I heard of the craze about the 500 Days of Summer Movie. It was a promising movie from the start. I have always been a fan of Zooey Deschanel as a singer and actress. I love her beauty, characters and style. Joseph Gordon Levitt is someone I find true and handsome. I've always loved him in Juror. As much as I wanted to watch the movie when it first came out, I didn't just didn't have the time. Maybe it wasn't the right time for me to appreciate it. I had missed the screen dates or I had always other movies to watch. Despite the wonderful reviews from Facebook and friends, I still had not made an effort to watch it until yesterday, and I would say that it was just the perfect timing.
A week ago... A girl friend called me one dull Sunday night looking for her boyfriend. She was croaking as if a dam was about to explode and I knew tears would soon come after. As carefully as I put it, I had no idea where her boyfriend was. If there was a person who knows where her boyfriend is, it should be her. Feeling helpless, she began to cry. She then told me that they've broken up. She was sobbing half of the words I couldn't understand while I was hearing screeching cars in the background. My mind has always been dramatic and exaggerated as I imagined all the worst possible cases. Out of the blue I asked her where she was and where she intended to go. I was hoping she would say that she was on her way home, but from her answer, she had no idea as well. She wanted to talk.
I paused and reassesed myself. I'm not really the perfect person in a crisis like this. I'm not emotional. I have low EQ and by any standards I'm no expert in love. I don't think I'll ever be one. I don't have a consoling tongue and I don't have a nurturing personality. But it's not always about me is it? Sometimes there is a reason behind why a person might need someone like me even if at first it doesn't really make any sense.
So I took up the courage and friendship duty to meet up with her and to know what really happened. The breakup was a shock to all of us. My boyfriend and another male friend of ours accompanied me. Not really the ideal team to console her, but my boyfriend and male friend are more knowledgeable and experienced in relationships. Besides, her boyfriend is childhood friend of theirs. IF anyone could help more, it would be these guys. But honestly, I also had no choice.
From south to north, we met the devastated girl. Her hair was unruly, her eyes were swollen and she kept on looking at the ground. The once sunny, assertive and charming girl was clearly broken. We went to a restaurant to talk. She said she couldn't hold back the tears anymore. With the tears, she told her story. Her boyfriend wanted space. The guy said goodbye after seeing her having a filial dinner with her ex-boyfriend. Before the dinner that shouldn't have happened, the girl was expecting her boyfriend the whole day. The boyfriend who came from a family thing in Tagaytay didn't have enough strength to visit her all the way in Pasig and asked to reschedule. The girl feeling neglected was overwhelmed with anger and pride that she invited her ex-boyfriend to catch up. At the back of her head she knew it would appear like such a wrong choice, but she knew she wasn't and would not do anything wrong.
The boyfriend knew the dinner after checking up on her and he became alarmed. Supposed to be resting, he drove to the restaurant and waited for her to come out. The girl was mad for feeling neglected and the pride finally strongly took over. The boyfriend made her girlfriend choose, but the girlfriend chose to cling to her pride. After a few minutes, the boyfriend drove away and the girlfriend felt weak because she knew she just made a mistake.
After a few days, they tried to patch things up, but the guy wasn't that enthusiastic anymore. They knew they had a problem, but neither one of them wanted to speak up. The girl could not take the indifference anymore and inquired. The guy drew up the courage to be honest and told her that the relationship wasn't working anymore. The restaurant incident was the last straw. The girlfriend didn't understand. She wasn't unfaithful. She never has been. But the guy held things in the last four years. In the relationship he was always the considerate one. He is the quiet type and would always ignore his girlfriend's harsh words. He had been thinking about it for months until he just felt nothing. It was as if the seal of their partnership deteriorated through time and he was just realizing it now. He had to be honest with himself and he summed up the courage to request space. He finally said goodbye to the relationship.
The girlfriend, always had the upper hand in things, didn't expect the break up. The boyfriend never told her anything and she knew she was always in control. She depended on too much love and understanding her boyfriend had given her for the past four years that he remained a fixture in her life. She never thought he was hurting all along and she never thought he would have the balls to leave her. While her boyfriend is enjoying the peace and coming to terms with his decision, she was left shocked, confused and very much hurt. The girlfriend realized his value, wanted him back. But they both find themsevles saying their goodbyes and the guy is now savoring the space she so willingly gave. But she thought the space he needed was definite. She had not realized that the space could be in months, years or even forever. She broke down after a week and began neglecting herself and feeling sorry for herself by doing so many different things to bring him back. Her friends had noticed and were starting to be bothered. Some even initiated to talk to the boyfriend on her behalf. But it didn't help. The boyfriend had already decided and no amount of crying, texting and calling would bring him back.
That whole week of space destroyed the girlfriend. She couldn't eat, couldn't sleep and began to cling on to drastic measures. She couldn't focus with work and she couldn't understand why her boyfriend left her. She veered towards the love-hate justification, which is a known defense mechanism. She felt depressed and lonely. All that really mattered was to get him back.
Within that week, she invited me for lunch. She felt worst and in the end asked me for help. She wanted me to help her inspire the boyfriend to get back together with her. She wanted me to help him realize that he had made a mistake. She wanted validation that she was the wronged one and she was abandoned. She wanted me to say the words that she wanted to hear. She thought my silence would mean a mutual agreement, but I had to be honest. I had to brutal.
I told her that there was nothing I could do. Love may bind people together, but relationships are made up by individuals, individuals that change, that was hurt and that have the power to let go. To know what was going on in her boyfriend's head on why he couldn't find the effort and the patience to make the relationship work will never be answered. How can you ever properly explain why a person falls out of love? How can you properly gauge when the person has had enough heartaches in the relationship? How can you save the relationship when the other person doesn't want to fight for it anymore? The truths hurt her and she knew she had to move on and forget. I told her to let go of the illusions of the bright future they once held. Hanging on to that hope is an illusion that would eventually destroy her. By moving on, she will have to focus on herself and emphasize on other blessings and endless possibilities in her life. She has to preoccupy herself and learn how to nurture the whatever love she has. We all agreed that the road to recovery would be painful, but it took time for her to realize that it must be done. She accepted her dying love for a man and said goodbye to me. That was a week ago.
Yesterday I watched 500 Days of Summer and couldn't be more drawn to the story. While the other lover cling on to the possibility of rebuilding the failed relationship, the other one has moved on. The one that was left behind had to endure the whole period of neglecting oneself. He had to go through the love-hate relationship. In the end, the heartbroken modified his views on love. He now knows that it's not always about the birds and bees. Love is freely given and not forced. It may not last forever, but it's still love and it's always a decision to continuously accept it in different forms. Any kind of love could mend a broken heart if the person would let it. That takes time, courage, maturity to understand. It's not easy. It's never going to be easy, but the important thing is that it's doable. The world, despite its murk, has so many love to give. I say, don't let a heartache trash it.