Why does it always end this way?

So she returned the birthday gift, through dispatch, with a note saying it’s too expensive and the thought was appreciated. And my first reaction was, anger. So somehow after telling her how I feel, everything changes; a birthday gift can no longer be just simply a birthday gift but must take on all kinds of connotations? So everything I say and do now is tainted with the hint of some secret underlying agenda? Even after I’ve told her I don’t expect her to return my feelings? Anyway, I passed it back to her and asked her to hold on to it until we talk. Then I sent her a long Whatsapp message, the gist of which is given below.

I feel really lousy right now – as if those years of friendship – just friendship – have melted away in an instant. I get it she doesn’t have those feelings, that things from here on out are going to be/can be weird or awkward or whatever, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be.  We can move on from this. We should. But somehow it feels like nothing changes for me – you tell a girl you like them and along with rejection everything resets itself to a state where friendship never existed. Is that the way to deal with human relationships? I have learnt to take rejection, but I can never figure this part out. Why can’t she trust that I won’t go back on my word? Does she think I will pester her and take every word and act of hers as a misguided sign of affection? The whole thing was entirely my delusion after all. Why think that I will not only continue the delusion but actively bring her into it as well?

I can’t concentrate on everything – it’s wrecked me emotionally today. It just seems as if just when I’m trying to come to terms with the whole episode, this has to happen. Right now I really don’t want to care anymore; it’s emotionally very tiring to want to persuade her that the gift comes with no strings attached. Choosing to tell her the truth on Saturday does in no way make her acceptance now a sign that accepting the gift comes with strings attached.

She can throw the gift away, she can throw the friendship away. I can’t stop her from doing what she has decided to do. But I can hold on to my belief that caring for someone, having feelings for someone, isn’t a bad thing. It was a bad thing to dwell on the delusion that she would somehow return my feelings. But I don’t regret having told her the truth. I don’t regret having to face my delusion head on and say, “You can’t take me and my emotions hostage anymore.’  I don’t want to lose this friendship, but it’s a 2-way thing. If she feels it’s worth throwing away, it doesn’t demean what I feel – both for her, and for the friendship that we used to? have.

Yes, right now, a part of me is saying ‘told you so’, should have kept my mouth shut. But in time I will be okay. If this is the way to lose a friend, then I guess the lesson learnt is real friendships are forged through the fires of tribulations and not just layered on icings of good times. If this was just a icing-layer friendship after all, I guess it means letting go will ultimately be a painful, but good thing.

You always pay tuition for priceless life lessons.

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