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The One Who Got Away

Do we always have the One?

Do we all have that one person whom we wonder about even ten, twenty or fifty years down the line? Is there always one person for everybody that seems to have left so great an impression that one’s life can never be the same again; and more than that, one’s life can never be truly happy because of the separation between you and the One. Do we all have that One that got away?

That you have already found your partner in life to love and to cherish for the rest of your days does not, however, take away the sweetness (or bitterness?) of longing for the One who got away. And it doesn’t mean that you’re being untrue to your partner; more so, you become more you in the relationship because you see it as fragile—it could easily have not been as well: like in the case of the one who got away. For by wondering about the One, you find someone beside you who is holding your hand in the here and now as your thoughts go beyond and to the past.

The One that got away is so beautiful and perfect precisely because he or she got away; in escaping our grasp—our comprehension—we find ourselves inadequate in seizing the One and thus leaves us in awe. And what flees us astonishes us; conversely, what we have in hand bores us in one way or another—through repetition, everydayness and, well, security. Such is our plight that makes the whole thing dumbfounding: we long for what escapes and yawn at what abides.

But watch out my friend. For if by some stroke of (terrible) luck (or destiny, as you wish to call it) that you find one way or another to pursue and behold the One, you will be in for the surprise of your life. I wish to be optimistic and so I say this: it will never be like the fairytale that you imagined. It will be, given some time (all we ever need is time), well, humdrum as well—that is, if you are lucky. For the rest of the time (and for the rest of us whose string of luck has long been lost), as these things usually have been, you will be in misery.

In misery because not only was it not everything you expected but rather you see that it was nothing like what you hoped for. The One also had those quirks the one who loved you before had; and no matter how much the One tries to live up to the image you had of him or her coming in (because that’s all you ever had—an image), chances are, those expectations—those follies—will be too much to carry for any human being. The One will almost always give in. And sadly, it will never be their fault. In the end, you shall see that you yourself built your sandcastles in the sky without the consent and help of the One; and you yourself will be the one to tear them down from up high to a shattering and thundering fall onto the ground that will leave more hurt (mostly to yourself) than all the scattered sand that once built your castle of dreams.

Do we always have that One who got away? I sure hope that most of us are blessed with not having that One—that empty shadow that will hover over us for the rest of our lives. But what I hope is that through time and luck we do find someone who will hold our hands in the here, the now and the real without pretensions that we are princes and princesses in a fairytale; someone who will never want to be placed in such a lofty pedestal as the One and choose the warmth of being by our side with a love that will never be perfect but will always be more than we deserve.

March, 2004


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