The shift was almost over. We’ve inspected every room except for one. Though it was almost 10pm, I volunteered to go there alone. My colleagues went ahead to the locker room.
I was sitting on the empty OR table when you entered the room. You sat beside me as I stared at the new lights installed just last week. We did not say a single word. Our presence sufficed despite the silence in the room.
It has already been months since we talked to each other. After weeks of turning our last conversation in my head, I realized we only made things worse for each other. I should not have told you how I felt. I should not have blamed everything on you. Yet you accepted every accusation I threw on your way. Now I’m the one who’s suffering.
"I’m sorry," you said. I liked how that sounded— as much as it broke my heart to hear it. You still haven’t forgiven yourself.
"Me, too." By this time, I looked down and closed my eyes. I added, "I never thought it would come to this."
Millions of thoughts invaded my head, but I know none of those will ever repair what’s already broken between us.
"I don’t know why I did that."
"Why you made me feel like we might have a chance?" I turned my head to look at you. I was searching for some hope that you’d finally admit that I wasn’t just delusional— that you really led me on.
You didn’t look away, but you weren’t holding my gaze either. It’s like you were thinking of something— or someone— from far away. Were you thinking of her? You should be thinking of her.
"Yes, I thought we might have a chance."
"But you love her."
You paused for a while. “I do. I love her.” You spoke slowly, as if wanting to emphasize the point to me. You didn’t have to. I knew that from the start.
"Well, I guess I have to thank you, at least, for admitting that you did make me believe that you love me. It’s also my fault. I should have been more resistant, but how could I find the strength to reject you when you’re the man I’ve always prayed for?"
You were crying by the time I finished. “I know,” you said while the tears rolled swiftly, “I’m sorry.”
I closed my eyes yet again and breathed deeply. “No one deserves to be hurt in this way. Not even us.”
There was silence. And then you said, “I’m sorry I’m not the one you prayed for.”
I gave a small laugh, then everything around me went blurry. I could feel the warmth of my own tears burning my cheeks.
Why am I always the one who loves more? It’s true, what that song says about heartbreaks. Someone gets hurt more than the other.
I inched my way closer to you, placed my arms around your neck, buried my face on your shoulder, and sobbed. I could not get the words out now. I just prayed while I sobbed myself to exhaustion. I prayed that I’ll get over you. I prayed that the hurt I’m feeling would be put to great use in the future.
It’s funny how I never prayed for you to choose me over her. How could I? You two are perfect for each other. I was just an obstacle that your relationship will eventually conquer.
I released my hold on you and raised my head. You took a little longer to release me. I looked at you, knowing that that would be the last time for me to see those eyes which held the most intense and sincere gaze.
You moved your head closer to mine, but before anything else could happen, I stood up. I left the room without looking back.
That was how I said goodbye to my almost lover.