a little more awake. Oh yes, I hope it ends. But I’ll be awake. And see it through with less despair. Perhaps it’s true we get better with coping with loss as we age.

I hope heartbreak in August does not prove a trend.