I Watched Him Slipped Through My Fingers Chapter 1
1 My Dearest James
"Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstances." - 1 Corinthians 13:7
Every word of those verse lingers upon my heart and mind. I've always thought how magical our God is, and how did He manage to make a really good plot twist in our lives revolving around that versatile yet petrifying word "love". Every day, we wake up experiencing every kind of love but along with it, there's this four-letter word existing that we abhor so much, pain. Most of the time, we wish that if only pain never existed then we don't have to weep and suffer anymore but I find it impossible to happen...
At the early age of 15, I had someone who've brought me to cloud nine. I met my moon and my monkey-king, James. Thick eyebrows, thin pinkish lips, chinky midnight eyes, tan skin. Indeed an ideal man, it all started with a glimpse, gentle smiles that we would exchange every time our eyes would meet until we started having a late night and sweet conversations through texts. At a young age, maybe it was what they called "puppy love" or maybe not but I've never felt so happy and inspired that time. My heart would waver and flutter every single time James' would flash the sweetest smile I've ever seen. His face would radiate along with my heart pounding and sometimes I would hate the fact that he would loiter in my mind. Without further ado, I fell for James and he later confessed to me. I took the risk and said "yes" to his magical question even if it means turning my back to my parents. I got caught into a pretty complicated situation because I was the eldest and the only daughter among my two siblings and my father is really strict. For some, maybe it wasn't a good idea to lie to them, I would always love my parents with all my heart but would it be a crime if you'll try to listen to the cry of your heart? I am ready and willing to face all of the consequences for all of my decision. We are in an open relationship on his family's side and I'm pretty close to his older sister. The ironic part was my grandparents, relatives, neighbors and even my little brothers know about our relationship but the news never reached my parents. All of them said that they support and understand my situation very well and that it is a natural occurrence.
Time was fleeting, we were both in Grade 11. I took up the strand HUMSS while he took up STEM. I was the happiest woman in the world with all of his efforts and huge surprises. I will never forget those times he'll go to my classroom just to check up on me like an exaggerated doctor. He will bring a Jollibee meal whenever I have my mood swings and whenever we're caught in a cat and dog fight. He's the most supportive boyfriend ever, one time he begged his sister to borrow her five-inches high heels because he wanted me to join the screening for the Miss Sportsfest 2017 as the HUMSS representative, unfortunately, I was not chosen but his overall effort made my heart literally smile. I will always treasure those moments when I've hilariously shave his eyebrows and put make-up on his face. I even get him dressed up with my clothes, usually my off-shoulders and floral dresses and will take a lot of pictures of him modeling his new ultimate make-over. I know deep inside it broke his manly ego but he never argue with it, he would just give in to my whims. He was always outgoing and ready for anything with me. He's a cry baby too, he would just cry in front of me whenever I got so annoyed with him and with his possessiveness. Whenever we fight, he would just silently follow me with his head down, eyes looking weary and I would just break down in silence not allowing him to know how I felt."Isn't James too damn smitten? Too in love with his woman!" my friend would conclude in a chuckle. I didn't know how but he found his way into my friends like. Some of my classmates and friends would confess how proud James was for having me in his life because according to them, he just talks a lot about me, about how he loves me and how his heart would flutter every time he sees me happy and smiling. I find it so cute because it's pretty rare for guys to be that really expressive. As a woman, my confidence boosted more. I don't have to be someone else, I don't have to pretend like somebody else because every day I can feel how truly, madly and deeply affectionate he was towards me just the way I am.
On the 14th of February 2018 during our SHS day celebration at school, we happily married each other. It might not be authentically or legally done since it was a marriage booth but that was one of the most ecstatic days of my life- I walk down the aisle in a simple white dress and a floral headdress while holding a bunch of flowers in my hands gazing up at him who's standing at the tip of the aisle elegantly wearing a gray tuxedo.
"Just wait up, I'll marry you for real." he would usually bring that up to me. Now, it sounded clich for me but butterflies were flocking in my stomach. Thinking about our whereabouts in the future, thinking about how perfect would it be to become his wife.
But I know even in paradise the sun sets. That every beautiful thing aren't permanent, that in every happiness you must have to compensate and prepare for worsts things to come and that no matter how you'd wish and hope for an unending bliss you'd always consider that flaws exist in every relationship. I later found out that James lied and cheated on me, that happened on the season of summer, April. He gave into temptation. I lost all of my senses, fell crashing down from cloud 9 with all of my fantasies gone. My heart cried out loud asking what did I lack? Am I not pretty enough? Am I not worthy to be loved? My heart sank in so much bitterness and disappointment. How could he do that to me?
James was brave to acknowledge his unfaithfulness, he cried and begged. Pleaded as if it'll repair everything as if it'll heal the wound he has just inflicted in my heart. I know James is a soft-hearted man, he's proven that to me a lot of times. He's too soft, too soft for my sharp demeanor. I never want to look weak in front of him. The last thing that I would wish is to look vulnerable in his eyesight. Whenever we have those rainy days of our relationship, I would always act nonchalant in front of him, even if he's crying, bleeding and asking for forgiveness. I would just have a straight face because I don't want him to see me bleeding out. I want to look strong in front of him, that I can tame my emotions, that I'm independent because deep inside, I have this growing fear, What if he'll stop loving me? And now, did it really happened? He damn cheated. The only thing that I want now is to let him vividly see that I was ready, that I could live without him and that my whole world doesn't revolve around him.
On our 20th monthsary, April 14, he went into my house (mother and father aren't home because they're busy for work, it was only I and my 2 brothers) he personally handed a letter to me. I didn't know what's gotten into his mind but maybe it was his final resort to ask for forgiveness?I opened and read his letter, it was quite long but there's this weird part of the letter that crept the shit out of me.
"This is just a simple letter for you. I want to die right now, baby. I want to be at the hospital bed and to permanently close my eyes but I want you to know that everything will be all right, I'm still always beside you. I'll be your watchman, I'll always guard and protect you and I will always love you even if I'm no longer be existing in this world. I will watch you all the time even if we're in a different world. I love you, baby. Please always enjoy. Be happy. I love you so much and I mean it. I love you."
My brows furrowed. Has he gone nuts? Now he sounded like a mad suicidal imbecile. How could he write such things to me? How could he talk about "death" painlessly? How dare him to scare me! He has gotten too irrational, too impulsive.Weeks later, I broke my own mantra. I forgave him. I'd realize that love endures all things, love is perfect. The only imperfect thing in this world is us, the people. No matter how we'd try to escape pain, it always knocks and we don't have a choice but to open the door for it. To welcome it in our lives because hurting is part of growing up, we learn from it. I've realized that pain defines pure maturity, patience, and acceptance. Goodness, I sounded like a saint. James brought pain to my heart, I know he has learned something from it.
After that storm, everything went back to normal but not until the month of September. I'm all close to his friends, they were also worried and concerned about me. Then I figured out from one of them that he cheated...again, with another woman. Once again my heart shattered into pieces, I've never felt so insulted my whole life. I've never been so mad at him and at myself. My goddamned pride took over my system. All of my inhibitions flew out of the window. I broke up with him! And I would never understand his explanations but I perfectly understand that I was not enough for him. That I can't make him completely happy. This love is cryptic. It cannot last. Or maybe we're just too young to handle the complications of love.We started from scratch. Life is just too bizarre, you meet people, be friends with them, become lovers and by the end of it back to practically being strangers. It's an unending cycle and I find it ridiculous. I love James so much and I mean it but again, I will never become a martyr, I was too arrogant. He broke my trust twice, big time! Now all of those saintly thoughts and realizations I had back then are contradicting me. I've never talked to him, sometimes I'd catch him looking at me from afar whenever we're at school. Weeks later after our break-up. He'd already got himself a new girlfriend. I was leaking with too much bitterness, I've never thought that he can switch girls like how he changes his clothes. I should've known him better.
Days passed and his friends are all worried. They've been telling me that he's been skipping classes, drowning himself to oblivion with liquor. He'd also engaged with peer pressure and a lot of people are blaming it all to me, that he had changed so much, negatively...because I left him. Oh well, most people with empty minds have the great guts to judge and to conclude. I did not bother to entertain their accusations although I was worried about his situation. Of course, we've been together for almost two years plus the fact that I'm still attached and trying to move on from him. I feel guilty but I will not let that sink into my nerves, he cheated, twice. It was his choice, not mine. It's not just him that is hurting, both of us are suffering.
Weeks passed, his entire physique changed. He looked older, the radiance of his face disappeared. He was so thin and he looks stressed. He looked entirely weak and his eyes are too weary that you don't want to look at it. I can't stand looking at him like that, my heart can't take it. Yes, I was mad and disappointed, I felt insulted but I never want this to happen. I never want him to become this, this unhealthy. His sister and his parents are so worried and I couldn't stop myself but to meddle. I talked to him 'civilly' about his whereabouts but too bad I couldn't tame him anymore. I even figured out that he joined a fraternity and suffered hazing. I was too anxious, I was frustrated, he scared the shit out of me. I feel like I was toxic for him, that right from the start I wasn't good for him. If he didn't meet me at all will things change?On November, during our Sportsfest event, I walked passed by him at the entrance of the sports complex. Our eyes met, I didn't know but I unconsciously smiled at him. He smiled back, I got so shaken by it, I saw a glint of hope upon his eyes. His eyes have a lot of languages, I could not understand what it meant.
He was there class representative for the solo singing category (Bisaya song). As he went on the stage my heart began to pound when I heard the music, I got so shocked upon recognizing the song. He will be singing "Duyog" by Jewel Villaflores. All the blood from my veins went up on my face when my friends began to tease me, damn they. Adrenaline rush down my bloodstream, he used to sing that song to me most of the time. I covered my face in so much embarrassment of myself, my classmates won't just stop teasing me! As he was singing I can't help but notice his smile, he seemed really happy.
You're the only one I'll love
Only to you, I
I will be truthful
You are my past
You are my present
You are my always
My words are true
Listen to my heart
Accompanied by this guitar
You are not alone
To you I'm inlove
I just wish that those lyrics were meant for me, that it could be still me. That we could get back to the start but it's too complicated. The song that he used to sing to me back then isn't for me anymore. My knees weakened, I did not realize that I was already crying. Maybe we're not really meant for each other... Maybe we're just bound to hurt each other.But then, something unexpected happened. One day, you'll just wake up regretting and the only thing that you would feel for yourself are resentments. December 4, 2018, I received a chat from James's sister in the middle of my first day of work immersion. She said James was rushed to the hospital and he's already in the ICU. All my nerves palpitated. I even asked his sister if its some sort of a prank by James. I tried to convinced myself that James just have a surprise for me and his last resort is to ask help from his big sister.
"Ate, is this a scam?" I managed to reply even if I'm shaking so much and my tears can't stop from falling.I was too paranoid until his sister and auntie sent another message that stopped my world."He's gone." It says. My knees began to wobble, my tears are like rain.No, it couldn't be true right?! It's not happening. If only I could goddamned teleport directly to that hospital I would freaking do it!I told his sister that it's not true, he'll wait for me, that he will be fine once he sees me. Without any hesitation, I left my work immersion responsibilities. I rushed all the way to the hospital even if it's miles away together with Ronnalyn, my best friend. My thoughts were all cloudy as we're riding the bus. My heart is racing so fast, my tears aren't stopping and I don't fucking care about the people looking at me. I was so mad with James yes I've gone nuts, I sent him a lot of messages in his FB account, I was too agitated that I was cursing to hell. All I could do is cry and watched our video when we got married inside the bus.
When I arrived at the hospital I was so devastated, his body was already covered with green cloth. It's like someone had just crumpled my heart. I pulled him and hug him tightly, I showered him kisses and tell him that I love him so much. I tried to feel his heartbeat but it wasn't beating anymore, I've never been so hysterical my whole life. I was screaming and begging all the saints to bring him back to me. For a moment my breathing hitched when I heard his voice, he was softly crying. I was so mad, I told everyone that he was still breathing that he was alive! His father decided to pull the cloth down, my heart shattered. His eyes are open but he was not breathing. I was not paranoid, I heard his soft cry. "Baby, please wake up, I'm here! I came!" I uttered again and again quivering. He was not waking up no matter how I tried shaking him. He remained stone cold. He was not moving! Realizing that he will not wake up forever is so excruciating. I was so mad at James, that monkey had left me hanging on a cliff. I wish that it's just a nightmare and when I wake up I'd see him again smiling. It broke me so much, he was in my hands, I was holding him tight but no matter how hard I grip him he would just slip, like water I could not touch him. I didn't have any choice but to watch him slipped away from my life.
I'm so sorry, James...
"He's finally closed his eyes right after you arrived." his sister announced. "He's really waiting for you to arrive, such a silly kid," she added.
I talked to his family, they said it's heart enlargement...
He was so stupid! Why didn't he told anyone about his condition? I exhaust myself from crying, I couldn't do more. He will not come back. James was my moon who illuminated at the darkest color of my life but the midnight sky needs him more. I would just comfort and tell myself that it's okay. It will be fine because I could always stare at him every night but I got jealous of the stars. It's painful that whenever I held my hand up above reaching for him, yearning to be with him, I was so eager to hear his voice again, longing for his hugs and kisses... It breaks me because I know I could no longer touch my moon. All I could do is to look at him above with pleading eyes. My moon shining so bright, his shine cannot reach the dark empty space in my heart... My love James, please don't forget my unstoppable love...
Moreover, he was a blessing in disguise into my life, one of the most beautiful things I've ever had was James. Our memories will forever haunt me, even in my dreams...
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