I once knew a boy. He was really cute. Wore chucks and played the drums. He was the type that the school girl me would gush over in the university halls. And then with some twists of fate and splash of fairy dusts, we found ourselves in each others’ arms. From totally different worlds, yet we did. It was magic for a long while. But there was this itsy bitsy problem. There was another girl. Not really there at that moment, but somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind. Lingering. Her name was Josephine. Or something like that. It was a beautiful name; perhaps as beautiful as the memories he kept holding on to. But all those colorful memories shared never led them to being “them” as she would turn out to be the one that almost happened. As I earnestly pondered on this budding turbulence in our relationship, I realized I knew some more people who had someone they could only wish for. The perfect guy or girl who came along, but who did with circumstances that turned out imperfectly. I never had one for my own. But them, they had their Josephines, the reason behind at least 3 out 5 break-ups I have witnessed. What a tragedy this Josephine can spawn!
And then it hit me. I was no one’s Josephine!
This led me to thinking even more. And then it hit me. I was no one’s Josephine! Now that’s even more tragic. He was my first serious relationship after all, and I knew I wasn’t that brutal (nor desirable) enough when I turned down a couple of guys from the past for them to desperately brand me as the one that got away. Boy, it would have been awfully flattering to be somebody’s Josephine. Years went by and things started to change in complication. There still might have been what the social norms labeled as love, but I was no longer the school girl who fancied fairy dusts and he, well, he went away. It was a blurry aimless stroll for months and months. He was gone… and I was not even his Josephine. And then I met this man. He was nice, interesting, funny, and even cute. Though I would have noticed all of these had I not been lamenting over what had been. For a while he was invisible to me, but after pans of Hawaiian and pepperoni and cheese, I found myself stunned at what I was to him. For him, I was the girl he would stare at work from two years back. I was the girl whom – while all the other boys would look somewhere around her neck line – he would try to get glimpses of her small face. I was the girl who looked striking in dresses but still rocked in shirts. I was the girl whom he found hard to decide whether she was prettier with her hair down or with a pony tail. I was the girl whom he would wonder what her house looked like or what her family was like. I was the girl whose friends he tried to chat “randomly” with just to be in some level closer to her. I was the girl he would have liked to take out for a burger but just wasn’t sure if she even liked American food. I was the girl he would have loved to know more—if only he had the confidence to. For him, I was the one girl he could only wish for. And then it dawned on me. Could it be that I was his Josephine? Months of droll summer and jolly holidays rolled by with us getting acquainted with each other more deeply. And I finally found myself realizing something. I wasn’t his Josephine. No, I couldn’t be it. With him, I learned to laugh again at Katherine Heigl and other silly romcoms. I retained my spot in a girls’ club that mused over with a long “aaaawww” at every cheesy gesture. I discovered the wonders of wearing a lacey top while wall climbing because spontaneity was supposedly enjoyable. I rediscovered the grandeur of street food and the splendor of just talking for hours. I once again nodded with agreement on Taylor Swift’s fantasies of kissing and dancing in the rain. I became the girl that I once was—I began believing in love and magic again. No, I couldn’t be his Josephine, for all the Josephines I knew were never won. They never brought happy endings. Josephines are morsels of memories that should never interfere with creating new ones. I always wanted to be somebody’s Josephine. But I got something better. I am somebody’s dream come true. And that’s a whole lot of a consolation. * Random notes from 2011