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As I was leaving from the small auditorium of the hotel, a mixture of different feelings swirled inside me. I felt regretful, disappointed and depressed, however I somewhat felt confident over something. Just when I was about to exit the place, I paused in front of the doorway and turned to look back. At the back of the room, I saw her open the book that I returned to her, where she saw the note I left inside it. Then I turned myself towards the doorway again, took a deep breath and cleansed the regrets in my heart, giving me confidence to move on and to move forward.

Finally I left the event– the last event of our high school batch: our Graduation Ball. What was inside that note was a goodbye. A final goodbye to someone I never thought I could say goodbye to. So I decided to give the goodbye on our last event, because a real goodbye is what I really needed during that time. What I really wanted that night was to leave everything behind, so I took my journal (also known to others as my ‘diary’) from my worn-out bag. I opened the journal and scanned for any blank pages where I could still write and leave behind any last words. Since there was no more pages left for me to write, I finally resorted to reading my entries that I have written from the start. What really made me smile was the first phrase I saw in my entry. Written there was:

“I was happy.”

Every little thing mattered to me.

While I was reading the pages, I couldn’t help but to give a wide smile at my past self. Just a greeting from her made me jump with joy. It also made me very happy whenever we take the same ride home together, even if it’s just a group ride. Befriending her was one of my happiest days ever. Sharing corny jokes and teasing each other with our group of friends– I could say that I was truly happy in my first year of high school.

I continued to read the entries that I wrote when I was in second year. Most of them are just desperate attempts of finding a good crush on other girls, but I noticed that I was only happy when it was about her. While I was reading page after page, I happily smiled again. I remembered the first time I asked her to dance with me. Five minutes before the act, I had an argument against my two friends. They actually forced me to ask her immediately, but I didn’t have the guts to do so, and I tried to refuse their request. Our battle felt like it lasted for an hour, but when someone announced that there’s only a few songs left for the dance, I finally gave in. With all my guts, I went in front of her and awkwardly greeted a hello. It was nerve-wracking, but I had no choice. I extended my arm towards her and asked her to dance with me. While I was reading the page, I noticed that I couldn’t stop smiling. I was very happy at that time. She took my hand.

Even the smallest thing mattered to me.

I continued reading, and I noticed that the wide smile I used to show off a while ago receded for a bit. The pages I wrote during my third year gave off a sad mood. I used to over think a lot before. Whenever I saw a guy trying to get close to her, I get hurt a little. I felt jealous, and I hate my past self because of that. I avoided her whenever I get sad because of disappointment. Even a little mark of her affections to someone else made me sad. I was pathetic. So I tried to find another way to make myself happy again.

But I failed to become happy.

Everything was a lot different then. I tried to find someone else, but that person wasn’t the one my heart desired. It was what my mind desired. I guess my mind was just desperate to save my heart from the pain. I flipped a few pages, trying to understand the mess that I wrote. However, I failed to read a few entries since I vandalized those pages before. Maybe because of regret? I couldn’t understand myself at that time. I was a lost cause.

I started to read the final pages of my journal, only to see how bipolar I was during my fourth year. I was like a light switch turned on and off again and again. One day I thought she liked me, another day I thought she doesn’t. I felt disgusted with my former self. I was really thinking too much.

The story line in my journal stopped short. I didn’t understand why I stopped writing. I raided the stuff in my bag, trying to find for any missing pages. After the search, I found nothing except for a piece of worn-out bond paper folded lengthwise. It was the letter she gave me more than a month ago. It was her goodbye.

My chest tightened. I was remembering the day, but I resisted. I wanted to forget everything that happened. Still, I opened the letter and read the last part that she wrote. Then everything flashed back to me in rewind. I felt all of my regrets going away, and it was like I can’t feel my pain anymore. It’s as if the pain’s gone.

Before, I thought I couldn’t move on. I never thought I could do it, but I actually did.

Most people say that the key to moving on is to forget about the past. I proved them wrong.

I looked back towards my past.

And in the last part of the letter she wrote, she said–

“I’m really sorry.”

I accepted her apology with all my heart.

And finally I was free from the pain.

And I was happy once again.

 

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