A Letter

May 22, 2012

El Nido, Palawan

It hasn't been easy. And it will remain like this for quite some time. But I trust that one day it will be. 

But now, here, alone. Let me tell you how grateful I am to you for making me so happy, for breaking down all the walls I've built. All this pain I'm feeling now have been worth it. 

I still remember the time we met in that cab in Hanoi. I still remember us talking during a bus break. When you waited for me to look for a hotel. Us walking in the Citadel, and you making me laugh by being a tour guide. Our first date eating pho by the street. I still remember watching you dance, your unique dance, by the corner in the bar. 

I remember the things you wrote on the walls of Why Not? Bar in Hoi An. Us dancing like crazy to Frank Sinatra. The motorcyle ride to My Son, you driving and still making sure that I'm okay. 

The way you reached out for my hand and held it almost the whole time during our 19 hours sleeper bus ride to Mui Ne. 

Watching the sun set in the sand dunes of Mui Ne. That bike ride that made me realize how lucky I was to have you. 

The time you kissed me goodbye as I rode the cab going to the airport in Saigon. 

The time you called me and told me how happy your mum was for you and for us. I never knew how wonderful it felt to have someone be so proud to have me as his girlfriend. 

The time I saw you again at the airport in Bangkok, so tanned and smiling. You protecting me from the drunken guy behind me. And watching you eat those crickets just because I told you that they're not too bad. You making sure that I was okay and comfortable in yet again another long sleeper bus to Chiang Mai.  

You trying so hard to catch up to me while trekking, and still trying to be a gentleman as we go down those slippery rocks. You saying 'If you fall, I fall. Okay?' as we got stuck at the middle of the river on a bamboo raft. Being so patient with me and eating mcdo just because I wanted to. And you getting so sick after that. I'm so sorry about that again.

Asking me to stay and not go when I wanted to leave because I was getting scared. 

Playing petanque with you, Dave, and our Lao friend. Spending those lazy days in the remote villages of Northern Laos. 

Partying in Vang Vieng non-tubing style. And our endless search for the Blue Lagoon. Patiently watching FRIENDS with me three times a day. You looking for me, even though I was just gone for only twenty minutes. 

Going to the Philippines with me. Our early valentines date in El Nido, treating me like a princess and encouraging me to be brave and try learning how to tread. Those lazy days of just playing tong-its. 

I'm so sorry I couldn't bring you to the airport. I remember how sad you were when we were in Starbucks just a few minutes before we part again. And when we kissed, not caring about the people around us in the taxi stand. The last time I saw you with your backpack, always at your best. 

But the one thing I will always remember and will forever cherish is waking up in the early morning. I can still see your back. And I can still feel my hands reaching out to you and hugging you. And you just naturally hold it and bring it to your chest. My friend calls it that feeling of 'belonging'. I call it feeling so at home with you. 

I hope that one way or another I was able to make you feel so happy too, despite all the hesitations I had. 

I'm so sorry for trying to find reasons to blame you the past few days. But despite my selfishness, you still remained the patient and understanding man I know. 

Thank you for being brave enough to save and preserve the good memories we had. 

And yes, you are and will always be a big piece of my life. You came into my life at the right and best moment. You came as my life was changing, and I'm so glad you did. 

Some people may say that I shouldn't be writing this anymore. Self-preservation. But one gift you have given me is the strength to strive to come out of this situation a grateful person. The happy memories we had seem to fight all the anger and bitterness I keep trying to find in the hope of making this seem easier. 

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