As usual, no reply for hours and hours. At about 10.30pm, I casually checked my Whatsapp and saw that he'd been online but he hadn't bothered to text back. 'At least send a holding message,' I thought. 'Seriously, G... At least send a holding message,' I texted.
That led to some angry messages from both sides. In the end, I said that I didn't want to argue over text, and that he said that we would talk, so let's talk properly. He called me about 20 minutes later. We talked.
It's been almost 24 hours and I cannot believe what a good mood I am in. I am almost certain that there is a catch somewhere; I'm enjoying this good mood with bated breath while waiting for the other shoe to drop. I thought I would feel a lot sadder than what I am currently feeling, which is no sadness at all.
In fact, I am glowing with a sense of sheer relief. Relief, that is, at the final closing of this chapter, that it is really, really over, and that I can now move on. No more looking longingly at my phone for messages from him, just to be disappointed most of the time; no more agonising over whether some guy who's on another continent likes me enough; no more feeling a sinking feeling when I feel a subtle sense of happiness thinking about Dominic, just to be reminded that there is this unresolved business with G; and most importantly, no more pain, no more unhappiness, no more tears. It's as if I have removed a tumour in the heart that was causing me debilitating pain, and I am now blessed with a clean bill of health, an unencumbered heart, bursting with lightness and relief.
I don't even care that, during the phone call, I sounded pathetic at times, or that I cried more than I should have, or that I didn't say everything that I wanted in the order that I wanted. I also don't care that, after some meaningless waffling about which did not answer my question despite his apparent considered response and protest to the contrary, he said that he didn't have feelings for me anymore. I don't care, too, that it did not seem to bother him at all when I said that I wasn't going to talk to him for a long time after the call because I wanted to move on with my life.
I am really happy that he reacted in the way that he did. Now I see clearly - that all the emotional investment was never worth it, the tears were shed for nothing, the blind, naive hope was exactly that: blind (perhaps wilfully so) and excruciatingly naive. I'd wanted to believe that he still felt something for me despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary because of how desperately I held on to my feelings; and this produced blind hope that, of course, led me astray; caused me to hold on to something that I should have let go of months ago; and behaved like quicksand, pulling me under.
Knowing the truth is incredibly liberating. I wish he'd told me all this crap way earlier, but then, I think he made it up last night. He accused me of being inconsistent when I told him that I'd been going out with Dominic, but that for a period, I would've chosen G over him; but I think what is actually inconsistent is what he said last night - how he viewed our 'relationship' which is basically non-romantic - and what he'd said on previous occasions. For example: 'I try to keep my emotions under control' when I suggested jealousy on his part; 'I want to see you' when we were trying to figure out a way to meet; that he was annoyed when it turned out that we couldn't meet in the winter after all; and some other things that I can't remember. The thing is, these comments led me to believe that he still had feelings for me, and that he took a partially romantic view of our 'relationship'. Of course, his convoluted explanation - something along the lines of how he had no time for feelings and how he was not forming attachments because he was in the transitional period of his life - does not foreclose that entirely; which was why I needed to hear him say that he didn't have feelings for me anymore.
What was also interesting was that he said that we were together when we were dating in Singapore. I can't help but think: what is the bloody point of that? What does that even mean? Actually, I don't care at all. If that's how he chooses to see it, great for him. For me, we were not together in the meaningful sense. We just dated exclusively and it was intense and unresolved and it led to months of shit for me which I am finally washing off of me.
I realised something as well: it is really true that the unresolved nature of this thing with him led me to obsess and cling on more than I would otherwise. It is almost just like the situation with NEB: he broke up with me after a month, completely blind-siding me; and obviously, I didn't have the chance to date him longer and get acquainted with his flaws and decide that I didn't want a chain-smoker as a boyfriend after all, and that I hated how rational he was, etc. As such, I went crazy. I couldn't let go. I felt as if our story had not run its course.
It was basically the same situation with G. I did not have the chance to get to know his annoying side and traits, and so I held on stubbornly, resolutely, almost with a burning need to let this play out. But then, I have got to know his annoying habits, haven't I? His lousy communication skills, his forgetting me when he's busy, and now, after the call, I also know that he has the emotional intelligence of a piece of wood. In a sense, then, the situation has played out enough for me to tell it to fuck off.
I was actually really incredulous when I was trying to explain to him why it bothered me so much when he failed to reply to my text messages in a timely and reasonable manner. 'Your actions cannot be taken in isolation,' I said. 'They have to be assessed in a specific context. This context is me. I mean, you know how I feel about you...you do know how I feel about you, right?'
'Actually, I don't,' he said.
Maybe the fault was with me. Maybe, in my attempt to come across as aloof and detached, I really did give that impression which he fell for. But for fuck's sake, that was exactly what I said in a message when I was in London with Si Xuan. When he said that it was up to me to see other people, I replied, 'But you know how I feel about you.' Even if that isn't direct, what about the fact that I was willing to cut short my trip home to see him in some godforsaken corner of Germany that nobody goes to? How did he not know how I felt about him? For someone so intelligent, he is really fucking obtuse in this regard.
He was really quite keen to get off the phone. He didn't want to deal with my emotions at all. I think he even said that I was selfish for making it all about me and not giving a thought to the fact that he was not spending the 40 minutes that he'd spent talking to me with his family, whom he hadn't seen in two years.
He got defensive when I asked him why the hell he updated his OKC profile. Then I told him about Dominic and he started laughing, saying it was funny that I got upset about OKC when I'd been dating someone else this whole time. I then pointed out that the two things were substantively different, refuting his argument that I was splitting hairs: the intention in the two scenarios are completely different. He also thought that I couldn't claim to have intense feelings for him while also going out with someone else; but that is just such a stupid claim. He didn't give me any kind of commitment, so what was I supposed to do, sit around and wait until he decided to commit, by which time I'd probably be on my deathbed, if it happened at all? My feelings for him were real and intense, but they were neither heroic nor self-sacrificial. Just because I wasn't stupid enough to seriously ward off advances from men solely on his account, doesn't mean that I did not feel intensely for him. Why else would I be upset over his stupid messaging frequency and gave that much of a shit? What an idiot. He eventually conceded that it wasn't inconsistent for me to say that I had intense feelings for him and still go out with someone else, and that he didn't expect me to sit around and wait, but he also didn't expect that kind of phone calls (how insensitive. Bloody idiot).
He said, too, that he'd expected me to find someone else by the end of the term (he said 'semester' but the correct word is 'term'): 'You're a beautiful girl and you're by yourself.' This is, of course, entirely his doing. If he'd given me a good reason not to, I wouldn't have gone out with someone else. With specific reference to Dominic, though, I must admit that it would have been very tempting, but at that time, G was all that I wanted, so I'm pretty sure I could've resisted the temptation. However, he gave me absolutely no reason not to enjoy the company of a boy who made me laugh and whose intelligence I found intriguing and fascinating, so too bad for you, G. This 'beautiful girl' is moving on to someone else.
Then again, he doesn't care, so there's no loss on both sides. We gradually moved on to more light-hearted matters after I was done talking about 'us'. It was pleasant enough, but it did nothing to weaken my resolve to go cold turkey and stop talking to him. In fact, at the start of the call, he said that it was my decision whether or not to keep in contact. In fact, he said that the most our 'relationship' could be was that of a mentor/mentee because a boyfriend/girlfriend one wasn't feasible.
I'm sorry but I just rolled my eyes so hard. I'm still rolling my eyes now. While it is true that I took his advice seriously and that I felt like I needed it, it was also partly - or significantly - fuelled by my feelings for him. I appreciate that he wants to keep tabs on my burgeoning academic career, and that he thinks I'm smart enough to exchange ideas with him, but just...no. Just no. Not right now. I'm not sure I would even care that much about what he has to say on these matters if I didn't have feelings for him. We're not remotely in the same field, and I have my own mentors, and my relationship with them are entirely uncomplicated, so there is no space for an ex-lover (using this word loosely; we never had sex, thankfully) who wants to help me grow in my career. Thank you, really, but no thank you.
After we hung up, my thumb hovered over the 'delete chat' button but failed to connect. Instead, I listened to Richie Ren's 心太軟 for inspiration:
Most of all: 不是你的 就別再勉強.
I don't even like this song; it's schmaltzy and quite devoid of a melody and the lyrics are unsophisticated. But still: those are some amazing words of wisdom. The song suddenly came to me in the day when I was in mild distress over G, and it spoke to me.
It spoke even louder to me after the call. When the song ended, I sent G a bunch of pictures to remind him of what he's missing out on; but when I realised that he really doesn't care, I finally pressed 'delete chat'.
He is also gone from my Skype. Unfortunately, I cannot delete his email address because it is essentially his name and I am too good at spelling to forget how to spell it. He said that I could contact him anytime I wanted; but alas, I don't want to contact him at all, and when I do, it will be after my feelings have completely gone. In that eventuality, I'm not sure I would even want to contact him at all.
I don't look back. Once I'm done with someone, that's it. My ex-boyfriends can attest to that. Even if NEB is the most analogous situation, I will not take 5 years to completely move on; in fact, I'm just feeling so good right now that I can't imagine what I was even hung up on. Yeah he's smart and we had a connection, but he would've made the worst long-distance boyfriend. I'm glad it's over.
I may write him an email though. I wanted to tonight but it's almost 1am and I'm tired, and I don't feel like it anymore. I'd rather reply to Dominic's Facebook message and go to bed.
Speaking of Dominic: I am also relieved that I can now properly focus on him. I was feeling too guilty about the situation. In all honesty, though, I'd already decided to leave the G situation behind when I granted him permission to kiss me. I don't know where it's going with him, and I think if I were being strictly rational, I wouldn't pursue it; but I'm enjoying it too much. I like him. He's a breath of fresh air. The strange thing is that I don't think I would've entertained him if we'd met five years ago; I would've got impatient at his slowness in making a move and probably written him off on that basis. After all, I liked guys who were forward and direct and bold. Now, though, now that I am older, I am appreciating the value of a guy who moves slowly, who is more interested in your personality than your vagina, who asks first before kissing you. It is very cute. I like his sincerity.
I am returning to Cambridge on 7 January; the same-cost flight was available again, so I changed it again (I changed it to 10 January at first). I am looking forward to going back. My first term was marred by this G issue, so now that it's over, I think I will enjoy it even more.
I was pleased with the amount of work I did. I read half of Chua Beng Huat's Communitarian Ideology and Democracy in Singapore, which was also the relevant half, and which was also the most work I've done in Singapore. I am making progress!
I'm finally trimming my hair tomorrow. My fringe is so long and annoying.
Edit: I forgot to mention my epic run in the evening. I did my complete route and I paced myself so well that I didn't get tired until almost the end of the route. In the park, I even overtook this man who was ahead of me, and seemed to speed up whenever it appeared that I was about to overtake. On the way out of the park, I decided that I had to overtake, even if just momentarily, just to say that I'd done it.
And I did it!
It was my best run in a while. I don't know if finally removing the deadweight from my heart had something to do with it, but whatever it is, I was very satisfied.