I could have loved this person

I never knew the game existed until we did it. This only has one rule. You have to tell to a circle of friends the story behind a certain person that you could have loved. Like the ‘spin in a bottle’ game, everyone had to do it.

So we started off with the party host. It was a smooth story telling—fast and unpretentious. For the first time in her life, she has actually liked a person so much that she couldn’t be more conscious of her actions around the guy. Basically, she liked this person too much that she could have loved him if only he reciprocated somehow.

The next story is even more interesting, so interesting I could have mistaken it to a movie plot. So the story began when she was just so young and adventurous. She met this person randomly in a restaurant while she’s in a self-paid work trip. For a moment, they were two people one or two tables apart from each other, the next thing she knew, they’re already in one table, chatting about some things, doing a road trip together the day after that, spending some time together in a boat the guy owns, until someone has to leave… that is my friend.

After her was Ted, the oldest in the group. Hence, the one who probably had the craziest lovecoaster ride. And this could be literally. For some reasons, he and his girlfriend decided to break up. On the night they decided to call it off, the girl asked Ted if he could bring her to an amusement park as their last date and so they did. Of course, they rode a rollercoaster. They both had fun and were so happy. It was one hell of a ride, he thought until he almost didn’t want to let go anymore. Eventually, he still did for whatever reasons he may have. They still did. That was the last time they saw each other.

Another guy in the group, Seig, went after Ted. He’s not straight but he looks damn good for a man. He’s tough looking but neat. He talks a lot but he’s also very witty you will always look forward to what he will say next. One day, he oddly fell in love with this weird guy. Too rough, too militant, and too forceful. They never did become together but he would always remember falling for a person who’s a thousand Universe away from his criterion.

I volunteered to be the next one because I’m afraid my story is not as exciting as theirs. My story is about Cristian. I’m not sure though if I was able to share this story to them precisely since I suck at story telling. Anyway, Cristian is a guy I met during a seven-day coverage in Taiwan. For some reasons, I felt so comfortable with him, comfy enough to open up and share things about my life—something I never felt to anyone for a while since I met the man who eventually gave me the taste of my first heartbreak. He’s different. I know he is. He cared about my sentiments as if they were his. He shared his stories to me as if I’ve been his friend for a long time. It was crazy. In my more than 21 years of existence, I only fell in love twice. First, with my ex who cheated on me. Second, to him, the stranger who I never saw again.

Daryll went after me. He talked about this girl that he could have loved more. He loves her so much until now but being the man of few words that he has always been, he failed to stop her from leaving. He was so secured that she wouldn’t go away because he thought his actions have already echoed loud enough to prove her how much she means to him.

The last one to tell her story is the closest one to me in that group. Her eyes were already swimming in tears as soon as she began telling her story. At some point, I wanted to embrace her but she needed that release. Basically, she was betrayed by her own guts. Only when she was starting to feel so at ease to this one person, she also found out that this particular guy had been lying to everyone about many things. He was deceiving enough to ruin his friendship he had with her and with their friends. You know what sucks the most? My friend has trust issues but when she finally tried investing some, it had to be with the wrong person.

Just like that, the game was over, leaving all of us in indistinguishable silence, with hearts gasping in recollections and with minds still searching for a much vivid image in our heads but our lips will never speak a word about it anymore. In the middle of the game, I no longer know what we were doing because clearly, we were not even playing. But when you come to think of it. All of these stories were part of different games we opted to be involved in. This particular ‘game’ that we played is only a part of those bigger games that we either lost upon or won over. We were there in that moment to gather strategies from each other, or that kind of wisdom that will somehow help us as soon as we begin the next game in our lives.

It is actually the “could have beens” in stories that is messing things all up. It draws so many possibilities in a portrait that is supposedly done already and it adds fantasy colors to undone portraits that have long been abandoned. But it’s not as if we could avoid it. We could only think so much. Humans are born to think and some humans are masochistic enough to ponder too much on misplaced opportunities, reminiscing memories that did not happen, taking in painful pleasure on their wishful thinking.