I am not proud to admit this, but over the past month while he was away on training then annual leave, I’d imagined our so-called reunion – catching sight of each other like before, really – many times. Would it be deliberate – lunch, perhaps? An event, maybe? Or would it be unplanned – bumping into each other while in office, for instance? Would it be a long while before we would see each other again, if I don’t initiate and make effort? Would it be awkward? Would we deny and pretend the month before this month-long gap never happened? Would we feign those rides and conversations never took place?
This morning, I… took an unusual route to my usual parking spot. I am definitely not proud to admit this. Because I… took this little roundabout in hopes of catching his car – just to y’know, satisfy a stupid curiosity of, is he really back in office? No luck though – no Kia Picanto in sight. I sighed and told myself oh my goodness, please get a grip already.
So I proceeded to head to my usual spot and just as I told myself to let go, at a junction of the parking lot, a red car pulled up as I slowed down to check my sides for cars. I did a double-take and quickly scanned the plate number. Shit.
There he is, having just arrived.
I drove forth and entered the row with empty parking spaces. While I – naturally – struggled to reverse park and therefore fumbled for a minute or two to park, it took him seconds to park two spaces from my spot. I’m not sure if he actually waited for me or our timing was coincidental again, but we ended up walking the short distance to the office lobby together.
“How are you?” I asked.
“I’m okay,” he replied.
“How was your training?”
“It was good.”
“Okay, that’s good. Did you take leave too, last week?”
“Yup, I did.”
“You were home? Back in KL?”
“Yup, I was.”
My god, talk about awkward and stilted and… impersonal. Pretend it is, then. I stopped asking anymore questions and just kept walking. Since we were nearing the lobby door, I thought to myself, it’s okay… you can totally survive this one minute of awkward silence. But maybe he could not bear it – I’ve no idea – but it was him this time who broke the silence.
“So when’s your next trip back to KL?”
“In two weeks actually…” I let out a small laugh as I said that. “The long weekend. You, too?”
“I don’t know… the tickets are kinda expensive for that weekend…”
“Yeah. I know. Honestly, I’m going back cos it’s my niece’s and Dad’s birthday. There’ll be a celebration…”
We arrived – finally! – at the lobby. My desk is now on the first floor, meaning I take the stairs and not the elevator. He’s on third. The lobby was packed with people such that I suddenly felt the Wednesday morning rush hour. “Okay, see you,” I said quickly and headed for the door to the staircase. I didn’t wait to hear his reply. In my mind, I had two thoughts. One, my god that was awkward. Two, my god talk about timing. God’s timing is indeed impeccable. I just can’t win.
Near 11 AM, I sent him an IM.
Hey, I wrote, if you’re interested, Z and I will are lunching at the café at 1145 AM.
A full five minutes or so passed before he finally replied.
Sorry I’ve a meeting – that was all.
Okie no worries, I replied and immediately closed our chat window.
You know, I want to be cool.
I want to stop trying.
I want to stop coming off as trying too hard.
I want to be a choice, not an option.
I want to maintain my dignity – or is it self-worth, or both? – and stop trying if the other party’s not interested.
I… would like to stop now.
“And there is the love [for you] that will be ready,” Nayyirah Waheed wrote.
A few sentences earlier, she also wrote, “You never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready.” To be frank though, I don’t know how much I believe that this statement is true, because I genuinely believe that more often, it is not that there’s an absence of love – some people simply need time to accept; to grow; to be ready; to pluck courage… the act of convincing is not about and having to come from myself to the other, but within the person himself.
But maybe that’s exactly it.
In this case – I hate to say this, but… my case – I think I’m knocking on a door that isn’t interested to open.
I would like to stop knocking now.
I believe in a love that is ready.
I believe in true surrender; redha.
I believe in God’s timing.
I believe in letting go – even when it is of something good – because “what is meant for you will reach you even if it is beneath two mountains. What isn’t meant for you won’t reach you even if it is between your two lips.”
There is a difference between ‘giving up’ and ‘surrendering to the Owner of time.’
decembi – wonderful and ever-insightful – left a moving and heartrending comment this afternoon while I was in meeting.
Just as I did several years ago when I received her words, I read them with my hand clutched to my heart;
Hi Jandoe, I’ve not followed all your entries but I have read some posts here and there when I check my onesecondspring inbox and it was lovely to read of you falling in love. If I am to be very honest, I think the fear of rejection does pervades your posts. Vulnerability and courage can be such a beautiful dance, it takes such great bravery to truly open oneself up to another.
I’m happily married, but I don’t see marriage as right for everyone in life, or even a required “want” for everyone. But, I do think that if you ever meet someone you want to marry, that is a precious gift indeed. I do sometimes sense that you fear that your true self is unlovable or even unloving… and I don’t pretend to know your true self of course, but love is I think more interesting than that. Don’t dilute yourself, for the love that comes at your true level, is the love that you want indeed.
How does she know?
And that last sentence… I think it’s everything.
I would like to let go now.
If we’re meant to be – I’m sure there’ll be some evidence of progress soon, if not years into the future.