The EX files: What do I call the feelings you gave me?


He was smart and nice. He’s one of the better people to talk to simply because he has that depth, something you’ve learned to expect from people you spend most of your free time with. Plus, you could use some company. The past few months have been cruel and heartbreaking and a new friend is a breath of fresh air. He was definitely a welcome change to the gut-wrenching truth you’re learned about some people who you treated as friends, that not all of them would stand by your side when everything else fails.

His place in your life quickly elevated. You told your friends he’s just one of them—a friend, but you perfectly know that deep within you, he wasn’t. He was that guy you know you’d want to spend more time with, maybe share a dream or two, a thought or two. Still, you tried to guard your heart. It wasn’t so long ago when it was broken and mended, and you understand that you can’t give your still-bruised-though-slightly heart to this person. At least not yet. He deserves more than that, and you are worth more than what anyone could bargain for. You realized this through your late night conversations, midday chats over Messenger, and even through Facebook memes and comments.

Until the day came when you’re no longer sure of what he was ready to offer. You refused to believe he had no idea that he was more than just a friend to you. And maybe, just maybe, he felt the same way as you. He invited himself to your house one Sunday afternoon, introduced himself to you family, invaded your kitchen and cooked that famed Filipino meryenda - pancit canton while you made tuna omelet (oh yes, gourmet!). You went to church and attended the afternoon mass together, and he insisted on meeting your friends. Oh yes, the act felt so reminiscent, right? The familiar sense of complacency washed over you, believing that what you have with him was probably more than what’s expected.

Yet another evening came, and instead of working on your papers, you’re too busy with your phone chatting with him. Nothing fancy, just another late night conversation similar to the thousand ones you had before. You saw his Facebook story. It was a picture of his foot, shoe and all, side by side with another foot, shoe and all, of a girl. It wasn’t you, and maybe it’s not bad to ask, and that’s what you did. Maybe you were looking for a different answer, a more elaborate sort of explanation than the one he gave you because you believed he was more than that.

But he only smiled. A smiling face emoji was all he could give you.

Maybe you hoped for too much. Maybe you read too much into things. Maybe you gave too much meaning to everything he did. Maybe you were a bit lonelier than you let on and so you allowed him to be closer a little bit more than necessary. Maybe you were just too na├»ve…

Or maybe, he was just a jerk.