Day 25: The reasons why…

[Imagine taken]

So… I heard your Italian ex-boyfriend is coming back. If I were you, I’d be sh*t scared. – Ashley

The thing is, your love for Beppe was completely different from Ricky. For goodness sakes, do you remember how much you cried for Beppe when he left you? It took you a very long time to finally move on. And I know Ricky saw how much you struggled in those times. He may not show that it doesn’t bother him, but the idea that you might end up getting confused is there. -Sis.

You won’t know what you’ll feel for Beppe until you actually see him in person. You could say all those things that you don’t like him, but if you actually see him and he started doing things that wooed you in the first place, I bet you’ll have that 10-20% chance that you would want to get back with him. Beppe is a very charming guy… he’s Italian for f*ck sakes. -Rami.

I think it’s better to see him. This is a test of how much you love Ricky and of how much love you have left for Beppe. The only thing though, I highly caution you to not see Beppe alone and especially without Ricky around. No matter how much Ricky trusts you, you need to respect him as your boyfriend and bring him along; even if it’s just the three of you. -Sis.

Promise me something Khristine, NEVER, ever see Beppe alone. If Ricky isn’t available, call me and Ashley so we can come and join you.  – Rami

Those were the voices that kept replaying in my head.

Can I be trusted? 

Of course. I can, just don’t do anything out of the ordinary. 

Why am I having flashbacks recently?

I remember how I struggled and how much I tortured myself. I remember that very last time I pulled away to say goodbye to Beppe. That very last time he looked me in the eyes and in a hurry… “We do not say ‘addio’ piccola, we say ‘a presto’, okay?” A presto… how soon? How soon do I see him again?

ME: After two years, I’ll probably graduate. Do you promise to see me in my graduation?

Beppe: “Well… it depends if I have work that time and then I wouldn’t be able to come.”

ME: “Oh, I understand.”

Beppe: “But of course, I will promise to come, it may not be on the actual graduation date, but I will come.”

Two years came and don’t I wish I didn’t ask him to come back? Everything seems to be flowing smoothly in my life, but why does he finally intend on visiting? He could have visited me last year, but why now?

Looking back two years ago… oh my, that image is vividly painted in my head:

I clearly remember falling down to my knees, crying at the airport when he walked into the gate. I felt ashamed now that I am looking back to it. How could I made myself fall for him so deep and so intense when I’ve only dated him for 3 months? Why did he made such a huge impact in my life? And until now, I still have a few recollections of how we spent the summer of 2010 together.

Perhaps the real reason why Beppe made such a huge impact in my life, it’s because he made me realize my own worth, that I can be treated differently and that my standards should never fall short when it comes to men. He was my summer fling, but he taught me so much: he taught me to love and to make sure that I am loved in return.

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Before I dated Beppe, I dated Dave, my very first serious relationship of 3 years. Dave never surprised me, never took me out on dates, and most certainly, we never went anywhere but his house or mine.  Our relationship was purely based on sex. He made me feel very insecure of myself and I felt very distrustful towards him. I felt like I was a bird trapped in a cage. One of my friends, Ngoc, perfectly described him: “The poison of [my] life.”

When Beppe came into my life, I was treated like a queen. I never felt so dignified and confident until Beppe became my boyfriend. I believed in myself and I felt loved and cherished for the very first time in my life. I saw him as a man who came out of the heavens: he was a very romantic, sensitive, passionate and understanding. There was never a day when he didn’t say “Sei bellissima.” I could have sworn, if he asked me to marry him and run off to Italy two years ago, I would have. I owe all my transformation and all my realizations to Beppe. If I met Dave again, I’m certain that I’ve changed so much and I never regret breaking up with him.

Despite the fact that Beppe and I can no longer be together, he stays close to my heart as a friend who helped me forgive myself. My love for him was bittersweet. He was almost like my drug. His love felt so good and yet it was so hard to get rid of it.

When Beppe left me, I was crushed and torn down to my very core. I went through boyfriends like I was buying shoes- seasonally. I broke guys’ hearts and broke some of mine too. I banged as much as I can to feel numb to the point where my standards even went low. I grew cynical to every guy, collected them as trophies and treated them all the same. I was looking for a slight hint of Beppe in all of them. I never found him in any of them because he was different. However, to keep loving him was almost like having the feeling of chasing empty pavements. I felt rather lost and unsettled. I finally came to my senses and started picking my broken pieces when:

I saw pictures of him partying and mingling happily with all sorts of women. He was smiling in his pictures, mindlessly thinking that maybe the girl who’s looking through those pictures haven’t gotten rid of him completely. It was there and then that I realized that I, too, needed to move on. He’s in Italy and I am in the States. One of our friends, Nadine, said “And for what purpose does Beppe need to come back here?”  I became quiet.  She looked at me, “Oh…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that.” She did mean it and she was right.

He’s coming back here for vacation, NOT to woo me to wear a wedding gown. Of course not! He’s just here to enjoy himself. Yep.

Maybe it was all a one-way street. It was good while it lasted though.

This weekend, Beppe will finally land here in America. It’s going to be interesting. I’m not going to deny it- I’m curious and I’m quite excited. Not because I’m going to run off to Italy with him, but I can’t wait… I can’t wait to show how much I have become strong and changed.

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