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Davis, California

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Column: Goodbye

Two winters ago, I believed that love lasted an eternity and that goodbyes were never forever. I also had a boyfriend back then — first and only love, like something straight out of a Hollywood movie. But love is never like it is in the movies.

Love is so widely written and talked about that it would be gratuitous for me to add to the massive heap. Yet, I feel it is important for you to have a story to relate to and for you to know that, he and I, we really did love each other.

Our relationship was filled with pure and unconditional devotion, but nothing else aside from that. In fact, I don’t remember ever doing anything fun together.

The happiest memory I have is of waiting for him to visit me each night. He used to come and knock on my window at exactly 11:20 p.m. after he had gotten off from work, just to see me.

So, when the visits suddenly stopped and the last words I heard from him were, “I don’t love you anymore,” I felt a million stabs to the heart. All I did the night of the break-up was lie motionless on my bed, suffering silently.

I lied there waiting for my body to shut down and for life to slowly escape me. Around me, the world had fallen and shattered into countless pieces, but I didn’t want to pick them up. At the time, I didn’t want anything. I just wanted to die.

As with most break-up stories, family and friends came to comfort me. They would say things to me like, “He doesn’t know what he’s losing,” and “You can do so much better,” and so forth. But I still felt worthless.

The thoughts running through my mind were typical of most girls who experience heartbreak. There were times when I would miss him and blamed myself for what happened, and other times when I would hate him for hurting me so severely.

I also asked myself a multitude of questions that, until this day, have gone unanswered. Why did it happen? How did it happen? What is he doing now? What is he feeling? But questioning only served to cause frustration and anger.

While all these things were stirring inside me, my mom forced me to eat. Once I was able to regain my appetite and my sleep, I set out to do what most girls do after the depression stage is over.

I busied myself (like the articles in women’s magazines advised) with looking good so that I could feel good. I bought new clothes and make-up, got a new haircut, hit the gym and went out with my girls. I even picked up new hobbies and got in touch with my spiritual side.

The activities kept me happily occupied and I felt good during the daytime. But none of that mattered because at the end of the day I was still alone.

Sadly, when it comes to this sort of thing, only time can heal.  During the interim, the only thing you can do is try to eat properly and keep busy.

Don’t worry if you feel like life is not worth living or like you mean absolutely nothing. Time will also help regain your confidence and self-worth. And if you feel like you’re stuck in the past, that’s normal, too.

I used to lie awake in bed each night, waiting for him to come back and knock on my window again. At some point, after almost a year of waiting for his return, I had to accept reality and finally said goodbye.

Today, I find myself saying goodbye yet again; this time to you, my readers. Thank you for supporting me through my beginning trials as a novice writer.

Your weekly e-mails and loyal following have flattered me, and it is with regret that our journey together must end here this day.

But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this (and Semisonic sings it best in “Closing Time”),  it’s that every new beginning must come from some other beginning’s end.

I believe that if it was meant to be, then it will be. If it was truly love, then it will last an eternity. And if all this may be the case, then goodbyes aren’t always forever.

Hope we meet again soon!

MICHELLE NGUYEN can be reached at michellen1990@yahoo.com.

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