Flowers in Winter.

I recently finished drying a bunch of flowers and was figuring out where to store them, when I saw the last (and only) set of dried flowers I have. They sit in a jar on the shelf above my desk. They’ve been with me for 13 years, having crossed the European continent and most of Asia to finally find their way to my bedroom. It reminded me of many things from that period in my life. More importantly, it made me realise a lot of things as I look back to that foggy, cold February morning in London.

In my entire lifetime, only two men have ever given me flowers. One was my college sweetheart, and the other one was the sender of those flowers I dried and kept. Back then, Facebook was new, Skype has been around for a few years, and email was still the predominant form of online communication. He was crazy enough to send me flowers, chocolates, and a teddy bear halfway around the globe. He went through the trouble of finding out how to buy something online from overseas – he, who was tech averse and absolutely resistant to any form of change. (I wonder how he’s coping now.) The bear – Russell – still sits in my closet, with the tag on. It was one of the few toys I refused to sell at last year’s garage sale.

I didn’t realise it then, but this man was absolutely crazy about me. (Yes, girls can be pretty dumb at times.) He probably would have walked the 10,728km between us if he knew that would get me to say yes to his offer of undying love and devotion. (Besides, he absolutely loathes flying. A 24hr flight to where I am would probably have killed him.) I was told it took him more than a year to get over me, and I couldn’t understand why. We only went out a couple of times before I moved, and it was pretty clear that I won’t be coming back anytime soon. Love really is irrational and inexplicable at times.

I heard he’s married now with kids, and that he had a tough couple of years just before I came home. Of all the men I’ve dated, he is the one guy whom I will always remember with a smile, regardless of the memory. I guess it stems from the knowledge that he was genuine in his pursuit, even if things didn’t work out. (Totally my fault, I admit.) Because of him, I know that for some brief moment in this lifetime, there was a man who cherished me the way any woman longs to be cherished.

We haven’t seen each other since that last date over 14 years ago. I honestly don’t know how I’d react if we run into each other now. I do know that I’ve come to appreciate him a little too late. And yet, I wouldn’t have changed much of what happened, still. Maybe I would have been better at letting him know it wouldn’t have worked out. And maybe he would have had an easier time moving on. But it is what it is, and we’re both better people because of what was. Once in a while, I say a little prayer for him and hope that he’s found Jesus the way I have.

If by some small chance he finds his way to this note, I just want to say – Thank you, Mr. G. You are one of the reasons why I still believe in love.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Image from rawpixel.

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