This Is Me Letting Go Of The ‘What Might Have Beens’


People change, but memories don’t. This is one of the many things that came to my mind when I saw a photo of us from six years ago. Whether that is something that I should be thankful for, I do not know yet.

I spent a good few minutes looking at our photo together. A constant reminder, an almost palpable proof that once in our life, we made each other smile.

The truth is, I am not sure what you were feeling in the very instance that we took the photo. Were you as happy as I was? Were the butterflies in my stomach playing with yours? Were you controlling yourself from letting out a giggle as I did for the fear of getting more teasing from our friends? Or did you just take the photo to make the teasing stop?

I must admit, you were not the most handsome, nor were you extraordinary in our class, yet there was a sense of mystery that surrounded you that made me want to know you more. You were not like the other boys in our school who were rowdy; you have almost always kept to yourself and avoided attention. Yet there was something about you that made my eyes look for you whenever we were in the same vicinity. There was something about you that made me want to hear what you had to say whenever you would voice your thoughts. I admired you from a distance and in silence until I had gathered enough courage to let you know how I felt. Unfortunately for me, my courage was met with rejection. Not a blunt rebuff, as you were too polite to do that. And yet, as they say, no answer is an answer in itself.

I spent the next few years of my life cradling my feelings for you. I was loving you from a distance yet again. Just the very thought of you and I live in some kind of daydream, foolish as it may seem. In my dreams, you were smiling at me and with me—almost the same smile as we had in the photo. But who am I kidding? I know that even without the photo, I would never forget the shy smile you’ve always had. Without fail, I get a warm feeling in my heart just remembering that smile until reality hits me that all I have are dreams of you that won’t come true. On those days, I remind myself that maybe you’re sharing the same smile and sharing your thoughts with someone else.

It took me some time to accept that what I feel would never be reciprocated by you. I am now done waiting. I am done with the daydreams. I am done with thinking and regretting if there were things that I might have left unsaid that would have changed your mind. I am done looking back and falling to the spell of “what might have beens”. I am now ready to go and face the “what could be”—even if it means without you.