Attention all passengers, this is the last southbound train to Finch. The train will depart in two minutes.
His last few words kept repeating inside my head.
I met this guy at the arcade playing the same game a few months ago. We pretty much clicked, and we have been chatting and exchanging selfies quite often. I normally am not a big fan of the hour-long trek and back to the arcade in the outskirts of the city, but the thought of being able to play my favourite game with him made it tolerable, exciting even. Sadly, he mentioned that he’s still in the closet and is unable to have a serious relationship with anyone. He apologized that we never got to hang out elsewhere other than the arcade as he was busy trying to find time for everyone. Somehow I didn’t mind all of that. I was still there for him. He would message me saying that he’s going to be there and it would be cool if I tag along with him. And here I was, smiling from ear to ear, happily making that cross-city trek just to see him. He’s fun and I enjoyed spending time with him. We had great conversations. We talked about a lot of things. Somehow silly me hoped it was mutual.
Tonight we met, hung out some more at the arcade and somehow he was able to convince me to stick around longer that he even offered me a ride to my subway station. He was sharing me about some stuff in his life. I was happy to listen, knowing he sees me as a safe space, but somehow, I heard the unexpected:
He’s already in a relationship. They met a few months ago in a dating app. He was sweet and protective of him and they’re going to meet up after he dropped me off.
Somehow, I felt my insides pierced. I then realized I have grown feelings for him, but I never pushed because I knew of his situation. I didn’t want to force it, I just hoped he’d feel the same way and it would work out eventually.
It was same thing over and over for the last decade or so. Either they don’t feel the same way, or maybe they could have but someone else comes in and takes that chance away from me with little to no effort at all. Sadly, there was nothing I could do about it but to accept the loss.
The exact same pattern that breaks me; it’s the very thing that reminds me I am unworthy of being chosen, no matter how hard I try. It’s a recursive cruel reminder. The years, their names, the places… are all different and yet the sinking feeling remains the same. Every. Single. Time.
I smiled as I got off his car and waved goodbye. It was raining outside and I was soaking wet, and yet I was oblivious. I was stuck in place. All I could see were blobs of lights. It felt very heavy. I just stood there frozen, flashbacks of the past with the same circumstances came flooding in.
It never got better. It just hurts the same way each time.
For most of my life, just like many people, I would try my luck at the lottery. Find happiness by chance, by probability… by luck. Funny enough, it seemed like I won on my first attempt. It was a jackpot! It’s like everything’s just amazing! It was so blissful, it felt too good to be true.
Sadly, it was.
The universe waited a few months to tell me that the winner should have been someone else and took everything away from me, leaving me by myself, empty-handed having no idea what just hit me. The clueless young me tried to survive and push through it. I took chances again and tried, but I never won again.
Maybe that first one was my only jackpot? I searched for pocket change, but sadly it was no longer enough to buy a new lottery ticket.
I think this is it for me. I’ll always remember that first one. Shortlived as it was, I will always cherish that memory of me feeling like I was in the clouds. Turns out it will never happen again. How dare I test the universe with my infinitesimal luck?
It made me question whether I may have done something terrible in the past to atone for this? I probably did, I wasn’t perfect. But what was the gravity of it; and until when am I supposed to pay for it?
It’s over, again. My feelings want me to keep trying, but I’m too hurt and broke to keep doing it pointlessly while scraping off pieces of myself for every attempt.
All the new coins I pick up from the ground from now on, I’ll buy myself a chocolate bar instead. At least I’ll get something sweet and reciprocal.
They said it’s a waste to wish not to feel things anymore. I’m starting to think otherwise now.
It’s probably for the best. The repeated gut punches will finally stop. The constant painful reminders of rejection will be gone. The longing for something I’ll never have will no longer bother me. The crushing feeling of getting jealous at the people who were lucky enough and the things I am willing to do and to give to be in their shoes… will come to an end. I took risks and walked away with the short end of the stick, without fail, every time. And I’m tired of it.
I’ll no longer have to go through all of that again.
There’s no more luck to push, I’m done trying. It is exhausting. Winning must be nice, it seemed warm and fuzzy. I’ve always wished for it. But I’ll never have it. Looks like that kind of life isn’t meant for me. Suddenly the thought of that sweet chocolate bar felt comforting to me.
I’m not buying lottery tickets anymore.
Arriving at Osgoode… Osgoode Station.
I was swimming in a lot of thoughts that I completely lost track of time and I almost missed my stop. I hoped no one noticed what kind of quiet mess I was in the train. It was a long ride and it’s still raining outside. I paid little care and stepped out into the drizzly night and reminded myself that this will be the last time I will feel this way.
I love the rain. They can express things we sometimes cannot.