(Note: This was previously on private but I have revised it in light of my recent thoughts and experiences.)
Nowadays, I often think about the novel Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. To be honest, it’s been years since I read that book and I only ever read it once so I don’t remember most of the details. However, I can never forget the ending. That ending had me thinking, “if I was in John’s place, would I have been able to do what he did?” Now what did John (the protagonist) do exactly?
WARNING: BOOK SPOILERS AHEAD
Here’s what he did from what I can remember:
John had this girlfriend that he really loved, but then due to some circumstances (I don’t remember anymore exactly why) he had to join the military and was stationed somewhere in the Middle East. Throughout that time that he and his girlfriend had a long distance relationship in which the only way they could communicate was through letters–hence, the book title. But after a while, his girlfriend’s letter had did not seem too enthusiastic and as time passed their letter exchange just had no “spark” anymore. Later John found out that his girlfriend had fallen in love with one of his friends and even resulted in marriage. Ugh, my heart… (FS… anyone? ㅋㅋㅋ) Yeah, typical sad love story where the dude’s heart gets broken coz someone steals his girl…yaddah yaddah… but the ending was definitely something else.
Here’s how it ends:
They find out that her husband had some life-threatening disease that will be the end of him. It was upsetting for her and for John too, because that guy was his friend. When they were expecting the worst of outcomes, that guy (who married the girl) told John to just take good care of the girl when he dies. That dying friend knows the past relationship between John and his wife so he knew that John would be the perfect person to take care of his wife. So basically the dude was implying, “Here John, I know you love my wife, so you take her when I die, okay?” (He didn’t really say that in the book.) But John–GOOD GUY JOHN DAMMIT–well I don’t remember the details, but he did something that made his ex-girlfriend’s husband survive the sickness. It was crazy. John could have just let the man die so he can marry his ex-girlfriend, but instead he helped his ex’s husband survive! Of course since the husband survived, in the end John never got the girl but instead watches his ex and her husband live their happily ever after. Pretty sad, huh?
But that’s not the point. It was sad, but it struck to me that what he did was true love. He loved her so much that he did the most selfless thing for her: he helped her husband survive a fatal sickness instead of letting the guy die and having her all to himself. If you truly loved someone, would you be willing to throw away your desires for that person’s best? Lately, it’s what I’ve been thinking of.
Now I’m young and I don’t know much, but I have had strong feelings for someone that I still hold in a special place in my heart. He may have not reciprocated the feels for he never knew about them, and I never told him how I felt. I was an incredibly shy idiot back then. I haven’t seen him or heard from him in a long time, but I still think about him often. I always regret not being able to do anything about how I felt because now I miss him every time people would ask me stupid questions about boys or ideal types. I’ve never had any feelings for anyone else except for him, and I’ve never met anyone else like him. I always swore I will only date someone like him or better, but I guess a guy like that is not easy to find considering I haven’t met anyone who comes close.
Sometimes, I want to tell myself to be realistic. We were young kids from two different worlds and now we’re two adult-ish college students at two different worlds. I have more chances of getting shiny Pokemon with a perfect nature, perfect IVs, perfect ability, and pokerus than meeting him again. And yet, I’d rather think we’ll meet again someday, and hopefully by then he’ll like me… somehow. But who am I kidding? I was that kid who wouldn’t say more than three words to him because I was so shy. I was that kid whom he sat next to and said hello to but was too shy to make conversation. I was that kid whom he always made an effort to be friendly to but still was to shy to socialize. Whenever I look back, I always think, “What was I thinking? He’s just human, you could have smiled widely and made conversation! Besides, you both have the same dry humor!” But yeah, I can’t turn back time to redo my regrets. Now, (after casually stalking his social media earlier this morning) I just found out that he has a girlfriend and damn, I can easily tell that he really liked her and looked very happy. I bet you he doesn’t even remember me. And as much as I liked seeing him smile widely, I just felt my throat dry up at the sight of seeing someone else causing him to smile that way. I should be happy that he’s finally back to being the sweet, bright-eyed boy that he originally was considering he seemed to be going through a rough time during high school. Now he’s all happy and smiling again, but I’m here trying to be happy for him in the midst of my stupid heartache. I mean, I always prayed that he would be alright and that he would be happy. I should be happy too, right?
“Do you love me enough to let me go?” This is one of the lines from one of my favorite bands, Switchfoot. Whenever I think of him, I always ask this question. It’s a yes or no question, yet both answers are sad replies. If I say yes, I can let go and move on and let him be happy with his own life without me in it. But if I say no, I guess I just don’t love him or myself enough to get rid of this burden of liking him and feeling sorry for myself. Unfortunately, every time I examine my heart for an honest answer, that answer… is a no. I’m sorry. I’m selfish. I don’t know how to just let go yet. I don’t think I could have done what John had. I always reason with myself that I may end up not dating for a long time if I don’t let go of him but I just can’t let go yet. I don’t know why. I still think about him. I still get dreams with him in them, and I just had one of those last night! However, I do know that letting go and moving on is best. And I’m still working on it.
But even if I do let go of him someday, he’ll probably always be special to me. He was the first and only boy I ever liked up until now after all. He made me realize that I can have these sorts of feelings for someone. He made me realize what characteristics I want in a guy. I liked how he sat next to me when he saw that I was lonely. I liked how he naturally helped me out when it seemed like I had no idea what I was doing. I like how he would look straight into my eyes and listen closely when I shyly spoke. I liked how he cheered me on when I was having a hard time. He was a very positive influence to me back when I really needed him so I am still very thankful that I met him. If our story ends at that, I guess I can’t do much about it, but I know for sure that I will never forget him.
I guess this is why I listen to “Good in Goodbye” by Carrie Underwood so often nowadays. I hope that one day I can definitely say that there is good in goodbye like how that song describes it.