I am always aware that I am an emotional person. Emotional in a sense that I am especially in tuned to turning on the waterworks. The sprinkles are always activated in a touching Disney moment or when a beloved animal returns to the wild for good. With 1 being an old sprinkler doing its job and 5 being Niagara falls (in a let-me-just-heave-my-guts-out-after-every-mournful-cry moment), Disney movies typically cause my waterworks to usually reach a 3.
It was the first time I teared on a first date, simply because it was touching and sad. I knew 100% that it wasn’t technically going to be a date because I know we both had different objectives. Here’s the ‘but’ part: But as the evening progressed and the conversations that passed between us were insightful -alongside humorous, flirtatious- and rather raw at times, somewhere along the line, I confess, my heart strings were effectively tugged on.
Things were left unspoken but were made known in our eyes. He challenged me to leave if I was uncomfortable. I felt comfortable sitting next to him, but in my mind a million thoughts played out and the recurring ones told me this was unworthy of an emotional investment because, I knew for sure that I was going to get hurt with this one and it was going to be uncomfortable soon enough. He saw the flicker of my decision to get ready to leave in my eyes or perhaps it confirmed his suspicions when I asked him politely and slightly pleadingly, to leave with me to go back home to our respective houses, of course. I could see the disappointment in his eyes and with the short hours together that had bridged the gap from virtual to reality, superficial ‘friends’ to something more than friends, I knew I was going to squash and I had perhaps already done the damage to what was going to develop. I knew it was a good thing because we both had different belief on things and I could never consciously wear my heart on my sleeve because my mind was going to berate me to no end after.
It dawned on me that he was aware that there were much bigger things going on in his life such as the ambitious career goals that he wanted to pursue. He knew that such connections were going to be left on the back burner soon enough, and that it was going to be temporal and when it ended we were both supposed to leave with a polite adieu and get on with each of our own fantastic lives. To him, it would simply and easily be ‘it was just that’ with a big grin and hop back to his daily routine. I doubt I would ever be able to do that.
I knew I couldn’t just ‘go with the flow’ or to ‘let things happen’ because if I do and which I have done, I have regretted for being at the brunt of my own emotional torture. From garden sprinkles that get activated like clockwork on the bus on the way to the morning lectures, to Gardens by the Bay waterfall-esque displays on a 6 hour train in a foreign land crying behind dark sunglasses then giving them up for convenient plugging of the malfunctioning water pipes. (The lack thereof clean tissues for snot marathon can be one of the most harrowing experience)
I get haunted by the what-ifs and why-nots that get replayed over and over again, almost like a sub-conscious masochistic way to inflict pain on myself and to horribly while away time. Key being, time is precious and I can’t be subsumed into something that 1. won’t work out 2. I know would cause me unnecessary suffering from this attachment 3. would waste my time and exhaust my mind from the turning of stones for answers that I want to hear but will never exist.
Yet, the darn things were on autopilot and at the growing awareness that this connection that we shared this evening would have to end soon, they started. I teared on the first date before our almost-goodbye but at our definite goodbye of a hazy future of ‘us’. There was never going to be an ‘us’ that both us would have the equal high regard which I knew I wanted.
At least it was only a 2 then, but it was a 3.8 this morning when I woke up and it dawned on me again. Perhaps I was mourning for the death of such a connection, perhaps I was crying tears of joy for the mess that I have avoided.