Alex Story (Part 4): Aftermath

love

In part 1, God allowed me to achieve my ambitions and I’ve realized they were meaningless. After the realization, I did not yet turn to God because I then turned my concentration to the person closest to me — Helen.

In part 2, Helen and I developed a deep relationship over the course of 4 to 5 years. I thought it was so strong; it was unbreakable.

In part 3, the one person I thought would never betray me did so. I went through the hardest ordeal I’ve ever been through. Although I lost her, I re-discovered someone far more precious.

In this story, you’ll see how I turned out after emerging from the valley of despair.

After my last talk with Helen, I pondered why I even loved her. She isn’t beautiful. At best, she’s “cute.” She isn’t intellectually stimulating. The conversations with her are so predictable. She is not sophisticated. She doesn’t have a great sense of style. She isn’t well groomed. Her hobbies don’t interest me.

The main reason why I loved her was because I thought she loved me. I thought she was faithful. Loyal. Dependable. These traits in women are rare, especially in America. But alas, I didn’t know who she really is. She even said it herself.

What I had over the past years was not gold, but fool’s gold. And I was the fool. I projected an illusion upon her and loved it. And once the image shattered, I saw who she really was and was horrified.

That is why after seeing who she really is, I stopped wanting to be with her and stopped missing her. I did not send her any more messages or texts. (Except for her birthday. I tried to be a friend and sent a simple “happy birthday” message.) And when she sent me any messages or texts, I either ignored them or replied that we can talk about whatever is on her mind. Basically, if she wants to know anything about me, she will have to put in effort. Of course, she never made the effort.

How Could She Betray Someone Who Has Given Her Everything?

After a month, I resumed my life. I wrote more and worked on my projects. But I couldn’t get a question out of my mind. This question came to me especially strong at night, right before I fall asleep. I kept asking …

“How could she betray someone she’s known for 5 years? Someone who was with her during the thick and thin, during the good times and bad? And give up all for someone she’s only seen twice?”

It is a valid question. And the only good answer I could come up with is that …

she’s selfish.

The only thing she wanted was to satisfy her emotions, to the detriment of everything else.

Every time the question pops up, one part of me says that I have forgiven her … that I must forgive her because God has forgiven me. So stop dwelling on it.

Another part of me wants justice: a broken heart for a broken heart. And eventually, I will get it. Statistically speaking, her current relationship will not last. It’s not because the other guy sucks. Frankly, I don’t have any ill will towards him because he doesn’t know the full extent of the situation. And I’ve heard he’s quite nice.

The reason it will fail is because someone who bases relationships on feelings will inevitably stop having the same feelings. When that happens, she’ll either be in an unsatisfying marriage. Or if she’s not married, she’ll jump to another relationship. But by that time, she’ll be too career-focused and too old to find a quality guy that wanna commit.

When happiness escapes from her grasp, she’ll realize that she traded away her best friend for fleeting emotions. It’s something that she’ll have to live with for the rest of her life. The memories of betraying.

It is something I will have to live for the rest of my life too. The memories of being betrayed. I’ve already made up my mind I will never take her back, because it could never be the same again. The trust is no longer there.

That is why I’ve closed the window. And it will no longer open for her. It may open for someone else down the road, but not to her ever again.

But if what I predict becomes real, I’ll feel sad for her. Although I do want justice, I also want her to be happy. After all, she was a part of my life and a sliver of my heart belongs with her. As of now, I don’t know which desire is stronger.

Whatever happens, she cannot blame me for not taking her seriously. I endured through her venom, through piercing words, and through a broken spirit to win her back. She even admitted that I loved her. She believed everything I said … how all she had to do was not sleep with him, break off all contact with the guy, and come back to me. And I would have married her after a few years, after the completion of my project. She could have gotten everything she ever dreamed of. A nice house. A family. Children. Money is not a concern. I would have given everything to her. My word is my bond, and she knew that.

But in the end, it was not enough. She wanted feelings — temporary, fleeting emotions. She didn’t want love. She wanted to gratify herself; she didn’t want me.

And she will get them. I’ve stepped back and let her have all the feelings she wants — even until they come puking out of her mouth and overflowing from her nostrils.

One thing is for certain. She will never find someone as good as me again. Someone who is her best friend, someone who would have given her anything she wanted, someone who has social standing and prestige, someone who is highly educated and wise, someone who keeps his words and morals — all rolled into one package.

I know my worth. And other women do too. Since Helen, there have been quite a few fishes biting on the bait. Every two weeks or so, another girl is interested. Heck, even a former flame is trying to reconnect with me. For Helen, it will only get harder. For me, easier.

Now I know who she really is, I will never have to wonder, “What if …” She will not be the “one that got away.” Rather, she is the bullet I dodged. And I realize that things could have been much, much worse:

I could have married her.

Why I Recovered So Quickly

The commonly accepted rule is that it will take you half the length of the relationship to get over the person you loved. So if your relationship lasted 10 years, it will take you 5 years to get over her. If your relationship lasted 5 years (about the length of mine), it will take you 2.5 years to get over her. If your relationship lasted 2 years, it will take you 1 year to get over her.

It took a little less than a month for me to get over her. And mind you, I did everything wrong to heal my heart. I tried to win her back over the course of the month. I tried to preserve the friendship. I kept in contact with her. And even with all my mistakes, I got over her so quickly.

How was I able to get over her in only a month when it should have taken me 30 months?

I have three explanations:

1. I am tough and relatively unemotional. I don’t get too attached to any person or thing. If something is lost or broken, or if someone leaves me, I will find a replacement.

Not everyone is like me though. One of my friends told me about her boyfriend’s previous relationship. He dated a girl for 8 years and was engaged to her. He was gonna move and the girl did not wanna move with him. As a result, they broke up. It took him the next 8 years to get over her. I remarked that it seems he has a big, soft heart … very much unlike mine.

2. I have a good number of friends and caring family members. A week into the blazing fire, I was processing everything by myself. My main focus was on winning her back. But as my efforts were met with a brick wall and I was going nowhere, I had to accept that it is the end between me and her.

So I reached out to those around me to find out what the source of the problem was. Was it me? Was it her? I first reached out to my dad to get his point of view. Then I reached out to friends to get their point of view. It’s funny that their opinions are all different.

Yet, the most valuable thing other people provided was not their advice. I already clearly saw the reality and made up my mind on how to proceed. Their value came from them just being here and hearing me out.

3. God carried me through the difficult times. Two weeks into the breakup, after realizing that filling my time with various girls was not a satisfying solution, I spent all my time in deep thought and prayer. I was too distraught to work and to write. Heck, I couldn’t even eat. It was praying, meditating, and working out. I lost so much weight.

When anxieties and sorrow swelled up inside me (which happened almost every day for a whole month), I threw them onto Jesus and poured my heart out in prayer. Lo and behold, trusting in Jesus really works!

When I finished 6th grade, I received a graduation present in church. The present was two pieces of stained glass joined by a piece of plastic — decoration for the desk. You can open up the present like a book. And when you do, it is stable enough to stand by itself.

One stained glass showed a rocky cliff, a clear and sunny sky, and footprints on the beach. The other stained glass had a poem inside a shoe print, which read:

Footprints in the Sand

One night I had a dream.

I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and across the skies flashed scenes from my life. In each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One was mine, and one was the Lord’s.

When the last scene of my life appeared before me I looked back at the footprints in the sand, and, to my surprise, I noticed that many times along the path of my life there was only one set of footprints. And I noticed that it was at the lowest and saddest times of my life.

I asked the Lord about it: “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way. But, I notice that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why you left my side when I needed you the most.”

The Lord said: “My precious child, I never left you during your time of trial. Where you see only one set of footprints, I was carrying you.”

The reason why I can describe this gift in so much detail is because I kept it to this very day.

Of the three explanations, I think the last one played the biggest role. And as a result, my relationship with God grew by leaps and bounds.

As I look back on the whole situation, I thank God for what has happened and for everything I’ve been through. All things, both good and bad, work for the good of His children. Although I lost her, I’ve regained Christ.

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