Track Number Ten

The moment I stepped inside that shop, I knew it was a terrible mistake.

I immediately saw your figure then. You were looking through CDs of various kinds on that particular aisle. I tried to coax myself out of the shop, but it was useless. My rational mind said that it was impossible to avoid you at all costs—we have the same circle of friends, the same interests, we even go to the same university—seeing you around would be like blinking my eyes: I couldn’t help it even if I try.

So I went inside the store, careful not to meet your eyes, hoping you wouldn’t notice my presence. I really didn’t have much to say to you if we were to see each other face-to-face. Would hi and bye suffice between two people who were once more than friends? The awkwardness of that kind of situation would kill me, so could you blame me if I did my best not to get into that dilemma?

I went to the other side of the store, looking through CD racks of anything that looked particularly interesting. Yes, this is one step to forgetting, my head tried to tell myself, whereas my heart complained, you shouldn’t be in the same room with the person who broke me! Give me some slack, woman!

I shook my head and took one CD, looked at the back and saw a particular song title that caught my eye.

9. Don’t Love Him

I wanted to throw the CD into oblivion. Thanks, but your warning came way too late. I sighed and put the CD back where it was originally placed only to pick it up once again, rubbing the CD case with my thumb, my head clouded with unwanted thoughts.

I should never have come here, that much I knew. Maybe I should have listened to my best friend when she said over the phone that we needed to hang out today, maybe watch a movie or chill at our favorite coffee shop. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to be alone for a while…to at least get my thoughts together by myself so that the next time everyone sees me I wouldn’t be the receiving end of so much pity in their eyes. I didn’t need those looks—I was already over you.

…Or was I, really? The moment I saw you at the store, I wasn’t so sure anymore. My heart faltered, and I mistakenly heard it doing that thumpthumpthump it always used to do whenever you were around a 5-meter radius from where I stood. But it wasn’t the same. Back then, whenever my heart went giddy over your presence and happiness rushed over from the very tips of my fingers down to each and every last strand of my hair. Now? All I could feel was regret, my heart doing that breakbreakbreak it started doing when you cracked open my heart and it finally shattered into pieces.

When I slowly turned my head to look at the other side of the aisle, I saw a glimpse of you in the corner of my eye. I could tell from my peripheral vision that you were smiling, your hand clasped tight to hers. I could tell she was smiling too. You were looking at her and, seeing a loose strand of hair, carefully tucked it behind her right ear. Huh. How pathetic that my eyes could still see the smallest things you do, even when I wasn’t the girl beside you. Pathetic and stupid and so very wrong.

I told my friends months ago that I was long over you, that I finally moved on, that I opened my eyes to the reality that you no longer loved me. What I said then was a lie. I only told my friends to stop their looks of pity and their endless talks of how worthless you were and that I deserved someone better. I know they meant no harm, but really, their pity over you breaking up with me didn’t help one single bit.

But now I really am over you. Months after I said a lie, now I know it’s finally true…but it doesn’t mean that my heart has healed. It took a long time to build what we had, a relationship that I thought was meant to last for a long while, so to have it crumble in just a snap of a finger can only mean one thing: it’ll take much time to fix what’s left of my heart. I’ve only managed to give it first-aid treatment; to see you with another is like ripping off the band-aids, forcefully opening the wounds, and letting it bleed again.

…Which is why I don’t want you to see me. Not yet. I want to avoid you not because I’m still in love, but because it hurt to see that the love I had could easily be replaced with another. It hurt to see you doing so well when I’m still in the process of healing myself. I want you to see me when I’m back to my old self—the hilarious, spontaneous, fun self I liked in me. Is it so bad of me to want you to get the message that I can live my life without you? It’s somewhat pathetic, I admit, but there you go.

I took one last look at the CD with the legendary song title and smiled. It was like the CD was the soundtrack of my (love)life so far. Why?

…Because underneath track number nine:

10. Move on

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