The faint light flows through the door of cell number 10 serves the guidance for me to write this. Except for the occasional groan of an older prisoner, the whole floor of the prison reflects an absolute silence at night. The nights which I countlessly spent remembering the memories I had with you. It is time that you too should know the story of my side. I apologize in advance if any part of this makes you uncomfortable by any means. This is just a mere confession without expecting anything in return from you.
How many of us will be saved the pain of seeing the most important things in our lives disappearing from one moment to the next? I don’t just mean people, but our ideas and dreams too: we might survive a day, a week, a few years, but we’re all condemned to loose. Our body remains alive, yet sooner or later our soul will receive the mortal blow. The perfect crime – for which we don’t know who murdered our joy, what their motives were or where the guilty parties to be found.
Are they aware of what they have done, those nameless guilty parties? I doubt it. Because they too – the depressed, the arrogant, the impotent, the powerful – are the victims of the reality they created.
It hasn’t been three years since I had a major mental breakdown due to an entanglement with a woman whom I loved. For you to get a precise idea how heartbroken I was, suicide became the only viable option to my closed mind back then. Thanks to few members of my family and close friends, I had survived. Promptly after the incident, life has fallen apart with no foreseeable future despite be in possession of necessary talents and skills to rebuild a brand-new life of my own. As the saying goes “Love makes you blind” makes more sense when I self-reflect on what has happened at that time; full of confidence on largely one-sided love, making myself ready to become a father of two innocent daughters of her, planning an obtuse future with them; to this day I pity myself when the memories come about.
Though I was alive in biological terms, my soul wasn’t able to function as I used to. The easygoing, carefree, fun-loving Shehan wasn’t there anymore. Rather a mechanically operated body with a malfunctioned mind existed in this world.
The constant which connects my usual-self to the zombie-like state I had was my love and care for felines. Ever since I was a child, I grew up raising cats and adoring them. To my surprise, when I settled in Doha, I had observed thousands of beautiful cats roaming in Doha streets. I started feeding, treating and growing fond of them.
In a big metropolitan inhabits millions of people, there weren’t enough kind hearted ones to help the strays. As I involved with the feline help and rescue communities, I’ve noticed the kind and innocent face of yours. Always too expressive brows and lips, wide forehead accustomed to someone who think twice before speaks, and the slender figure which always covered with the simplest yet the most elegant fashions that only you could sport with the saint-like face of yours.
Though I was fascinated by such surpassing beauty in front of my eyes, it was only an “eye candy” to my then mechanical/robotic-self. I only had eyes on my ex-lover back then, which was surprising to everyone since she had already betrayed me in every sense. Even to look at another woman with the slightest of affection made me feel that I was committing a sin. Sadly, I was that blinded.
It was May,2021. The scorching Doha summer at its full specter. I was laying on my bed when some miraculous, invisible power made me send you the first message of our conversations. Though I felt it has to be a miracle for someone with the beauty beyond this world even to open such a random text, you had replied.
There it started. To have these magical conversations of ours. Someone else might think those were absolute normal conversations, even for you, who had been a part of it. As of myself, those were giving me superficial powers to restore my broken mentality, mended my soul to become a better version of me. There were weeks of periods where you kept your silence but those periods didn’t deter me to think otherwise. I just prayed and hoped that you would be safe with your cats. Even though I haven’t had any romantic feeling towards you, a faint glimpse of feeling that you’re out of my league hovered my mind.
It was one of those long silences you broke on one November evening when you said that you came back to Doha the other day but still at a mandatory quarantine at a least facilitated centers outside of the city. I was ecstatic yet my heart plunged because you had to spend a week in that hellhole of a place.
By the time I’ve got to know yourself and your lifestyle which was devoted for stray and rescue animals, I knew I had to make your life somewhat easy. I’ve spent enough of my life in this monstrous city to be aware of the fact the Filipinas aren’t well paid for their workload. Hence, I made a vow to myself that I would be there for you at any moment of need. As the conversations grew, you have mentioned that you’re already in a relationship yet the terms of your romantic life weren’t going as you’d hoped.
If I’m being perfectly honest, the news gave me mixed feelings. At the beginning of our conversations, I haven’t had any romantic interest in you though with the time I started to like you as a woman. Still hesitant of my feelings solely because of my troublesome past, I was still happy at any given moment that we had conversed. On the other hand, I felt jealousy at the man who could able to take you as his life partner. The feeling of jealous became somewhat of an anger when you laid the fact that he wasn’t the man that you’d hoped for in the time of your need. The days you cried alone in the stairs of your accommodation, I was furious at this unknown man. Because in my eyes you’re a goddess in human form and you shall never suffer because of love.
I knew I had no right to intervene with your romantic life. The best thing I could do, was to listen to your rants with sorrowful heart. With the little manners of humanity that I learned, I stayed silent, though my heart cried out loud “you deserve better, stop hurting yourself anymore”. As the time flows, my care for you turned to be a surreal romantic affection, which I had to cover with a finely threaded web of decency. I was scared and insecure that you might be a completely different person towards me, even worse, cease all communications altogether if I had shown the true colors of my heart. I still want you to be the same Judhel who could rant at me at any time.
My attempt to cover this one-sided love turned to b a futile one. I couldn’t contain the excitement to myself and the days had become to fill my heart that I’m more attracted towards you. Which, by the time, I was sane enough to understand unhealthy. That is where I needed a distraction. There were plenty of women, who would enter into a relation with me instantly. Some were mere moneygrubbers and some were good enough to entertain a man as long as she lives in Doha. To be honest I didn’t care what their motives were. I just wanted a distraction so that I could forget the feeling of I’m in love with you.
For that singular reason, I had started to see someone. Was she a good lover? A good companion to me? I never knew, rather never bothered to inquire myself. All I wanted a distraction and I was failing miserably at it. Oh! If I could count the nights that I endured thinking of you, how keenly I attended to every single notification of my phone, thinking it was you. Every song, every clip of video made me think of you. It was pure torture.
I couldn’t pretend anymore to the women I was seeing. She doesn’t deserve to be a part of this saga. On night I confessed that I had never truly loved her. I explained her that I tried but all my efforts were in vain. More importantly I have told her my troublesome, on-sided love I had for you was the real cause which I’m leaving her. I was somewhat prepared to face the venomous recoil of a viper which a heartbroken woman would always possess to point her anger at. As we both know, I wasn’t the only on to receive her backslash. Somehow, with her instincts, she had found you on social media and harassed you mercilessly.
There, then I had a chance to avoid this already a long confession but I was at the receiving end of two angry women. So, I sheepishly decided to lie to you. Though I had never gone back to the woman who harassed you, I never renewed the idea of confessing you and making things right. Thereafter we met couple of times, shared a meal of two together, tended to you when you were sick, and once out of blue helped you to treat an injured cat even when I was at my lowest being homeless. Because I had promised myself that I will be there for you always.
I could list all the sweet moments I had with you like they happened a minute ago, and you know better than anyone how well I remember the little things which I still cherish to this moment. But I will make this already a long letter a short one.
“I Love You”
“Why do you love me” you may ask.
“I don’t know and I don’t care”
Love is not a habit, a commitment, or a debt. It isn’t what romantic songs tell us it is. LOVE SIMPLY IS. No definitions. Love and don’t ask too many questions. Just love.
I love you as the exiled souls love each other when they meet in the middle of the desert. There had never been, nor will be anything physical between us. But no passion is in vain. No love is ever wasted. Th energy of love can never be lost. It is more powerful than anything and shows itself in many ways.
There hasn’t been a single day in my life for the past year and half which I hadn’t think of you. Now with each day that passed, my love for you ceased being a source of suffering and became a lake of joy and serenity. I no longer feel alone. At some point in space, our souls – as the souls that returns from exile – will joyfully celebrate the reunion.