An Old Picture

I stumbled across our old photos today, while going through some old photos in my phone. It has been like what, almost a year since we last talked to each other? And there was I, standing in the picture, arms across your shoulder, smiling innocently to the camera. We seemed so happy during that time, so oblivious to what was going to happen in the future. How did things spiral so quickly down from what was in the picture to what we have today?

I scrolled down a little more in the album, coming across more pictures where we stood together. I still find it hard to believe that at one point in time our lives intersected so much together. We ate together, had fun together, shared the same group of friends and went to places together. Our lives revolved around each other. And we seemed so happy during that time. The pictures can testify for that. Which is why it is harder to believe how two lives which were drawn so closely together could become so distant apart in a blink of an eye.

There was one picture where we stood together by the beach, overlooking the sunset. Our first couple trip together. I looked so happy in that. I remembered how excited I was during the trip, of the fun things that we did. I also remembered how we had an argument during that trip, which severely convinced me that I might be better alone. Funny how when you think back about all the arguments that you used to have, no matter how big they seemed, they all seem suddenly so small and insignificant right now. I guess that time really does dull the negative, while magnifying the positive.

A part of me wanted to go back to the time then, to undo all the  mistakes that I have done. To have another chance. To relive again all the different moments pictured in the photos. To love and be loved one again. To tell you how much I enjoyed those moments with you. To have our lives connected again. It's funny how we humans can only start to appreciate something once we don't have it anymore.

But I know that no matter how much I want to go back to those times, I can't. Because I needed to learn. To learn how to appreciate the small things in life without complaining so much. To learn not to take things for granted. It was through the process of losing you, and realizing what I have lost that forces me to learn and to grow up.

As much as I hate to admit it, I was still naive and childish during the time. I focused too much on my emotions, on how I was feeling, without stopping to think about what really matters: having someone who loves you unconditionally. I worried too much about things that were not important, and letting them cloud my eyes and judgement.

Which is why I deserved to lose you. Because it was only through that knock on the head that I learn to be a better person. It is through failures that we truly learn, and it's usually the most painful ones that leave the deepest mark in our heart. And so we parted ways, becoming strangers again, each moving on with our live. In time we'll only become a fragment of each other's memory, only the footprints from the time we crossed paths remain in our heart.

I realized that as I look at the picture, what I was unwilling let go was the good feelings that we once shared, feelings that no longer hold sway in our lives today. We have grown from the bestest friend to complete strangers, and like it or not, what I was holding unto is just a snapshot of the past. A piece of good and bad memory, mixed together. A memory that shaped who I am today. A memory that taught me to be a better person.

Looking back, I guess I never got the chance to say that despite all the ups and lows, I am thankful that our paths once crossed each other. Perhaps we were never meant to be together, perhaps we are in another universe, but at least for now, what I know that everything needed to happen. I know, it sounds like a stupid excuse, but because of you, I now know a lot of things that I never knew back then.

And I guess like all memories in the past, it's time to put away this as well, and move on. So I made my way to printing shop and transferred all the photos that we shared together out from my phone, and asked the cashier to make an album out of it. To remember the good times, and to remember all the lessons I have learnt. As I tuck the album into the box of gifts that I have accumulated from you over the period of time that we have been together, a single tear ran across my face, and landed on the cover of the box. A bittersweet tear, a tear of all the good and bad together, as if sealing the box of memories.

"Thank you," I muttered, before putting the box back, and heading back out to the present.


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