The reason why....
It's been twice now that I've been asked that question...it's a simple question really: why?
I guess they must be right. There has to be a reason. Maybe just because isn't good enough.
So here I am, in the comfort of my own home, with no one rushing me, thinking...how to articulate my answer. How to find the right words. Because truth be told, yes, there probably is a reason. Maybe I just haven't made sense of it to myself then. I'm not particularly sure if I have gotten it down pat, but here's the best that I can do:
I was never really a happy person from the very start. My childhood was pretty uneventful, with only a few close friends, and not a lot of happy memories. Don't misinterpret me, I didn't say I had a sad or miserable childhood. It just wasn't very happy. It couldn't be helped I guess. I was (and still am) an introvert, so I kept to myself...a loner.
After graduating from college, due to some unforeseen circumstances, I found myself being thrust with the responsibilities of adulthood. I embraced these responsibilities wholeheartedly, albeit perhaps from an immature standpoint. I tried my best, but eventually the entire venture came tumbling down, and I emerged by my lonesome again, heartbroken, disillusioned by the reality that love wasn't enough. I tried again a few years later. By then I now bore the stigma of what I've been through, and I was prejudged because of this. Again, I bore witness to the reality that love wasn't enough.
And then I wandered around. Did some stupid stuff. Regretted it, and it took me a while to forgive myself for that. Wandered a bit some more...went here and there, traveled near and far, still ended up nowhere. After all the experiences I've been through, I'm still by myself, still carrying my old memories, my ideals bearing the tarnish of years of disillusionment and disappointment. I soldier on, almost accepting to myself that this is my fate, that this is as good as it gets. I lock away my pain and frustrations in some far corner of my mind, and continued to live my life and perform all my responsibilities and obligations as a walking, breathing, empty shell, numb to the pain of the outside world by cocooning myself in my own painless, lifeless...joyless void. And it was like this for years.
Then one day, I looked up an old friend...well, more of an acquaintance really, whom to be honest I kinda admired in the past, but never gave much thought to it after. I've gotten used to friends and acquaintances moving up in the world, going on with their lives, going places. I didn't expect this acquaintance to be any different, and I innocently posed a question regarding that. I was surprised to learn that apparently, things didn't work out. On a whim, I asked her out. I could use the company I thought, and maybe, so could she. Besides, it's not as if we're strangers.
One hot and sunny Saturday afternoon, she told me her story, and I told her mine. I can't really explain what went on my head that very moment, but let's just say I came to realize, that I wasn't the only person with a cross to bear. And this person shared a lot of traits with me...traits which I sometimes consider as burdens as I felt they held me back a lot: introversion, idealism, empathy, a fixation on values, loyalty, sensitivity. And while the circumstances were different, we were both familiar...perhaps too familiar...with the distress of being left behind.
Something sparked. For some reason, I couldn't bear to see her sad. Someone who means so well, someone who thinks more of others than herself, someone who's such a good listener, someone who's thoughtful and considerate, someone so staunchly loyal, perhaps even to a fault.
Maybe I saw a bit of the person that I am, though I shudder at the thought. She's an infinitely better person, with her seeming innocence and tendency to see the good in people, always seeing the world through rose-colored glasses, while I'm a cynic, seeing the worst in people, expecting them to eventually let me down, and hardly trusting or relying on any other soul, except for a few.
I wanted to make her happy. I wanted to see her smile. So I asked to see her again. And a few more times after that. Eventually my quest to make her happy gave me a kind of joy...a joy that I haven't felt in years, and I thought, maybe this is what I'm supposed to do.
Past this point, I'm still winging it, playing it by ear. There were some rough patches...blame it on my inexperience, and those times when my spider-sense fails, but at least for now, the skies seem clear.
You'll have to ask her for the ending of the story.