When I was still a kid, around 5 or 6 years old, my mother used to take her masters every weekend in a city that was four hours away from our town. I remember waking up every Saturday dawn, seeing her packing her bags and getting ready to leave. Then I would cry my eyes out and beg her to not leave me, every single time. But she still left, of course, because she had to. Still, it did not make sense to my young mind, why she had to leave me when all I wanted was to spend my weekend with her.
You see, I come from a broken family, and being an only child, my mother was essentially all the family I had. Back then, all her explanations about her having to do it for our future did not make sense to me. All I saw was that I was getting left behind. To the young Nishiboy, that was his first recurring taste of what it was like to be left all alone.
Come high school, I got accepted into a school that was in the same city where my mother used to go every weekend. I had to live in a dormitory, away from home. There, I met friends who would become my family for the next four years. Kuya Noel, Ate Tres, Kuya Dale, Ate Ebony, Ate Ligaya, they became the big brothers and big sisters I never had. Then there were my batchmates, and then those who came after us. They were my family.
But of course, high school only lasts four years. I spent four years living under the pretense of a family that was my high school batch. The time I had was even less with those who were in other batches. With every graduation, the family that I had each had to leave to move on. And when it came to my turn, even though I didn’t want to leave anyone, I had to move on.
Come college, it was the same old story. I spent my days with friends whom I treated as family. I was living even farther away from home then, so I saw each of my friends as the people on whom I can lean. We saw one another at our worst, drank until dropping point at our best, and spent every single day and night together, dreaming of better times. We were together, until the day when we weren’t, when we all had to move on.
Living away from home since I was thirteen, I have grown used to people coming and going from my life. I never had a single fixed point to lean on. I’ve always had to fend for myself. Everyone was just passing through, and it was fine. It was something I had grown to live with.
Every once in while though, someone comes along with the promise of forever. When that person comes, I cling to them with every last ounce of strength, hoping that I have found someone who will finally stay with me for once, who will be there for me no matter what.
It’s not easy to get me to hold on to a promise. I’ve been disappointed many times already, and I’ve learned not to expect anything from anyone. But some people manage to break through my walls with their promises of forever.
But a time comes when one gets tired of holding on to empty promises. In the end, even those I love eventually leave me. No one ever holds on to me the way I hold on to them. While it’s so hard for me to let go of someone, while it comes naturally to me to choose the person I love over everything else, it never is the case when it comes to how they see me. It’s always so easy for them to let me go. And always so hard for them to choose me over everything else.
Which makes me wonder, is there really still a point in believing in promises of forever? Or am I just wasting my time, my energy, my heart, on hollow promises that will never be realized? Will I always be someone who’s easy to let go of? Always the one who has to make the effort to hold on?
I don’t know.
Well, actually, I think I do. It’s useless to believe in things. Life is harsh. Life is not a fairy tale. In the end, I will always have only myself to hold on to.
People ask me why I’m always out drinking, why I’m always out meeting new people. Well, it’s because my social life has become my entire life. And I’m always looking for someone who will stay, even just for a bit. Someone who will give me the illusion that they chose me over everything else, even just for a night. Someone who did not give me any promise of forever, but chose to be with me anyway. No one is willing to give up everyone else for me anyway, so why not go for someone who will choose me for just a fleeting moment, without making me believe in any hollow promise.
It hurts to be left alone. It hurts when the person you hope to choose you over everything else ends up choosing others. It hurts when someone leaves you simply because it's easy and convenient for them. It hurts when someone has happy memories of the days when they chose to leave you. It hurts when the person who is the first on your list has you in a measly second or third. And above all, it hurts when someone apologizes for it, promises you that you'll always be the first from now on, but ends up putting you at a measly second all over again anyway, caring about how other people will feel before caring about how you feel.
I hate getting left behind.
In the end, that’s all I’m worth. Maybe it's time I stopped caring about any of them.