Dance of Life

By Joe D’Mango

There were two hearts who met in a dance. That moment was magical, there was a sweet song playing. There was harmony, and soon, love in the air. They fell in love, and they started building castles in their dreams, and promised forever with all certainty. But somewhere in the midst of the fun, they got lost in the dance. Something went wrong, but they can never do anything. They were just drifting away, their fortress falling apart. There were so many questions but no one had an answer. Then the music stopped, then there was silence.

When we truly love someone, we give our best and let that person see the pureness of our intentions. But sometimes, that person makes us cry and hurts us for the wrong reasons. That someone must have loved us, but he has not loved us enough to make him stand for what he truly felt. Now, we are faced with the seemingly impossible task of forgetting. We have burdened ourselves long enough. But we still can’t get out from this emotional trap.

Let us remember that the more we try to forget someone we love, the more painful letting go will become. Sometimes, we never have to take that person out in our hearts at all, for he will always be there no matter how hard we try to drive him away. It isn’t his presence that makes this difficult but it is our stubbornness to accept our destiny that aligns forgetting next to impossible. We keep a cold face, but deep in our hearts, there still that lingering hope for a reconciliation. Somehow, we still believe that we can rekindle small embers and relight the fire that once burned in our hearts.

These thoughts give us hope, but it also breeds the seeds of loneliness and despair. The only way to forget is to accept and the only way to move on is to look ahead and let the footprints of the past be blown by the wind of time. Only then can our hearts find a partner in the dance of life and hopefully never get lost again.

Echoes of our Hearts

By Joe D’Mango

Sometimes we close our eyes and just listen to the echoes of our hearts. We all fall in love and there are times that we love so much that we lose ourselves in our own emotions. More often than not, we wonder why there are love that grows and love that grows cold. We would start to search for answers and try to find where love has gone wrong. But in the end we find ourselves where we started. We cannot question love when it has its own reasons. Love will always be as it always has been. Silent, mysterious, and deeply profound. Many of us believe that love is forever. That love never dies, only to be disillusioned in the end when we find our hands empty and our hearts longing. We mistakenly have looked at love as need to be fulfilled. But love is only a gift given to us. We should not hold it in our hands for we may never find the strength to let it go when it decides to leave. We should only embrace its warmth and glow while it lasts and then freely open our hearts when it’s time to say goodbye. When we fall in love with someone, we don’t want that feeling to end for it is everything that we are and everything we wanted to be. We pray that love will stay and grow in our hearts. But if it doesn’t, then we should never let our lives be taken by it for life should not end where heartaches begin. There’s always a reason why we have to move on. When we have to say goodbye to the feelings we wanted to stay forever, let us not wave our hands with a heavy heart for love will have to set its wings free and find a place where it belongs. We may have lost it but then again, when we close our eyes and listen to the echoes of our hearts, we will hear that feeling resounding silently forever then we’ll know that it has never left us for the good we have become because of love will always stay. It will always be there reminding us that we should be thankful and happy not because we have lost love but because for once in our lives that feeling lived in our hearts and made us happy.

Lovestory

He gives advice on love and relationships on Wave 89.1 ( Philippines ) . Have you ever wondered what he does when he has his own love problems? Does he give advice to himself? Does he handle it very well?

Three Fridays ago, our guru on relationships, Joe D’Mango, read a letter to his wife on his popular radio program Love Notes. For the past 11 years, he had been giving advice to people who would write him letters about their personal problems. To the surprise of his listeners that Friday, instead of reading one of his usual letters, he read one that he had written himself to his wife Bing. Joe felt that he had to tell his listeners that even someone like him could go through a marital crisis, but that he survived it. Here’s how his letter goes:

In our 11 years of marriage it was just the two of us. I never had a close circle of friends and she never had one either. Life for us was just “you and me,” day in and day out. We were literally sleeping beside each other for 11 years. It came to a point that there was nothing more interesting to talk about. I was aware I was doing that but I never did anything about it. We were so close yet it seemed like we were so distant. Then came her new circle of friends.

They recently had an elementary and high school reunion. Remember her persistent suitor since elementary days? He was there. We already had four daughters and the guy had four kids of his own. They exchanged phone numbers. They started to text each other and this bothered me. A big part of it was insecurity and other part was that she once denied that she was texting the guy.

I felt bad because she started hiding things from me. Then the guy asked her if they could meet for lunch. It became a source of tension between us. I finally agreed, but before that, I told her that I felt that I was going through the same pain again. I have seen so many stories like this. If you told me the first part of the story, I would already know where it would lead to.

Bing accused me of being a “know-it-all” person. But deep in my heart, I knew where she was heading. Why would a married guy see a married girl unless it was for business or professional reasons? Finally, even if it was against my will, I drove her to the meeting place.

While I was waiting at the radio station, I wanted to call her but knew it wasn’t proper. So I just waited for her to tell me how their meeting went.

When she related to me what happened I felt that she was keeping the other details. I was afraid to ask because I wasn’t prepared to accept her answers. I told her that it would be best if that was their last meeting. She got mad and told me that I was starting to control her life.

The following day, I saw a small, torn piece of paper that had the words, “lose you” in the trash can at home. I started picking up the pieces of paper and putting them together. She had written: “Felt sad because I felt that this will be our last meeting.” “Wanted to hug you…” Before I could figure out what the third one was, Bing was already at my back. She wanted to get the torn pieces of paper back. She said it was private property. We decided to talk.

By then, I was able to figure out the third line: “Not sure if afraid to lose you.” She had crossed it out and beside it, she had written, “Wanted to cry.”

That was what hit me.

How could you lose something that’s not even with you yet? That was a confirmation that she was getting emotionally attached to the guy. We fought because she didn’t want to admit it. She said that what she had written was all about friendship and not about love. For the first time in our marriage she asked for freedom from me. For 11 years we were always together, and now this.

She had discovered her own little world and wanted to explore it. I didn’t want to give it to her but finally I gave in. I told her that she could do anything she wanted and not worry about how I would feel. In fact, I told her that I was planning to leave her and kids for a while so we could give each other the chance to be alone. We decided to give the new arrangement a try.

The following day, Thursday, I went to work early and she texted me. I never answered back. When I didn’t respond, she called me. She said, “I’m sorry. I love you and I miss you.” For the first time in our marriage I said, “I love you and I miss you too” with tears in my eyes.

I realized how much I loved her but I also knew how much she wanted her freedom. When I arrived at the station I asked for a leave. My boss advised me to think it over, but he said that he would allow me to go on leave. After letting it all out I felt relieved. It was the first time in my life that I asked for advice about our relationship.

While I was talking with my boss, a messenger arrived with 12 white roses arranged in a basket. It came from Bing. Then a text message on my cellphone came, “I know that no material things can ease the pain that you’re feeling right now, but these flowers signify my pure and sincere intentions. I’m really sorry. Please forgive me.”

Still, a question continued to bug me: “I’m giving you the freedom. Will you choose to stay or go on?” I read the card, and it had the answer to my question: “Dear Dad, I finally realized that I made a very big mistake in choosing a new-found friendship at the expense of our long-time friendship. Please forgive me. I wil always love you.”

Bing called the guy and told him that she wanted to end the friendship. He said that they could just text or call each other. Bing said that there was no need.

We had dinner and talked up to 1 am. It was like getting married all over again. We lost each other and found our way back. I do not want to go through the same pain again.

Friday came and it was the first time in the history of Love Notes that I couldn’t do Love Notes. I scheduled a replay. When I was at the station at 9 am, I composed a letter to Bing. I was asking myself, should I read this or do a replay? I chose to read the letter. It is not unusual to hear people say “I love you because…,” but this story has shown us that the deeper and greater love is having to say “I LOVE YOU IN SPITE OF…”

What hurts most?

…when you can’t fight for that one thing that would make you happy…
…I may never be the guy you look forward to seeing every day…
…but I will always be the guy who will look out for you each and every day…

Sad Girl: “don’t make me feel that i’m just a selfish jerk just because I made you cry!”

Sad Guy: “then don’t make me feel like I did nothing for you when I almost died crying just to see you smile…”

Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And some ask ourselves: Will our actions echo across the centuries?

Will strangers hear our names long after we are gone, and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved?

Love isn’t when you can’t sleep … it’s when you want to keep your eyes open…

Love isn’t when you keep holding on … it’s when you learn to let go …

Love isn’t when you kill yourself with jealousy … it’s when you understand …

Love isnt’ when you fall for someone … it’s when you catch that person when he falls…

Love isn’t when you see him everywhere … it’s when you close your eyes and he is still there …

Love isn’t when you tell him what you feel … it’s when you give everything for his sake…

And Love isn’t when you think you were blind … it’s when you know he was wrong but you didn’t mind!

Give it Another Chance

Dear Joe,

I long wanted to consult you this problem. Long before it started. As far as I remember I tried to convey this through “snail-mail.”Anyway, this is all about me and the lady whom I’m uncertain with my feelings whom we can call “Gellie.”

We met during the second semester of 1990. While I was waiting for the next conference of the student movement. back then, I was the head of the propaganda bureau of our organization. She kept on smiling at me. As if we already met before. Ironically, I was ashamed to get near her. Since she had head-turning looks. On the contrary, I was not, I was in a wheelchair.

But, I didn’t allow my disability to hamper my dreams and aspirations. As I stared and stared at her. I don’t know what happened next. I felt I was being hypnotized.

On the other hand, I enamored politics the way she hated it. That’s why, I sacrificed my political lifestyle only to soothe her whims. In fact, I provided her with shoulders to cry on, during her troubled times. Call it absurdity, but, whenever we had a misunderstanding I was the first one to apologize. Even though, I knew it was her fault. That was how crazy I was.

I felt there was magic whenever we were together. There was so much happiness. A feeling not even Webster can describe. We ate lunch together went to the park, the carnival, watch concerts and movies. Since I came from a well-off family I managed to do those things. On the other side, I never took advantage, even though I can with a snap of a finger. As a matter of fact, she used to spend the night with me and my family. We were like sweethearts, then. Our family were already close. That everybody, including myself, of course, were expecting for the long table.

As my only asset, I did her paper works; research, case studies, only to be close to her most of the time. It really paid-off. Because being with her was a feeling of cradlesong. A moment that I always cherished.

Our relationship was not a typical bed of roses, it also had its jagged moments. This occurred when she started avoiding me. Well, obviously, I didn’t took this case sitting down, figuratively speaking. I demanded reasons from her. I kept asking her and myself “why?” She only gave empty and silent answers. In exchange of my loyalty. She turned into an infidel.

At times I waited for her the whole day in front of our library; the place we used to meet. But then not even her shadow would show up. Although, I have been hearing rumors she’s been hanging around with some guys indulging in fraternity activities. Honestly, I felt skeptical about the issue, I was thinking those rumors were meant to destroy our “sweet” relationship.

At this point, all the sweetness began to fade, bit by bit. It was in 1992, when the entire student movement entered into a tremenduous turning point. She was slowly detaching herself, on the one hand. And an organization; which I offered my life was standing on a shaking ground. Being one of the pioneer in our organization, I tried to intervene to settle whatever dispute there was.

At that time, I saw myself running in circles and nowhere to go. I had sleepless nights and lost my appetite and felt sickly. I was pondering where have I gone wrong. Frankly, I even blamed God. I saw myself drifting into emptiness. Soon I woke up from a deep somber. I saw that I was left without nothing. I had failing academic remarks. How I regret the day this all started? How I wish I could turn back the clock and rectify my foolishness. Ironically, I tried to forget her. Although time really heals wounds of yesterday. I just couldn’t remove the jovial times we spent. As my psychiatrist advised me all I could do is live by the happy times we shared.

>From the ashes I tried to rebuild myself. I finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and successfully established my own computer centre here in Fairview.

Presently, she’s coming back once again. But she’s never the same as before. She got pregnant with someone she’s not close with. Essentially, I won’t be honest to say that my feeling already died down. Partially, my trust and confidence is being tested. As of now, whenever she visits me, the feeling still burns. Indeed, I couldn’t shoved her when she visits. And no matter how I try? I just couldn’t resist her charm. Currently, I cannot tell anybody about this situation I am undertaking. I know I was tormented before. My mind tells me to avoid her. But, my heart pounds her back to me.

Today, I can feel for myself, I’ve changed whenever I would approach her. I am no longer the meek-disciplined radical. As of now, whenever she’s around I would wrap her aggressively around my arms and boldly manifest my feelings. On her part, she wouldn’t even resist.

Joe, I know you’re the only one whom I can turn to. Please enlighten me on this matter.

Good luck and thank you for sparing time in reading my mail.

Lastly, can you please play “Separate lives.”

God bless!!!
DODIT

Dear Dodit

It is an undeniable fact that you are still madly attracted to Gellie. She may have had a child out of wedlock but that doesn’t really matter, does it? Nothing has changed with the way you feel for her even her past was tainted dark with many unpleasant experiences .

Dodit, you have to be true to yourself. I don’t see any reason why you have to torment yourself by repressing your feelings for her. She may have made mistakes in her life but that doesn’t mean that she cannot have another chance.

I believe that you have to go beyond your silent expressions of affection, sit down and listen to what you have long wanted to say. If you can aggressively wrap your arms around her and she would not resist, I assume that both of you can openly talk about your feelings for each other without any hesitation and reservation.

Only when you know where you stand can you decide on the next best step to take. Dodit, many may say that you’re better off looking for someone who’s single and free but if you know deep in your heart that she’s the one who’s going to make you happy then there’s nothing wrong in giving yourselves a second chance. If she isn’t married yet and if she is making her presence felt once again then maybe, she could just be waiting for you to make the first move.

Dodit, this is your call. You can emotionally detach yourself from her completely and sacrifice your feelings or you can work on a promising chance of being together again. If you can learn to accept her for all that she is and for all that she has now then you can rekindle all that has died out and breath a new life to your relationship.

Let us all remember that it is always better to have tried and failed than not to have tried and lived the rest of our lives regretting the chances we’ve missed and wondering what could have been if only we have listened to the silent cries of our hearts.

Joe

http://katmess.multiply.com/journal/item/29

Love Doesn´t Work Three Ways

Dear Joe,

Hello. I have been wanting to write you for a long time, wanting to ask your advice. It’s only now that my heart has been torn to pieces that i found the courage to finally write to you. Just call me Jenny. I’m 23 years old. I’ve been looking for a love that always cares, understands, does not question–a love that will bring me much happiness.

Mike and I met under such circumstances that will lead one to believe we were destined to meet. We always thought that it was fate that brought us together. When I first met him, he had a girlfriend. They have been going steady for more than five years. We started out as friends. The first few times he called, it was about business matters. But he made phone calls every night. Our casual conversations gave way to deep talks on life, love, our innermost thought, problems, and secrets. We became very good friends. Finally, I realized that I was falling in love with him. My life was then in such despair, but I knew that he was always there for me.

I truly belive God gave him to me. He helped save my relationship with my parents which at that time was going down the drain. He taught me to be patient, to understand more than be understood. He taught me to allow God to work in me and trust that He has a purpose for whatever is happening between me and my family. We even have our own quiet time with the Lord and we agreed to do it at the same time each night because we felt it would be like the two of us visiting God at the same time. He’d bring me to just let it all out.

I decided to keep silent about my feelings for him. I started avoiding his calls because I knew I had to try to stop whatever I was feeling because he has a girlfriend. But one night during one of our many conversations, it was revealed that he, too, was falling in love with me. Call me stupid, but I admitted my feelings for him. I’m just not one to hide my true feelings. What followed were weeks of being together. We both tried so many times to end our relationship. We tried to cut off communications, but our feelings for each other were much too intense that we kept coming back to each other. One day he told me that he broke up with his girlfriend. I thought it was the happiest day of my life.

Just when I thought everything would be okay, he finally admitted that he’s not ready for a commitment, that he still loves the girl and he’s just way to confused. He told me he needed time to think things over. But he kept assuring me that he loves me more. And so I waited Joe, I gave him time. After a month, he started calling me every night. I truly thought that he finally made a decision and was coming back to me. However, what he told me shattered my hopes and dreams of being forever with him: he had made a decision and was going back to the girl. Again. Yet he kept on insisting that he loves me more.

I don’t understand; if he truly loves me more why go back to the girl? He told me the reason why he’s ending our relationship was because he’s been confused for a long time and he thinks it’s unfair to keep me hanging. He said he couldn’t handle seeing me hurting and would rather end it now. Sometimes, he asks, “Bakit ngayon lang?” He wishes he had known me before he met the girl. He admitted that he is stupid because he saw in me everything that he ever wanted in a life partner, yet he couldn’t decide.

All I ever wanted was to be happy. So many people were against him. My family thinks he’s not good enough. Still fought for him. I know what I want and it’s not the luxury my family thinks I need. All I want is to spend Christmas and Birthdays with him, go to church together.

I don’t want to think that he just led me on, na niloko lang niya ako. Right now, all that I’m holding on to are the things that he told me, that he will always love me, and that I’ll always be his baby. I have forever painted in my mind the look on his face when he said goodbye, the pain on his face, the tears that fell down the face of the man whom I loved more than anything else in this world.

Why does it always have to be a choice between me and someone else and why do I always have to be the one left behind? Don’t I deserve to be happy? How do you truly say goodbye and let go of someone you love so much? I pray to God so hard that he comes back to me. Yet a part of me knows that I should let go… but how? Thank you so much for reading my letter. God Bless and more power.

Yours in Christ,
Jenny

Dear Jenny,

One of the most difficult moments that can dawn on a man is the time when he has to choose between two women he loves. Mike must have found in you all the qualities he wanted for a lifetime partner but he is take aback by his commitment to his girlfriend.

I don’t want to think that he just took advantage of your feelings and deliberately intended to hurt you. I believe those caring times you shared were moments of love. It’s just that we all have to come to our senses that love doesn’t work three ways. Mike must have realized he cannot have you and his girlfriend at the same time. And he has to make a choice even if it would mean hurting you.

Jenny, Pain is life’s most cruel teacher but it is also the most effective mentor. We can all permanently learn from our mistakes for as long as we keep regret and hatred away from our hearts. If you really love Mike then open your mind to understand and accept reality even if it hurts. There is never a perfect fairy tale. You just have to forgive him for whatever anguish he has inflicted upon you so that life can peacefully go on.

Jenny, never let bitterness take away your strenght and weaken your faith. Never allow pain to dishearten you; rather , let yourself grow with wisdom in bearing it. God may have given such a heavy cross. But remember, He never leaves us all alone to carry the burden. He will always be there for us even during the most trying times.

Never give up in believing that there is someone waiting for you. Someone who will come along to take away the pain and hatred in your heart and bring back all the love that you have lost in the bitterness of the past.

Joe
http://katmess.multiply.com/journal/item/12

Love Isn´t Forever

Dear Joe,

Just call me kenneth. I’m 27 years old, with a swell job at one of the biggest networks in the country. My girlfriend, Clarissa, is very pretty, smart, understanding, religious and very loving. She has all the qualities you’re looking for in a girl and she’s the kind of girl you’d want to spend the rest of your life with.

My problem is that I haven’t really treated her right. Instead of spending time with her, I went out with my friends and co-workers. I flirted with other women in front of her. She never said a word, and remained devoted to me. We lived together for three months when her mother went to the US for a vacation, and she was like a wife to me. She prepared everything for me, from the time I woke up till I went to bed. She wouldn’t let a day pass without telling me she loved me.

There were so many things I couldn’t put into words and so many words I couldn’t put into actions, she submitted herself to me. It made me love her more but it made me take her more for granted, thinking that she was mine forever.

Until last December, Joe. A day before Christmas , she told me she was pregnant. I was startled and speechless, thinking I was going to be a father. But she told me that I was not the father of her child. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even notice the tears pouring down my cheeks. I was hurt. i couldn’t accept that she went to bed with another man.

At that moment, I felt like killing myself. I hated myself for being so selfish and nor appreciating her. I never cherished her.

She called me the other week to tell me that she’s leaving the country to marry the other guy. She told me she was leaving me for good this time and that she loved me very much.

Why is she doing this to me, Joe? I don’t want her to marry him. I want to stop her and marry her even if the child is not mine. I want to take care of her and show her how i truly love her, appreciate her. how can i stop her, Joe? What should I do? I feel like I’m in a quicksand, the more I struggle out of it, the more it eats me up. I’ve been so depressed lately and I couldn’t even concentrate on my job. I feel like I can’t go on anymore.

Dear Kenneth,

Sometimes men can be too confident that they become insensitive to the feelings of others. Not because you were Clarissa’s first love doesn;t mean that you’re going to be her last. When we love someone so intensely we can go over our own needs and just unconditionally give all of ourselves to that person. We survive each day because of love even if the other person doesn’t seem to take notice of it. We just give and sacrifice without expecting anything in return. but, just like a plant that will only survive for days without water and stand the harsh heat, love, no matter how true and strong it may be, will be short lived if not nurtured with the same care.

Clarrisa never stopped you but she was craving for attention and importance that you hard-heartedly gave to her. She was probably overwhelmed by the expressiveness of the other guy who might have made her believe that she deserves someone better than you. She was vulnerable because you took her for granted and she silently kept it to herself.

Kenneth, If you are willing to accept her and the responsibility for someone else’s child and if you truly love her beyond any doubt, then go after her and never let her make the mistake of marrying someone she doesn’t love. You can’t get out of that quicksand you’re stuck in. You need someone else to pull you out from it. Be honest with Clarissa and tell her what you feel. Prove that you love her and will never take her for granted again. Seek forgiveness for all that you have done to hurt her. She’ll save you from drowning in that pitfall of regret and misery if she comes back to you.

But if she doesn’t, then maybe it just means that you have to learn your lesson the hard way. That we only realize how important someone is to us when she’s gone.

Love has no room for selfish people who think only of themselves. If we have been too busy wiht our work, have been kept by our distorted priorities then it’s about time that we stop for awhile and think about the people who we might have stepped on and taken for granted. Love isn’t forever. let us not wait too long to appreciate those who have unselfishly given it to us for all that may be left tomorrow are just the bitter and cold memories of someone who loved too much but was never loved enough.

Joe

http://katmess.multiply.com/journal/item/13

A Chance to be Happy

Dear Joe,

Just call me Claire. I’m nineteen years old and a college student. However, my story dates back to when I was still in high school. I guess the perfect title for the story of my life would be “You and my best friend.”

My story started when I was a sophomore and I met two good looking guys in my Biology class, Monti and Jason. We were complete strangers in the beginning; we didn’t talk or smile at each other even though we were all in the same group. But we soon realized that we had been put into a situation wherein we either liked each other or else we failed the class.

So we became friends. I remember that the first time we had a real conversation was when Monti cracked a joke to break the ice. Since that day, we became good friends. We would laugh all day at Monti’s silly jokes while Jason would give us mature, matter-of-fact advice. I was very thankful that I had found such good friends whom I thought were just perfect. However, it was not long before I started to feel different.

Monti was the school heartthrob and he was going out with Jane who was a major “babe”. To me, they were a perfect couple. But one night, Monti went to my place depressed. He told me about his problem with Jane. He said he was getting fed up with her nagging. I comforted him and I think I got caught up with him when he began to hug me because it was the first time I ever saw him serious. We were hugging for about half an hour and I let it go on like that because I thought he needed it and partly because I somehow liked the idea.

That night, I felt different; I had a major crush on Monti but I kept it a secret. Jason didn’t know anything about what happened that night and Monti and I pretended that nothing had happened. I think it was just me and my imagination. But, since then, I was conscious of my every movement and felt that every move he made was different. I thought we had an unspoken understanding, but I guess I was wrong.

During our Christmas party, Monti came to me. I didn’t know what to say but I was able to act casually. I thought he was about to clear things between us but instead, he told me that he and Jane were alright and that he’d figured out what was wrong. My heart sank and I was speechless for a second, but I said I was happy for them. I was about to go but he grabbed my hand.

Joe, when I turned to face him, he slowly bent down and kiss me lightly on the lips. We stood there face to face for quite a long time but soon reality returned. I broke into a grin and bid him goodbye.

I was on cloud nine for I knew that at least he cared. Still I hoped for more.

During our short Christmas vacation I waited for a phone call but he never called, not even once. When he didn’t show up a month after our vacation, I found out from his mom that he hadn’t come back from the States.

So Jason and I spent the rest of the days together. I don’t know what go into me, but I felt strange one night when Jason told me that he was planning to court Hazel, another hot babe in school. I suddenly felt bad especially since I knew that Hazel had a thing for Jason since freshman year.

I felt hurt and I didn’t know why. But still, I told him what any other friend would say which was for him to go for it. It hurt more this time than with Monti and I realized that I was falling for Jason. This time it wasn’t just infatuation, it was love.

I hated myself for feeling that way. I didn’t want to fall for another friend of mine so I decided to let go. I pretended that everything was fine, still I couldn’t help but wish that one day he would feel the same towards me.

Monti came back and we were like old friends again. Thank God I was over him, but getting over Jason was impossible. And it hurt to hear that he and Hazel were getting along. I told myself to get on with my life so I started avoiding Jason. I thought that if I was busy I would be able to forget him, but I never did.

One day I bumped into him in the crowded hallway and he asked me what was wrong but I brushed him off. After a year, I decided to make a new circle of friends but this time it would be all girls. It was safer that way.

I met Charmaine and she became my best friend.

We were close for almost a year a half, about the same time that I had been avoiding Jason. I guess he also got tired because he no longer talked to me when we bumped into each other.

Nearing graduation, just when I thought everything would be perfect, Charmaine broke the news that she had a crush on Monti and that they were getting along pretty well. Then after a week, she told me something that made me stop breathing. She was in love with Jason.

A dark cloud passed over me and it hurt even more when Charmaine said that they were going out already. I felt like such a loser. How could she get the only thing I wanted in my life? The pain was immeasurable. Just like the song goes, “You and my best friend.”

I wanted to hate her but I knew it wasn’t fair. I should have told her what had happened before but I didn’t, so I suffered again. As expected, Jason started hanging out with us and I suffered all the more. Although Jason and I would talk, we would never look each other in the eye.

What hurt more was that Charmaine would ask me for help and though I wanted to shut her up, she was still my friend. I tried to forget Jason by going out with Mark. We went steady for two months but I broke it up because I knew that I was cheating him and myself. And just when I started accepting the fact that Jason wasn’t for me, Charmaine told me that it was over for her and Jason. Jason had confessed that he loved someone else.

My friend was deeply hurt and so was I. I told her to forget about him and not to cry anymore, the same way I have been telling myself deep inside. But she couldn’t; she continued loving him and waiting.

Charmaine and I are now studying in the same university. We are still best friends and it had been a year since we heard from Jason. I thought Jason was a thing of the past but one day, he showed up at a party and it started all over again. He started calling Charmaine and I prepared myself for the day that they would get back together again even though the thought tore me apart.

Joe, I never thought it would happen but it did. One night, Jason came to my house and gave me a bunch of flowers. He told me that he loved me and has loved me since the day we became good friends, but could never get the courage to tell me. How I wished that night wouldn’t end.

It was such a long wait but it was worth it. But now, I realize that I still can’t enjoy that piece of heaven because now I have to choose. I had to choose between hurting my friend or hurting Jason. Joe, I love them both. Charmaine is special to me but Jason makes me feel special. What will I do, Joe? I’m confused and afraid to hurt someone because I know how it feels to be hurt.

Please help me.

Sincerely,
Claire

Dear Claire,

When we get ourselves tangled in the web of conflicting desires and emotions, we would either find ourselves victorious or defeated.

Victorious when we find our way out in one piece. Defeated when we are left hanging and hurting in the end.

You always seem to find yourself in a predicament when you realize you should have let someone know how you felt before it was too late. You silently cried for Monti but I’m glad it’s over now because you were never more than a friend to him.

You have allowed Jason to slip off your arms because you were afraid to let him know what the real score was. You were too scared to face the fact that you were hurting because you have learned to love the man who told you he’s attracted to someone else.

But now things have turned in your favor. Are you or are you not taking the chance to be with that man who was once lost and now is back? The question of hurting your best friend is difficult to answer because you know how painful it was seeing Jason with her. Now that you have the chance to take her place, you are afraid that your best friend might just be as hurt as you were.

Claire, I believe you have suffered long enough. Now you have to make a stand. For once in your life, never be afraid to face your own fear. Follow your heart and find happiness in the little things that make this life a joy to live. If Charmaine is a real friend, she’ll remain one even if she loses Jason to you.

Remember, you deserve to be happy for you already had your share of tears and frustrations in life. Be thankful that you have found what you once lost and hope and pray that it will keep forever.

Love,
Joe

 

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