I would like to dedicate this post to the many people out there who are not in a relationship at the moment. I am not writing this post in hope of dissing you for being forever alone. However, I want to highlight the situation faced by a group of people I know who will never be able to experience the feelings of love, happiness, pleasure, sadness and pain in a relationship. The very people who are burdened with a decision few would ever have the heart to make.
Now the question is: What is that decision and why does it sound so dramatic?
To explain this, I will talk about a friend of mine I had the honour of knowing for more than 5 years of my life.
Jerry is a 22 year old guy who never fails to put a smile on your face. Always cheerful and extroverted in thoughts and speech. He graduated from university at the age of 21 and works as a marketing agent. Perhaps that attributed to his expressive personality. However, there is something odd about Jerry but I can’t seem to put my finger on it.
Allie Lee is a girl of 20 years and has known Jerry longer than I have; since kindergarten to be exact. They hung around one another almost all the time. They were what I would call the sweetest pair of friends, caring for each other more than even the best of friends would. First impressions would place those two as a couple of young lovers. However, they are not even in a relationship. Perhaps in the future then.
One fine day, Allie popped, “The Question” which did not really surprise Jerry at all. One would anticipate the joy in his face but instead, with a frown, he rejected. Allie tried as hard as she could to comprehend the situation. Without giving a reason, Jerry smiled and assured her that no matter what happens, he will always love her even though they are not in a relationship.
Allie thought perhaps the timing wasn’t right and attempted pushing for a relationship over the years to come. Every single time she asked, Jerry would turn her down assuring her that he will still love her even though they were not in a relationship.
Finally, Allie had just about enough of the charades. Personally, I would not blame her. How can anyone wait for so long? She confronted Jerry and thrashed out all her feelings against him. Jerry could sense her reaching breaking point and heaved a heavy sigh.
“Al,” he began, “I do not know how to say this but I don’t think we can ever be in a relationship. It is not because I do not love you but of another matter which I fear would be too hard for you to bear. Rest assured I will always love you and I promise to care for you for as long as I shall breath.”
This explanation was not enough for Allie who was filled with anguish and confusion. How can he do this? The guy she has known and love for so long refusing to be in a relationship with her. Perhaps she should move on. After that incident, she rarely talked to Jerry, stifling her pain and working hard to cut him out of her life. With a smile on his face, it seemed that it was what Jerry wanted. Day by day, Allie began to forget Jerry. Jerry started becoming more reclusive but he kept to his word of caring for Allie though he did so secretly.
On the 30th of May, 2012, Jerry passed away suddenly of a heart attack at the young age of 25. Allie attended the funeral with her boyfriend she got together with after Jerry pushed her aside. She felt sad at the sudden demise of her friend but she did not cry. At the funeral, Jerry’s mum handed her an envelope. It was from Jerry.
Opening it, there was a short letter:
If you are reading this, it would mean that my heart has finally gave in. How fragile the life of a human, that it can end in a heartbeat. About 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with a rare heart disease which is incurable. It was only a matter of time before my heart would give in. It hurts me that you have to know of this now but I needed you to forget about me and move on with life. I wanted you to be happy.
When you first asked me the question of whether we should be in a relationship, I was overwhelmed with joy that I wanted to accept it immediately. I was faced with a very difficult decision. Knowing that I will die soon, I cannot bear to see you face the world alone. I cannot bear to be the one responsible of leaving you to face this world alone. But all my life since meeting you, I had always wanted to be the one to hold your hand.
Despite knowing that my life is going to end, death is not what I am afraid of but the fact that I will die never being able to be in your life. I will never be able to share your pain, happiness and success. Perhaps it is the memories we had together, which will be my accompaniment to the afterlife. For all the moments we shared, I have cherished every single one of them. I hold no hatred nor grudge against you and I hope you will do the same for me too.
God knows how much I want to tell you. If you only knew, you’d understand why. I am sorry, my dear. I will always love you.
The tears welled up in Allie’s eyes as she fell to her knees clutching the letter. She cursed herself for not understanding, begging for a chance to apologize. An apology Jerry never lived to receive.
Perhaps it may be difficult for you to feel what it feels like. However, I am sure that some of you know exactly what it feels like to walk away sacrificing your feelings and love for the person you love. You went against your heart in hope the person you love will live a good and fruitful life.
However, the question now beckons. Is going against your heart really worth the price? Is sacrificing your feelings a better decision? The answer to this is yours to make. Till my next post, thank you for your patience and time.