Tuesday, September 12, 2006

One Chapter Closes

Pulling up to the kerb outside my house today, emo rock blasting through the windows wound down, he groggily passed me a sturdy white plastic bag.

I opened the bag and glanced in to see the grand maroon samfu-style top I gave him during our weekend in Malacca.

"This top... it won't be of any use to me if you give it back..."

He responded with a resigning heave of his chest.

"I gotta go."

Then he zoomed off, emo rock continuing to contaminate the silent neighborhood air.

I brought the bag upstairs to my room, almost not wanting to properly check its contents but forcing my fingers to pry it open. When he said he wanted to 'drop of some of my stuff', I got more back than I had expected. All my gifts to him, all tangible form of memory, returned to its sender. My eyes fell upon a flowery handmade envelope. I peeled the expiring cellophane strip away from the flap. Enclosed was my first-ever love letter to anyone, when he and I first started going out. I started to choke. Then, another unfamiliar piece of raw unbleached paper, with his war-torn scribblings, explaining why he couldn't keep anything that was a part of me anymore. The envelope still felt weighted.

No, not the ring. For God's sake, not the r-

A dull chunk of metal slipped out onto my trembling palm.

I crumpled into my bed and surrendered to its softness, gripping the ring with all my might, forcing my defiant heart to accept that this really was the end.

It has been almost a week since we threw in the towel, and every day brings the agony of another cut freshly carved into my emotional flesh. This morning's wound was unbearable.

I've been told that there is never a good time to break up with someone, but in our case I believe there was. I had just come out of a four-month project that put a strain between him and I, but we fought through the pangs of loneliness and guilt respectively. The day after it was all over, we hugged an amazing hug. The feeling of being in each other's arms was an overwhelming reward; the feeling of coming home.

The very next day, we hugged each other goodbye for good.

I hate how reality bit me so suddenly, and so fricking hard, after triumph over adversity.

Mom suddenly revealed she had been talking to her family about my relationship behind my back, and then the next thing I know, she pulls out a letter from her sister and reads out to me the reason why Aunty Shirley disapproves of me going out with a Muslim. I screamed at her for making mountains out of molehills, but I was ultimately hurt not by her family's discouragement, but by my own admittance that the reasons actually made sense. Every time I wanted to put the issue of religion behind me, it would come back in more monstrous proportions, and it finally got too much for me to bear.

I met up with him that night to talk, and to perhaps find a compromise. But we knew there was none.

I love him, and I was in love with him, but I would have had to make a few sacrifices in my principles if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, including the idea of my children being born with a right to choose their own faith. I dreaded the day that I would have had to put one priority on top of another that was equally vital. We knew were each other stood before we took our friendship to another level, so we knew that we would have had to confront the situation eventually. We just didn't expect it to happen so soon. Friends on both sides are shocked and lost for words.

Some people don't understand why the thought of marriage came so early in the relationship. I despise myself for looking so far in the future, but at the same time, I was petrified to stay around to find out if the prospect was there.

Everything was perfect otherwise. And that is what is making it even harder for us to let go.

I'm so sorry Bahir. I'm bleeding for you too.


Anonymous ivan said...


there's nothing wrong about thinking of marriage when it's early in the relationship.

In fact, that should be the very reason why a couple get together.
Many couples nowadays have no goal in their relationship and getting attached is just a mean of trying each partner out or a cure for the loneliness.

'Letting go' is perhaps the hardest word to accept right now but you know that even if you don't it will keep screaming at the back of your head. (I know mine did.)

Coming to terms with what has transpired is indeed heart wrenching. All the more when religion is involved. I've been in the situation before. Or rather my ex did. So i understand the agony and the pain of going through this.

However, time heals but sometimes we still can't find someone to replace the ones that took our heart. We seem to lose hope in ever finding one and we settle for second best. I hope you would stay strong and never settle for anything less than what you truly deserve.Take care!


6:24 PM  
Blogger cyber-red said...

ivan wrapped it well.

sorry to hear what happened hugs...

9:33 PM  
Blogger Fashionasia said...

erm...you can always migrate over to the little red dot down south n get married there?......

12:34 AM  
Blogger Isa said...

i like what ivans put down there. ive been in your exact position, having someone push you away and say 'sorry i cant do this'
the only difference is, IM the muslim one.

im really sorry to read whats happened to you, because i know how bad it hurts.

thats sometimes what i hate about malaysia, the fact that even though we're multicultural, our assimilation is what causes the most divides among us.
espacially religion, which is silly for something thats supposed to bring us together.
just think, that in indonesia, another muslim state, its perfectly alright to inter-marry.

again, im sorry to hear whats happened. hold on to the ring and the stuff, it will remind you of the good times, and yes, the pain.

take care,

8:51 PM  
Blogger jazzy_naj said...

It hurts it definitely does. But don't let go of the ring. it's a precious memory of your relationship and don't give up. i may be young and not fully understand what you're going through but the pain and hurt is the same when you're in love no matter how old you are if you ask me.

It's hard but stay strong. =)

take care!

8:17 PM  
Anonymous jayelle said...

it's so beautifully written.

i'm sorry about what you had to go through. i can only imagine your pain.

1:54 AM  
Blogger pugly said...

So sorry to hear about the break-up. It may seem unbearable now, & it may look like you'll never get over it at the moment, but trust me, you will.

And you know what? The failure of this relationship means that there is a better one out there just around the corner.

11:09 AM  
Blogger f.z.m said...

I can't even come close to imagine what you had gone thru and i wish things had turned out differently for you. I had been once in that situation, but luckily for me, we were just starting to get close before realising that religion is to big a factor to ignore. Hope you are able to face this obstacle in life and come out stronger.

2:49 PM  
Blogger saintvamp said...

Been there before....it was her family and friends..talk about it...she cried later on..no turning back...life goes on.

Be strong and joyful always. My prayers for you.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Jack0 said...

and i thought love is beyond any boundary.. *hugz*

7:41 PM  
Blogger Simmers said...

Life's a bitch. That's a fact. Without pain, we wouldn't know what love feels like.

You know on a brighter side of things, at least you are lucky enough to be truly in love in your lifetime while many others fails to find it.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous shell sad & hope u ok said...

I really do understand and wholeheartedly agree - some priorities are hard to make. But for some reason, the future of our possible children (in this case, their religious freedom), even when we are so far from having children, is the most important thing to us. THAT is true love. The love for the people whom we would bring into the world. That kind of love....would make us give up the man we are crazy over.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous damion said...

stay strong... *hugs*

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Dumpling said...

I'm a strong believer that everything/anything happens for a reason. You may not know it know perhaps you would in near future. Appreciate the good times and all the recollections. Look forward, further with your head up high and you dont have to worry about your feet.

8:48 AM  
Blogger astrorat said...

i am truly sorry that you are hurting... perhaps time (that dreaded thing) will heal. i have no words to make you feel better... and i guess nothing will suffice either... i hope somehow you will find your courage and love again... someday...

6:19 PM  
Blogger disco-very said...

I truly appreciate all whom have put in their kind words of support. I'm sorry I don't have much to say right now, but I can assure you guys that he and I are keeping in touch, and we're working on making it through together. And that's more than I could ever ask for. Thanks so much again, everyone. It means the world to me. Hugs all around.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Ursula said...

I know what you are going trough at the moment..and I know you will get stronger out of it. These are the experiences that I wouldn't wanna miss...it is way better than not being in love at all.
Huggies from me and small ;)

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we live in several parallel worlds in this country. and one doesn't have to mix so much with the other. if u marry the guy & convert, you can be a barely practising muslim. you can keep up the appearance with your in-laws but most of the time u will be with him, believing in whatever you want & him accepting you as u are now.

of course there will be obstacles but if he loves u enough & take the right advice, he will shield you from any hateful things coming from his family/relatives. eventually they will accept you.

at the same time if he has the right advice, he will try to appease your family by being a not very melayu malay. he can participate in your customs & eventually your family will accept him.

i have seen this happen, sometimes it works, sometimes it falls apart later. i suppose the question is - is the love u have gonna be enough?

thinking about ur children's freedom to choose their religion is premature now, they will only wanna decide that when they're old enough. who knows in 20 years time maybe we can all freely chose what we want to practice.

3:58 PM  

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