Written with love & based on true stories of Miss C. Guzman and Miss R. Snow.
On the Surface -
Faith loves Desire. No matter how hard she tries to move on, Desire was her first love and always will be. It’s never smooth sailing for these two. Desire lives in the YN, and Faith lives in RK.
Hope loves Joy. As much as Hope wishes for perfection, Defeat came into her life. Defeat is almost always Defeat but sometimes he is also Lost. Hope lives in RK; Joy now lives in the OC. Joy used to live in RK, but he chose to go to a school as far as far can go. Hope hung around Defeat and soon became defeated.
Faith and Hope are sisters; friends really, but sisters even more.
Defeat made Hope’s life hopeless. Rumors, lies, and truth that should’ve been kept between them were spread to others. Because of this, Hope wasn’t seen as Angel as she once was. She always knew that she was never Angel but people insisted that it was her name. Now that Hope was hopeless, she was unsure what her name could be. Joy, Hope’s love, is broken. Not by Defeat, not by any other name or disaster, but by Hope herself.
Hope is only hopeful because Hope knows that her Father allowed everything for his joy, though it hurts Joy.
Faith meets new people and the relationships grow rapidly, but not always in a bad way. Faith is trying to forget about her past. Desire is left there. However, she goes back and forth between ‘moving on’ and revisiting what is comfortable to her.
The Core -
Hope is a girl you’ll always see either reading her Bible, Skyping with her love, or listening, with an open heart to anyone who is in need of an advisor. She’s a girl that people, of all ages, look up to. Hope sparks with a bubbly personality and making people smile is her forte. She has a knack to get things done quickly and the way she wants it done. Writing her ‘Dear Father…’ letters are a part of her daily routine. Her passion for learning more about God’s word is inspiring to all those around her. Even when she’s feeling down, there is still an aura of glowing hope around her - which is why we decided to name this character: Hope.
Joy is Hope’s man. Not only is he completely dedicated to Hope, but his love for her is so strong that he places her up onto a pedestal. He’s pretty much the “dream boyfriend” of all young ladies. He’s smart, handsome, charming, and he treats his girl like a princess. Joy is a few years younger than Hope and thousands of miles are between them; but neither an age difference nor some distance could tear these two apart. Joy gives exactly his name to Hope’s life.
To every good side, there’s a bad. In Hope and Joy’s case, Defeat, or otherwise stated as Lost, is the challenger. This guy, is in no way a kindred spirit. Yet Hope finds something about him interesting. She feels the need to introduce Lost to the Lord, when all Lost wanted was Hope. Because of his lies and dirty secrets, no one smiles towards him. He also has mysterious ways of manipulating people to get what he wants. His plan is to defeat Hope’s faithfulness and loyalty to her love, which is why this character is called both: Defeat and Lost.
On another side, Faith strives for love. Her beauty is exposed when performing her many talents. Her voice fills the hearts of everyone around her. She confides with few but cares for many. When someone is in need of desperate advice, they come to her and she is then at work. Faith’s intelligence is vibrant and her desire to know the Lord is growing. She is a girl that is constantly changing. She and Hope are sisters- they use their relationship with Christ to make their bond stronger. Her faith and belief in herself, the Lord, and all others around her is what she’s known for. Faith is the youngest of all the characters, yet she’s the girl with the most dreams and wishes. When she was very young, she met Desire - a man she never knew would mean so much to her. There is a few years of difference in their age, as well.
Desire is Faith’s first love. He and Joy are very similar in personality and they have even been friends from earlier years. His heart is made of gold and girls linger on every last word he says. Desire is a gentleman and the sweet-talker of the group. He is a man that every girl desires, especially Faith. He is very charismatic and independent. Faith and Desire grow to love each other, over the years, and are great friends. They would do anything to keep each other happy. Loving Faith comes naturally for Desire, but he feels he’s not strong enough to love her while he’s so far away. Their relationship is somewhat of a question mark, but there are hopes from both of them of having a future.
Hurt comes into Faith’s life, but not for long.
1 Corinthians 13:13 - And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.
But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)
Chapter 1 (Hope)
Hope Meets Joy
I met Joy at a retreat called the “50th Vida Nueva” on November 28, 2009. The retreat lasted for three days; I met him on day 2. The activity that we were involved in required me as a spiritual leader to communicate with a person who was ‘attending’ the weekend. Spiritual leaders would take our ‘person’ outside to roam around the mountain. Our goal was to try and open them up and make them feel more accepted at the religious retreat weekend.
Joy was my ‘person.’ We sat for a good hour together next to the fountain in the middle of the retreat mountain, though it felt like only a few seconds. I wanted to talk so much more afterwards. I knew he was smart. I knew he was quiet. He was so mysterious that it drove me insane, but I loved the mysterious part of him. It made me want to know more, to seek out more about him.
Joy beguiled me during that first hour. The next day I was on serving duty for breakfast. Tradition was that the attendees could ask anything of the leaders. Some would make leaders dance, some would make them sing, but the trend during this particular day was to propose. Joy asked me to propose to him.
I knelt on one knee and proposed to him. He said ‘yes.’
Chapter 2 (Faith)
Faith meets Desire
That one moment when our eyes first locked in contact. That one moment when neither of us had any idea how our lives were already starting to change.
At a school science symposium trip that started on March 24th, 2008 in JP, that’s where my life took a turn.
I walked to the upstairs corridor area where we could touch up on our science projects before the presentations began the next day. With my project partner, we walked into the big, open, white room and saw a few kids from our rival school. It seemed like they were finally relaxing after finishing their long, hard work on their science projects. Some were taping papers down and the rest were sitting on the cold, hard floor - in a slumped position. I caught an eye of one of the guys sitting on the floor, slumped over - almost laying down. When I saw him, there was instant connection, almost electric. As I walked with my partner to the opposite side of the room, the handsome guy sat up straight, and I felt his sweet eyes following me all the way across the room. My partner told me he was staring at me, but I was afraid that it wasn’t true. So I didn’t turn around to see for myself.
A while later, my partner and I were finishing up our project. All we needed were a few supplies, but we didn’t have any. We looked around the wide corridor area, and it was just so happened that the only supplies there were next to that guy.
My friend’s “brilliant” idea clicked as he pushed me in the direction of the handsome guy. It’s just my luck that I’m one of the very balance-uncoordinated people of the world. So anytime that I am pushed while staring off into space, I have no choice but to fall forward. Thankfully, I didn’t fall over completely, just almost. I inhaled in a deep breath of air, put on my big girl pants, and started walking over to the direction my partner pushed me.
I asked to borrow tape and scissors, and of coursehe was the first one to speak up and answer me. The other people just kind of looked at me like, “Why is she talking to us?” but I was too captivated by the look in his eyes to care what they thought. He handed me what I needed with a smile and he grinned as I thanked him while starting to walk the other direction. With my back to my rivals and the guy who could now not get out of my head, I heard one of his friends ask, “Do you know that girl?” His reply was short and sweet, and as loud as a whisper, but it was loud enough for me to hear: “Nope, but I want to.” An uncontrollable smile spread across my face as I paced myself, watching my feet, making sure I wasn’t walking too fast in case he was still watching me.
I went to sleep that night with the same smile still on my face.
Chapter 3 (Hope)
After the retreat, I saw Joy everywhere; or maybe it felt like I saw Joy everywhere. I loved it. I loved seeing him when I wasn’t sure I would. I remember being with a friend at Starbucks and Joy just showed up. My friend texted him to come over, and little did he know that it was my intention for him to come. I asked her to text him to come, but I wasn’t sure if anything at all would come from seeing him. He was far beyond myself in so many ways.
Later, I saw Joy again; this time at the movie theatre. I don’t remember the movie, but I do remember wishing I could be with the person in the seat next to mine. I felt the moment we were in. I don’t know what he was thinking, but I so dearly wanted his hand covering mine. The film ended and as we walked with the convoy of friends, he held my hand. Suddenly, a rush of emotions came through my head and showed in my face as I became red; red from passion, but also red from fear. If he really did like me, I knew that it would be hard. I knew I would have problems with my parents to allow me to be with him. With all of these things running through my head, I let his hand go. It’s like all the love and power between our hands died when I let go. His lips turned downward and I was forced to tell the truth.
I like you. I really like you. I know I like you. I know I want you. You’re everything but more. However, being with me, it won’t be easy. I have to respect my parents and first consider your heart. Then, as these words sunk into his mind, I thought to myself: maybe I should lie. Maybe I should save him from being with someone like me. I’m too complicated. I have harsh parents, which makes harsh life. I should lie, I thought.
He spoke. I came back from arguing with myself in my mind. It seemed to me that he didn’t seem to care; that he didn’t mind. I second guessed his decision. He didn’t realize what he may be getting himself into, but I wanted him. I was happy he chose to like me anyway. Maybe that was entirely selfish and I should’ve lied, but I didn’t.
We started to chat on MSN and we would talk for hours. No one has ever spent so much time talking to me before. A lot of our conversations were about religion, contradictions, philosophies, and stories about ourselves. I was glad. I was convinced that he wanted to know what I believed in and why I believed it. He was so intelligent that sometimes I was scared to share. I was scared of how he might react. However, he kept listening. Was he getting it? Did he understand why I was who I was? I only hoped he understood; if not then I was nothing other than a freak. I was flattered by him.
Winter break was just around the corner, and I had to leave soon. We only saw each other for a couple weeks, but now I had to leave for another couple weeks back home to RP. The night before I left, we saw each other. I snuck out of my house and met him by the pool next to his neighborhood. I told him that I would try to stay in touch and that I was going to miss him. Then he kissed me.
Going back home was difficult. How could I leave the country now? He was clever, because now I would dream about his lips for the next two weeks.
Time flew by and I came back from RP. Next thing I knew, I wished to be next to him again.
Chapter 4 (Faith)
At the time, I lived in SmallTown with a combined middle and high school of 200 students at very most. It was a very small school, but knowing every face as you walked down the hallway was great. The whole school was almost like family. Usually when schools go on trips, like they did for the symposium, they would have a group of 25, or more, kids. From SmallTown’s school, we took a total of 7 students, plus one chaperone. 6 of those 7 students were guys, and the other one was me. Our chaperone sponsor was so stupid that she somehow got us there an entire day early, on the wrong plane, with the wrong tickets, with no bus, and no other schools; just one SmallTown American school in a foreign country.
After waiting at the airport forever and a day for a bus that wasn’t scheduled to come until 24 hours later, we managed to pay bus fares for a trip all the way down to the science city. It was a pain getting to our dorms, with the dormitory manager fussing about how we were an entire day early with no extra money to pay for it. After another long wait, I guess our chaperone and the manager got tired of yelling, so we were assigned to rooms.
There were 5 floors to the building; the first floor was for teachers and chaperones, the second and fourth floor were for the girls, and the third and fifth floor were for the boys. Being a girl, they gave me a room, alone, on the second floor and the rest of my SmallTown group was all on the fifth floor. This was not okay with my chaperone and the rest of my group. The guys thought it wasn’t necessary for me to be put on a separate floor than the rest of them. They kept bringing up that I’d have strangers all around me: girls from all rivalry schools. The manager fought back saying there were no other free rooms on the girl’s floor, so unless I wanted to be put on the fifth floor with the boys, I would have to deal. The vote? - All in favor of having Faith on the fifth floor - all hands went up. Our chaperone made the boys promise and swear to take absolute care of me, and keep me protected in case creepy guys from other schools try to come near my room. I was moved to the boy’s floor with the rest of my bags, a new key, and my boys having my back. All of our 7 rooms were right together, at the end of the hallway. We shuffled and traded rooms and keys to finally decide on which view and spot in the hallway we liked the best. I ended up in middle of all my group’s rooms, with one on each wall of me and the other four right across from me. I guess they really were keeping their word to keep me protected.
On the day that all schools were supposed to fly in, the groups started coming in the main doors one by one. We watched as each one of the schools checked in and headed down the hall to the elevators leading up to their rooms because we did that 24 hours ago and had nothing better to do with our time.
Throughout the week, all schools combined forces to create a huge pack of science geeks. Many students just completely BS-ed their projects for a free trip to JP. The day all the schools came in and the symposium dates actually started was the day I first saw the handsome guy slouched down on the cold floors of the corridor lounge. After dinner on the evening of the first “official” day, we were all told to be up at our dorm rooms by 10 and lights must be out by 10:30. After having an uncontrolled smile on my face all day, I glanced down the hall of the fifth floor a bit before we had to be in our rooms. No - Way. Was I really that lucky? To not only have met the most flawless person in the world earlier that day, but to also be on the same dorm floor as him? I felt my stomach fill up with butterflies the moment I saw him walk out of his room and stroll down the hall towards the wash rooms. He was walking in my direction. I was sitting on the floor outside of my dorm room with the rest of my SmallTown group, just relaxing and chatting.
He did a little half-smile at me, and I was speechless. I had to turn away after a few seconds to contain myself and make sure I wasn’t dreaming. The boys were all confused on why I suddenly was acting so strange, looked up in the guy’s direction and looked back at me. A chorus of “aww”s and “ooh”s sounded and I could feel my cheeks turning red.
The next two days were very similar to the first day. I would only see the guy from time to time, and we would exchange smiles, with my stomach-fluttering, and go about our business.
The night of the third day, something happened that was more than just a glance and an exchange of smiles. I was sitting in the hallway outside my door, honestly because I wanted to see him again before I slept and had dreams of him. At the same time he would usually walk down the hall, smile at me, and turn into the wash room before heading back to his room for the night, he kept walking down the hallway; all the way to where I was.
He plopped down next to me and he had a different smile tonight. It was more than a passing by “hello” smile; like a “I want to know you” smile. This was the first time I had seen him up close since the first day up in the corridor lounge room. It seemed unreal, just to be next to him. His new smile disappeared and sound came out from his mouth. “Hi. I guess I should probably introduce myself after seeing you pass by me countless times in the past few days.” He did exactly that and the adorable smile I was used to seeing came back to life on his face. His name was Desire, and he was quickly becoming my desire. The words he spoke after that, to me, have become a blur. I was too mesmerized just by the sound of his voice and the sparkle in his eyes to focus on anything else. He said something about having to catch up on homework before going to sleep tonight, and that we would see each other the next day and get to talk some more. We said our goodnights and he got up to walk back to his room quietly. I watched him, as he didn’t turn back once to see if I was gazing at him. I wonder if he was watching his steps to make sure he wasn’t walking too quickly, like I was the first day we exchanged words.
Chapter 5 (Hope)
I wanted Joy to be mine. I wanted, even more, to be his. I asked my parents for permission to date him. It should’ve been easy since I was 19 at the time. However, my parents (my mother really) are strict and true to their Puerto Rican stereotypes of locking their daughters up in high towers where no one can get to them. They ended up saying no. I was upset but I knew ahead of time that they (my mother) wouldn’t approve. I told Joy and he was discouraged and I just wanted to free him from ever meeting me. I knew that I was more than just complicated. We chose to still see each other. He didn’t seem to mind sneaking around to be with me. I loved that; I appreciated that. I couldn’t help but wish better for him.
I felt like it was too much stress. He shouldn’t have to endure so many restrictions; I’m the one, initially bound to them. Nevertheless, he continued to see me and I wasn’t going to stop him. He was 17 when I met him. Most people would argue my foolishness for not feeling a difference in age, I didn’t. If anything, I felt like he was older.
We didn’t see each other as much as I wish we could’ve. He went to JP about 4 times for school trips and I’ve never missed someone’s smile so much until then. He was busy. It was his senior year so that was inevitable. I missed him though. I wondered if he missed me as much as I did him. I was falling in love, I’m still falling in love; I never imagined the consistency of it.
He was going to graduate in June. Right after, he would leave to the AF Academy. I asked my parents if he could come over for dinner one evening. I invited another friend so that it wouldn’t be awkward or uncomfortable. Who was I kidding? My mother still went off the deep end. She felt like she was played. She didn’t think Joy was anything that I talked him up to be. We all know that is complete bullshit. It’s like telling your parents, “Sure, I went downtown, but don’t get mad. It’s not I was drinking or anything.” She finally calmed down and accepted the fact that she was, indeed, meeting him. I went to his parents’ house for dinner a couple times and I was happily surprised that my parents let me go.
Then the day came. I couldn’t go to the airport to see him leave but I saw him the night before. We were near my house when we said goodbye. The feeling was so strange. I’ve said goodbye plenty of times before, it’s an everyday thing with military kids. But this one was different. I was saying goodbye for 6 months to someone I was in love with. Loving him was the best part of my day. I didn’t feel miserable; I had so much hope for us. I knew I could trust him.
I only wish, now, that I would’ve evaluated my morality as much as I evaluated his. The difference between him and every other guy I’ve met was that I was set on marrying Joy. I’ve honestly have never thought of marriage so spontaneously before. It wasn’t normal for me to daydream about sharing my life with someone else. It came so easily with Joy. If I had a silly looking smile on my face, it would almost always be because I was daydreaming of us together, as a family.
Summer had the potential to be unbearable, but I know that I was better than letting that happen. The first 5 weeks went slow because Joy, being a freshman, wasn’t permitted any access to internet or phones. I missed him so much. I wrote to him. He called me twice. It was like magic when I heard his voice. My happiness would last for days without having to hear from him again. I could hear the love in his voice. I was surprised, after all that time, that he still loved me.
After the 5 weeks, he finally got through “basic” and he was about to begin classes and we finally Skyped for the first time since he left! All I could think was: wow, he’s so cute, how I missed his smile and everything about him. The way his body moved and how every atom in his atmosphere focused on him. I missed it, all of it.
Chapter 6 (Faith)
I was woken up by many voices and noises of people’s shuffling feet coming from the hallway the next morning. Still lying down, I looked to my desk and glanced over at my small stand-up mirror, and fixed my hair so I looked semi-decent in case I saw Desire this fine morning.
I had finished my exhibit project’s presentation the day before, so I didn’t need to wake up and rush to the corridor room where they were doing the rest of the exhibit presentations. Instead, I was taking my time to get ready, because today, I had a choice. I had the choice to go back to the corridor room and walk around, inspecting the rest of the exhibit presenters or go, in a little while, to the place where other students were presenting oral slideshow presentations. How did I choose? Well, it was a pretty easy decision for me, considering I remembered Desire saying something about getting a little more sleep than the rest of the science presenters. That meant he was going to get a little more sleep, get up and ready when the second-day presenters were gone, catch one of the buses later, and go to the oral presentations around lunch time. That was my choice: to go to the oral slideshow presentations in a few hours.
I grabbed my hair and face care supplies, with a new, clean set of clothes as I walked into the hallway of the fifth floor. I looked down the hall, seeing a couple last guys rushing frantically to get to the corridor room or the first bus that was leaving to the other building in a few minutes. I didn’t see him, though. It was clear. I locked my door with my key and fast-walked down the hall to the elevator; it was already at my floor so I got down to the washroom on the girls floor quickly.
After taking care of myself, I went to the dormitory lobby where there were tables and floors of people sitting with laptops. I looked around the room to where my SmallTown group was and saw his beautiful face sitting at the same table. A mass of butterflies filled my stomach at the sight of him and I walked over. Trying not to make it seem obvious I was just looking at him, I greeted the guys good morning and peered over the shoulder of one of them to see what they were doing on their computer. A while later, around the time the butterflies were flying away from my gut, Desire came over and sat next to me. He asked me how the day was so far and where I was going later that day, staying in this building - going upstairs to the corridor room, or going on a bus to the other presentations later. Hoping he would say the same, I told him I was catching a bus later. He smiled and said, “Me too.”
Until later that evening, those of us who wanted to see the oral presentations got on the bus and left behind the bored-to-death exhibit presenters. I sat with my friends on the bus, but I sat with Desire at the presentation hall. We spent the entire day watching students present science slideshows about random, useless information and experiments. Desire spent the day keeping me entertained with stories and jokes and hundreds of facial expressions. Just being next to him was fun for me. I’d rather spend the day just sitting next to him, watching him be himself and smile at me every few minutes than be anywhere else. I’ve never been so happy and so unaware of my surroundings before. That day will never erase from my memory.
We hopped back on the bus after the second day of presentations. We arrived back at the dormitory when they were finishing up dinner and everyone started heading back to their rooms. Desire and I, plus a few friends from his school, grabbed some leftovers from dinner, ate quickly, and headed up to the fifth floor. We all roamed to Desire’s room and spread out around the floor and on his bed. We knew that different genders weren’t supposed to be in each other’s rooms after certain hours, but we were having so much fun talking and hanging out that we didn’t mind.
When chaperones and teachers were starting to patrol hallways for lights out, we all closed Desire’s door and turned off the lights. It was kind of freaky being in a little bitty small dark room with people I didn’t know at all, and the guy I just met who makes my toes curl. You could hear someone’s footsteps coming down the hall, and the person’s voice was coming closer and closer, asking if students were heading to sleep. We all were getting anxious and nervous to see if they would stop at our room and we would all get busted, and were moving closer to each other for reassurance. I scooted closer to the guy I was already sitting next to, and an arm slid around me and held me close.
The teacher finally got to Desire’s room and knocked on the door. “Go to sleep in there, yeah?” they said. The guy closest to the door shivered and said in a high-pitched voice, “Yes sir.” Nobody understood why he went into a girly voice, maybe his shaky nerves got to him or something, but we all cracked up. Our giggles and laughs were audible from the hallway, I guess, but the teacher opened the door and turned on the light with a confused look on his face. We all looked at him with guilty looks in our eyes and then kept laughing. Game over. Luckily, we weren’t in trouble, we were just told to go back to our assigned rooms and go to sleep. I was suddenly very aware someone’s arm was still around me until I looked to see Desire sitting next to me with his arm disappearing somewhere behind my back. I looked him in the eye, smiled, and said the words, “Sweet dreams.” He said the same ones back and I returned back to my room, ready for the sweetest dreams of him my brain could put together.
The last day of the symposium flew by quickly. The closing ceremony finished before lunch, and all the schools went back to the dormitory. Everyone was making plans for their last free from reality. My SmallTown school and Desire’s BigCity school decided we wanted to go to the shopping mall a few blocks away for the evening. Our chaperones agreed to let us go as long as we were in pairs or groups. We all walked for almost 20 minutes down a few streets, following some students who knew where they were going. We finally got to the mall where we all split off into our own smaller groups. I stuck with Desire and 2 other girls from a city between SmallTown and BigCity. They were nice and we had a nice dinner together. After eating, they left to go look at clothes and things like that. Desire and myself spent time roaming around the floors of the mall, browsing at shiny things that we passed by while window shopping. We grabbed coffee and an interesting fruity wrap, of some sort. I think it was called a “crepe” or something like that. It was a lot of fun just hanging out and having a good time with the one guy I wanted to spend my time with.
We hurried back to get to the dormitory by curfew, and said our goodnights for the last time before heading back to our rooms to pack and go to sleep. The next day would be time to head back to homeland and to our normal lives. “Sweet dreams.” “Mm, Sweet dreams.”
Chapter 7 (Hope)
I prayed for him. I waited for him. I was excited of life with him. My parents eventually got used to the idea that I didn’t onlylike him. My father would come home with Joy’s letters in his hands. Once, he actually made me a scavenger hunt to find Joy’s letter. My father just wanted me to be happy and to enjoy the love I was feeling. I love him for that.
When I prayed, I told God that I was willing to wait however long, for Joy, for his will; I knew it’d be worth it.
However, that summer, I met Defeat through some mutual friends. My pity for others wins over me. It’s my naivety. It’s my weakness. Defeat wasn’t defeat to me, he was Lost.
I began to help out Defeat; first, with little things like homework and family issues. Then I would continue to be there for him as more than just an acquaintance, as a friend. I had come to know his parents more and I was sure to only be at his house when they were there since I knew it’s be strange otherwise.
We were complete opposites. We fought all the time about our differences in values and morals, though I tried to be understanding and to listen since that’s, initially, what he wanted.
One night, I was at his home alone. He offered me a drink and I was stupid enough to accept, hopelessly unaware of what I just signed for. He took advantage of that.
I was defeated. Defeat became Defeat to me.
Chapter 8 (Faith)
Faith Meets Hurt
For almost three whole years, I kept telling myself that Desire is all I’ll ever want and need. I convinced myself that I was in love with him. When most of our relationship was just built up in my head thinking he felt the same way about me. For almost three whole years, I made myself believe that he was the absolute best I would ever get, and that he was who I was destined to spend my life with. I made myself believe that my love for Desire was real and infinite, the one for me. Even though for years, he hurt me and he made me lose all balance; I let him control my life.
On February 8th, 2011, all of this changed. I went to a show choir national honor festival and found something I had never seen before. I guess you really won’t find what you’re looking for, until you stop looking for it.
Chapter 9 (Hope)
He was coming. Two more weeks and I would have to confess what I had done. I had spoken to Defeat and he asked me all these questions, as if we were together. I was angry and I felt so dimwitted about everything and I told him to stop making me feel like I was his, because I wasn’t.
We were sitting down eating lunch, and he just got up and left. He said that he’d never speak to me again. I was glad he said that. That way, I wouldn’t have to ever speak to him again either. I went back to work to find out that everyone knew. He told everyone, even people that don’t know me. I had people I thought were my friends, but really weren’t. Those people were quick to judge me.
I went to work anyway. Most of my closest friends aren’t where I am, so I just kept most of it in. I had Faith, who I met with to talk to and confide in, but I was scared. If my “friends” at work turned their backs, maybe Faith would too. So, I kept my secret until Faith saw it in my eyes. That phrase that people say, I never thought it was real: “I could see it in her eyes.” Faith and I sat down at a café and she just told me, “Pain is in your eyes, tell me.” It was hard to say everything and not nothing. Faith had faith in me; it was like I didn’t even feel a sense of judgment.
Joy was coming home. I went with his sister to pick him up and I didn’t say anything about it that night. The next day after work and school, he met up with me. My mind just kept telling me over and over again, “Don’t be a coward.” I didn’t really waste time, since that’s what was going on in my head, so I told him. He was angry, of course. We talked and maybe there was a bit of a loud tone, but in the end I was suckered into believing that when he told me that he forgave me, that he was being real. Because I believed him, the whole beautiful two weeks that he was here, I’ve never felt so in love. He left after two weeks and I thought that was it. He loved me and I loved him and it seemed like we were both fine with that. Perfect.
As soon as Defeat found out Joy had left, he began talking to me again. He asked me to go to his apartment or to go out places with him. He kept telling me that I was stupid and silly but I just ignored him. Sometimes he would say such horrible, inappropriate things to me that I just got so angry. I wanted to talk to someone; I needed to talk to someone. I chose the wrong person to talk to about Defeat. I chose to talk to Joy. That’s when I realized the worst out of everything. He hadn’t forgiven me yet. Not even close. I used to think that he called me and was texting me because he wanted me; that he wanted to hear my voice or know what I was doing because he loved and me and that he was curious.
A few months later, I finally realized that none of that was true. I hated realizing that it wasn’t because he loved and cared for me, but because he wanted to know where I was and what I was doing because he didn’t know if he could trust me again. I prayed and asked God to make me see what he sees, what Joy sees, so that I could be okay with how long Joy was going to take to let it go. Maybe it’s my fault; he’s two years younger than I, so maybe I was asking far too much from him.
My first boyfriend, he was definitely not as sweet or amazing as Joy. He cheated on me plenty of times, but I knew it was because I wasn’t giving him what he wanted. I probably shouldn’t have been his girlfriend. There was really no point because he wanted what I wasn’t ready to give and all I wanted was a best friend. That’s what I was to him, that’s why it wasn’t only easier to forgive him, but easier to realize I could be just as bad. Now, I can finally say, I’m just as bad. I’m finally what I knew anyone could be, no matter how angelically good you are. I hated being put up in a pedestal before when I was younger. Being up on that pedestal just sets you up for failure. It’s like being in the spotlight when you’re in the one spot that you don’t want anyone to see you in.
The weeks were passing by and as I thought things were getting better, things just got worse. I felt so insecure, so unsure, and embarrassed for loving someone that I’d hurt and they might just not have the strength to forgive me. A good friend had told me that I was rushing him to heal and I thought, “Well, that makes sense.” The things he said to me sometimes really hurt. I tried ignoring them and letting them go just as much as I wanted him to do the same. I would gladly be his doormat, I thought. A good friend of mine came to me and told me about leaving him, just for now. I thought the idea was all kinds of ridiculous. I wasn’t going to take that advice, I kept telling myself. I wanted so bad to just love him and have it work because we were strong enough. I whined about what she suggested for me and Joy. His reply was surprising as he said that he thought it was a good idea. During our conversation, I wasn’t shaking nervous or breaking down in any way, so I thought maybe this is what is right. He wanted to set the time apart for later, but I wanted it to happen earlier. We agreed not to speak to each other and then we’d see each other at the end of the month. I get to see him in less than two weeks; we haven’t spoken in a couple weeks, which have felt like forever. I miss him, and this is where I am now.
Chapter 10 (Faith)
The entire evening before and morning the day of, I was already dreading the day ahead of me. I really didn’t want to go all the way to another school almost an hour away, just for a choir festival. All the singers in my school’s show choir wanted to stay home, just not go on the bus at all. But for some strange reason, the morning of the trip, I packed my concert clothes, charged my phone, and was ready to head to the bus.
We got to the school, and the group of girls I was with started getting comfortable. We were paying attention, trying to learn our music with the rest of the choir, and ended up having a lot of fun. After a few hour-long rehearsals and breaks, more and more directors, conductors, and accompanists started coming in to work with us.
The girls in my alto section all were going crazy over the CH music director. They wouldn’t shut up about how funny and attractive he was, and how he looked so young. But the CH director wasn’t who caught my attention. There was a guy sitting behind the piano, and throughout the whole day, while the girls were gazing at the director, I was staring at the accompanist.
A girl who was standing behind me in a warm-up rehearsal told me she went to the school we were at, and she also pointed out who else was from that school. She mentioned a few in the soprano section, a few guys in the middle of the standing risers, and then she pointed to the pianist, “Oh, and Hurt.” My insides fluttered. But I didn’t want to show to anyone that I was interested in someone other than the popular vote.
My friends figured it out throughout the day that I was staring off at a person other than who they were staring at. And by the end of the day, my friends were all determined to get me to catch his attention or talk to him if I couldn’t do so. Just my luck, he wouldn’t look my direction during rehearsals; at least that was what I thought.
After the final concert that we’d been working towards all day, a few of the alto girls kept pushing me towards the accompanist’s direction. I had to go introduce myself in some way, and say something nice to him. I had to have something “dangling” to keep him to keep wanting to talk to me. You know how girls are. So I walk over to him, not able to feel any part of my body from being so nervous, and I said something along these lines:
“Hi. I just wanted to thank you for being so amazing at piano, and congratulate you on a great concert.” All he said to me was, “Thanks. I appreciate it.” But it didn’t seem like he appreciated my gesture. His words sounded so flat and dull, that it came out like, “Kay, that’s nice. Now get out of my face.” I was so. blown away. I guess I was expecting a nicer response from the gentleman I had built up in my head all day.
So I went home, disappointed at a waste of my day. Got home, got on Facebook - and started adding people I had met at the choir festival. I got to Hurt’s page, and contemplated on if i should add him or not. “What the heck, why not,” I thought. He accepted the request a few days later, but no words were exchanged.
About two or three weeks after the Facebook add, I went on a “like” spree on my Newsfeed. I guess I “liked” one of Hurt’s statuses, because that day, he sent me a message asking if I was one of the girls from the festival before. We talked back and forth for a while, and in no time, we exchanged Skype names. He tried to defend himself saying his response to me after the concert wasn’t supposed to be rude in any way, but I still think otherwise.
About two months later, we started dating. March 19th, 2011 was the official starting “date.”
Chapter 11 (Hope)
My family and I are on the highway back to SL. It’s been two weeks already that we’ve been in the states. I saw Joy during the first weekend we were here. Driving to where he was, I was full of anxiety with just as much of excitement. We arrived at his school and I thought so many thoughts since we haven’t spoken for so long. [Should I hug him? Should I kiss him? Should I hold in all the tears that I desperately wanted to let go? Would he even want to embrace me?] I was informed by a trusted friend that when I saw Joy that everything would be okay. Of course I hoped that my friend was right.
My father took us to the lodge and I was going to meet him in just a matter of time. Time is such a commodity in this world. Pacing the lodge room, I tried my hardest to push all the discouraging thoughts out my heart. I was so nervous and excited that I became a creeper and watched the window like an owl patrolling its woods. I finally saw him and ran out of my room and hugged him. He hugged me back and I was happy enough to be ‘enough’ for that hug. His best friend and a girl were accompanying us to a fun night. In the car, I struggled not to seem as nervous as my sweating, nauseated body. We spoke to each other like we’ve never kissed. I hated that, but I also loved it because he was at least talking to me.
He gave me a book that he told me to read. Turns out I’ve actually had my own copy but I’ve never had the guts to brush off the dust and read the pages. Our first stop was at Jumpstart. I enjoyed his friends’ company. I’m not sure how much they knew but I thanked God for not feeling judged by them. Jumpstart is apparently a kid sort of place full of trampolines and games. I was out of breath jumping and dodge-balling little kids whose talents passed ours but it was still in an ‘awkward stage’ with Joy. Next, we left to go to a comedy show. Sitting there, surrounded by a crowd laughing and sharing life, he held my hand. Maybe this doesn’t mean much to people but for me this was colossal. After, we went to dinner; I was much more relaxed. In the restroom, the girl who was with us (let us name her Trust) asked me how things were going between Joy and me. I tried being brief about it but after not making any sense, I gave up hiding and retold my fallen story.
At that point of time I felt great thankfulness to God. C.S. Lewis once said, Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” That restroom became a safe haven in just those brief minutes. Her story certainly isn’t the same as mine but enough for God to whisper encouragement to me, “You are not alone, do not surrender. Are you still willing to live for me or for yourself?” The rest of dinner together was sweet and there was no reason for me to pout because I knew, then, it would be okay.
In the car ride back, he asked me how I was doing. We talked like we used to and I was content. That night I went to sleep sure that things were getting better. The next day we spent with my family traveling in the area. I love his heart. He’s sweet and relaxed around my sisters, my family. We dropped him off in his area that night and said goodbye. The entire week I read and meditated on his book. I then took notes because it was so right and I was so wrong having not read it before. The words spoke right to me.
At the end of the week I was finished and he called me. He told me that he thinks that we should just be friends. I was sitting in our hotel room in HC. My family was unpacking and watching TV. My brother just graduated from his university so we had three relatives with us as well. I had no choice but to hold in my tears. His reasons are good enough and he means good but to lose hope again, here I am. Since last Sunday, we haven’t spoken. He has exams anyway and I’ve never been good at dropping daydreams. I always daydream of life with him. I don’t want to let it go.
Prayer has increased and my endurance is being tested every passing moment. If I don’t want to dread about life without him, I have to be in constant prayer or reading Psalms. I’m actually writing my own. There are exactly 150 Psalms in the Bible right now, I’ve got 2. Whenever I whine and complain, especially to God, I always get the same response, “Believe in me.”
Chapter 12 (Faith)
Earlier this year, I was selected for a pacific-wide music Far East festival, where the best musicians from all around are chosen through an intensive mp3-audition trial. On the 13th of May, the festival officially started. Life was great. I had everything together: my family, friends, and my relationship with my boyfriend. All these things were simply ‘smooth sailing.’ Nothing could stop me, or so I thought.
The start of the festival was lovely. I met new people every day, and it was almost like living a real-life Glee set. The people I would hang out with during rehearsals and after practices to go eat and explore, would burst out in random song and harmony, not caring who was watching or caring. I loved my life. ‘I was surrounded by the best musicians in the pacific, I had the best friends ever, and I was loved by my amazing boyfriend,’ was my thought.
All until the evening of the 16th. I was walking back through the subway station towards our hotel where we were staying, and I got a call from Hurt. “Can you talk?” he asked. “Sure? Is something wrong?” I replied. It all went downhill from there. Think of the worst things your boyfriend could say to you [while callously chuckling], put them all together, mesh all the emotions in the world together, and a flood of tears over it, and that’s what that one phone call did to me.
He told me I wasn’t as perfect as he thought I was when he first met me. He said we were too different to be together, and he didn’t want to “struggle” with it anymore. Speechless after hearing these things, I was shaking from nervousness and anger. I asked him, “So have these past few months meant nothing to you? Was it all a joke?” He said, “Yes.” Again speechless, I finally got out the words to say, “So you lied to me?” “Yes, from the very beginning,” he replied.
I didn’t think guys actuallyplayed girls like he played me. I thought that was only in movies where the guy is a total jerk and uses the girl and throws her to the side, but I guess not. I’ve now personally witnessed this cruelty from a man I put all my love and trust into. Hurt would always keep trying to go farther and farther, even when I told him I just wasn’t ready.
I’m so thankful to not have gone as far as letting him go where he wanted. I don’t think it was me though. My body, physically, wanted him. I mean, I thought I was in love with the guy, I wanted it to happen. But every time he would inch too close, I would turn or push him away. I know now that it was God watching over me. He knew from the start it wasn’t the time. He gave me the strength to stop things before they got out of hand, and for that, I’m truly thankful. I do feel used, disgusting, and thrown to the side. But I would feel even more used and disgusting if I hadn’t pushed Hurt away.
Chapter 13 (Hope)
It now becomes harder to complain. I’m now reminded about what life is; not living for myself, but for Him. The saying, “He died for me, I live for Him,” reminds me of how selfish I’ve been. I remember how wrong it was for me to hinder Joy’s relationship with Him. I’ve never thought that I would hurt anyone, even someone that I could hate. So how did I do that to someone that I claim to love? Things happen like that every day.
My mother has this saying when my siblings and I ask to do something that is slightly immoral (like “just” going to a guy’s house). She would say, “Okay, then I will bake you some brownies. I’m ‘just’ going to put only a tiny bit of poop in it though, cool with you?” Of course, she used the French word for poop to enhance the meaning, and I’ve always hated that saying but missed how sincerely truthful it is. Of course I don’t want that little bit of “poop” in my brownie. I still wanted what I wanted at that moment, never realizing where our choices take us.
An excerpt from Joshua Harris’ book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”, (the one I was too scared to read before that Joy gave me): “My nail puller, simple as it might seem,” the father explained, “is one of the most important tools I have.” This father told the story of how once, while in the middle of building a wall, he discovered that it was crooked. Instead of halting the construction and undoing a little work to fix the wall, he decided to proceed, hoping that the problem would go away as he continued to build. However, the problem only worsened.
Eventually, at a great loss of materials and time, he had to tear down the nearly completed wall and totally rebuild it. “Stephen,” the father said gravely, “times will come in life when you realize you’ve made a mistake. At that moment, you have two choices: You can swallow your pride and ‘pull a few nails.’ or you can foolishly continue your course, hoping the problem will go away. Most of the time the problem will only get worse. I’m giving you this tool to remind you of this principle: When you realize you’ve made a mistake, the best thing you can do is tear down the wall and start over.”
The best thing that I can do is tear down what’s hurting me because of my mistakes and to move on.
It’s hard to forgive myself still. I’ve never had any talents or cool things to be labeled by. I’m not intelligent or witty, and I don’t beam of beauty or grace. I don’t even have any genuine interests other than God. Hence, it has always been hard to clique into the world any other way. After meeting and loving Joy, I felt like this was it. The way I show my love to him can show God and initially show me. I wonder if God laughs at my irony just a little; maybe He is completely used to it.
Imagine, I was a talented, world-famous pianist, known for perfection and poise. During the extravagant concert, I mess up the climax. No encore there. I don’t know what God is doing. Do we ever? Anyway, I will always believe that at the end of the day, it’s about Him and not me and all the things I want; even when the thing I want is amazing.
SL is gorgeous. Seeing these mountains make me want live here. My little sisters are riding on the carousel inside this festival in the city. I was lucky, more blessed and spoiled, to get a message from Joy this morning. He still thought of me? Our hotel is deep inside the city and far from where we are now. We’re right next to the ocean walking along the pier. Again, my mind has thought of him since I’ve waken and how to draw my attention to anything but the possibility of us not getting back together. I should probably start to avoid any benches, because every time I sit down, I think of him.
I live in RK, but I have to move. I applied to go to a university near him. There really wasn’t any other reason that I can come up with; just him. I’m supposed to make decisions based on what God wants, since I’m living for Him, but I didn’t know where else to go. My family lives in a Hispanic homeland, RP, but I don’t remember enough Spanish to have the guts to go there. I didn’t apply to go where my family is moving to because they didn’t find out until a week prior. So my instincts tell me to go where my love will be. Maybe my ‘common sense’ isn’t so common anymore.
A while ago, I was set against going to school where he was. I thought-that’s so codependent. It bothered me because I sadly cared what others would think. I only figured God wanted me to go because I have yet to be given another idea. Of course, if I get in and he doesn’t want me still, I’ll still go. I have to. It would sure be grandest of punishments. What he did was courageous. God knew that I didn’t have the courage to propose to ‘just be friends.’ I remember asking God about Joy and I. I didn’t want to break up with him, so if God didn’t want him for me, I would always ask God to make Joy break up with me instead. I didn’t want to break his heart again. I’d rather have mine broken for his sake.
Chapter 14 (Faith)
By far, the worst part of that entire phone call wasn’t when my tears started taking over the rest of me and as the flood from my eyes turned into waterfalls, it was when I could hear him laughing on the other end. Bittersweet; he was getting a kick out of my pain. “Goodbye Hurt,” I managed to say. He caught his breath after chucking, and after a long pause he said, “Goodbye Faith.”
The rest of that night was a living hell. I was uncontrollably shaking and crying my eyes out, with no intention of stopping. I picked up my phone and called the first person who I saw on my favorites list. He answered and heard my voice trembling, and right away told me he was coming to get me. In no time, he came to my rescue. Let us name him ‘Save’. If it wasn’t for Save I would have been left alone on the floor of the hallway, stranded and abandoned. I’m thankful for God putting him in my life to take care of me.
The next night, the rehearsals took forever and I didn’t think I would make it through them. Finally, when we got out for dinner and had the rest of the night before curfew, a huge group of people from SmallTown, BigCity, and a few other places in JP wanted to go to karaoke. I was totally up for this plan. Maybe I can just scream out my anger and loss; maybe it’ll make me feel better. So I accepted the invitation. A group of, about, twenty students ended up going, and on the way to the nearest karaoke place a friend and I bought bottles of orange juice and a few green bottles. We spiked our cups of orange juice, and it ceased a lot of the pain for the rest of the night. Save helped us walk back in straight lines to the hotel and back to our rooms before curfew, so nothing stupid happened to either of us.
I laid in my bed that night, finally realizing that it’s time to move on. It’s time to stop relying on guys to fill empty spaces in my heart, and start understanding that before I can have a long-term successful relationship, I need to have trust in myself and in God. “Have ‘faith,’ Faith,” Hope would always tell me. It seems easy and as if it would be second-nature because if my name is ‘faith,’ then I should have faith. I’m finally starting to realize that I don’t need to put my faith in other people before myself. Guys will come, steal my heart, sweep me off my feet, and leave, but these are only temporary tests and ‘glimpses of love’ from God.
Chapter 15 (Hope)
My days are full of pain. The first day back to work, my coworker picked up my left hand. I was confused at first but after a long stare, I realized what they were looking for. Defeat joked all day about me seeing “my husband.” My boss and my boss’ boss asked about my ‘namjachingoo’ and I had no strength to tell the truth.
Coming home, I wanted so bad to cry in either my mother’s or father’s arms, but I have yet to speak of it. My mother was not for it and now she was supporting it, and my father loved me with Joy. How could I tell them? My mother would retrace back to her first thoughts and my father wouldn’t know what to do with me.
A few days later, as my boss held another woman’s child, we both smiled at him and tried to make the little baby boy laugh and giggle. She looked at me and told me, “Yours with Joy should look about the same.” That moment was so bittersweet. The thought was sweet but was it even possible anymore? I had spoken to Joy earlier this week, but I have a hard time believing that it was really him.
My other friends are coaching me to stand up for myself, even to those I love, so when I was hurt in the slightest way, I expressed it. I know all this worrying will not get me anywhere. Why do I still worry? It hasn’t completely hit me yet. I still hope. Maybe it’s dangerous for me to be Hope right now.
Chapter 16 (Faith)
Desire broke my heart. He goes back and forth making me spin, losing my balance and control. Sometimes he wants to be a sweetheart and sweep me off my feet, but other times just treats me like he treats all the other girls. As confusing as he made the relationship, he always ran away from expressing his feelings. This is why I decided to let God control my heart and guard it for my ‘true love,’ whoever that may be. I hope that someday, Desire may be the one for me in the future, but I know better than to put my ‘faith’ in Desire - but in God.
When I walk the hallways of my school, I walk with pride. Normally, I can talk to any guy. Any guy I walk past, or any guy that stops me at their locker. Flirting is like a first language to me, so why is it so hard with Desire? It’s almost like he steals my words from my mouth so I can’t use them to speak to him. Does he do this so often that he’s become the professional?
It might sound really bad, and try not to take this as a conceited thought, but for me, it’s always been easy to talk to guys and get them to fall for me. Guys are easy to flatter, which makes the game all the easier for me. For once, in this case, not only can I not get the words out to flatter him, but if I do end up getting any words out from my head, it doesn’t seem to have much of a flattering effect as it does with any other guy.
It’s almost like a competition with him. So far, I’m not winning, and I don’t like to lose.
Chapter 17 (Hope)
I asked Joy if he was completely ‘done’ with me. I am tired but I know he is more tired. I am discouraged but I know that he is more discouraged. I feel let down but I know that he feels more let down.
I spoke to a coworker this past Tuesday. He is in his 40’s and is to become a supervisor. He is the wisest and the only person I can ‘really’ confide in at work. He is the one I spoke to about the entire situation. We haven’t spoken in a while since I was gone, so I told him how things were going. He told me about his love story.
His wife is 4 years older than he is. They both were in the Air Force but she was a Captain and he was enlisted. Because of being affiliated with each other of having a high range of ranks, people began to talk. He told me that being in the military is not appreciated. He told me of how she got deployed away because of their relationship rapidly growing, and he said that he knew that it was because of him. After she came back, she got out of the Air Force. Though she never spoke of it, he knows that she got out to be with him.
She began to work at the PX (a retail store on base). Though she came down from high rank, he noticed that she never complained or whined; she just loved him. He told me that her actions are what sold him. He knew that she loved him. This was love. This was sacrifice. They just had their 19th anniversary that weekend. I can only hope for that kind of commitment in my life.
One of my best friends is back to KS and she experienced the exact same situation as me. Why did God have us be friends? To encourage each other is what I think. It hurt a little for me though. Her boyfriend worked through their problems. He worked a lot to get where they are. He is speaking to me right now, asking me advice on what her ring should look like. She has no idea. She will be loved. She is loved.
Unconditional love is so fragile. We are so rough with love, we don’t realize how quickly or easily we can break it. I spoke to Joy’s best friend today. Speaking to him actually made me feel so much joy. He told me to be patient and to understand. I will be patient. I told Joy that I would wait, as long as it would take. So in the end, even if he chooses to be ‘done’ with me, I can’t break my promise. His answer to my question: he said no; he isn’t ‘done.’ Instead of saying that I’ll have hope in him, I’m going to say that I’ll have hope in Him, my heavenly father.
Chapter 18 (Faith)
I didn’t have to go to the choir festival. I didn’t have to be in the big combined festival choir. I didn’t have to talk to the alto behind me. I didn’t have to go up to Hurt after the concert. I didn’t have to add him on Facebook. I didn’t have to like his random status. I didn’t have to talk to him after school. I didn’t have to go to his school again that week for soccer. Everything with Hurt happened by providence. None of this had to happen, it just did. But just because it was all providence to meet and fall for each other, doesn’t mean it was destined to last.
Some guys are hard to talk to, hard to relate with, and extremely hard to get anywhere serious with. But not all hope is gone. For me, Desire is the only one that I’m comfortable with, and I always have been from the start. He’s my exception. He’s one of a kind, at least to me. He’s my one guy that’s different from all the others I’ve ever met. He’s not a jerk that will play me and throw me to the side. He does take the words out of my mouth so I cannot speak, and he does make me chase him. But who doesn’t like a little chase?
After a long hiatus of any exchanged words, Desire sent me a message. At first it was only “hey :)”, but from then on - I knew already it was happening all over again. Since that one message, we’ve been messaging back and forth like we never had any separation. It’s not as love-vomit talk as it used to be, but it’s just nice to talk to him again; just knowing that he’s there and alive and breathing and happy, that makes me happy.
I don’t really understand why he keeps coming back; it’s really strange too. I went to a “girls’ night” bonfire the other day at Hope’s house, and we were all talking about how I haven’t talked to Desire in a while and how strange the silence from him has been. Not even five minutes after we had that conversation, my phone buzzed with his “hey :)” message.
Recently, I had a long talk with one of the girls that was at the bonfire. She actually became one of Hope’s and my closest friends while we’ve lived in RK. We call her ‘Peace.’ The name is fitting because when we’re with this girl, she makes us feel so comfortable and relaxed. It’s very easy for us to talk to her and relate to her, which puts our hearts at peace.
The long talk was about fate and soul mates. I was telling Peace that I didn’t believe in soul mates. I do believe that there are people better suited for each other, but I don’t believe that God has placed one particular person on this Earth, just for you. Peace disagreed; she told me she thinks there are soul mates picked for everyone or, at least, “there is one person that will make you try harder in your life, whether or not that means to make them happy. That person will get you to sacrifice many of the things about yourself in order to secure them in your life.” By the end it turned into a debate, but we both understood each other’s perspective.
I don’t believe in soul mates, but I do believe in God’s will. So I do believe God places certain people in our lives for a reason; whatever that reason may be. Saying that, I believe God has placed Desire in my life for a reason. I’m against the idea of “soul mates,” but that may just be because I’m afraid of losing mine.
Hope meets Integrity
I was tired. I was tired of putting myself in Joy’s shoes. I was tired of hoping since he broke up with me anyways. Whatever hope he might have given was disqualified by his actions. I am glad that I let go of having hope in Joy, and rather having hope in ‘Him,’ my God.
During s’mores night with Faith, Peace and another great friend, Peace finally got it into my head that Joy indeed broke up with me. It was finally making sense; It sank in and hurt. I’ve been working hard after that to simply put my trust in ‘Him.’
This past weekend was amazing. This whole week is amazing. I went out with friends to eat dinner and I met Integrity. Integrity is a soldier here and he has the most amazing smile that I have ever seen. I chose to call him Integrity because after meeting him that first night, he brought my integrity back. “Bad company corrupts good character,” and he is my good company that has brought me my hope again. He is certainly the new joy in my life. Knowing him and meeting him was all it took for me to be happy again. God definitely used him and still is by encouraging me, and helping me realize what’s important. He is ‘Integrity’ because of his best quality being honesty. He reminded me that there’s always hope. I feel honest again. I feel worthy again. I feel “good enough” again. Integrity, thank you for bringing me back mine.
That first night I met him, he never stopped smiling and surprisingly.. neither did I. I was smiling, can you imagine? Not just a smile, but grinning until my jaw hurt from smiling so much. While we walked, we spoke together and talked about everyday things. After being satisfied with dinner, we all went to eat ice cream. I choose the Pom Pom Pomegranate flavor and he chose the Shooting Star flavor. The Shooting Star flavor was baby blue had pop rocks in it. Integrity let me taste some of his ice cream and he also had some of mine.
He never stopped smiling; not even when ice cream was between his lips, he never stopped his gorgeous smile from glowing. After ice cream, I left to go home which is when I had s’mores night with Faith and Peace. They had walked over to meet me and they saw him walking with me. Faith already knew everything that was going through my mind, everything. She asked me how I felt and I told her. I told her that I was a bit disappointed in myself. Could it be so quick? So easy of a recovery? After just talking to him, Integrity made me feel worth it. Integrity made me feel human once again, lovely once again, beautiful.
That same night, Defeat called Integrity. Defeat found out about us going out with friends and I really didn’t expect what happened next. Apparently, Defeat asked questions about his intentions with me and later said, “Hope isn’t worth it.” Integrity told me he told him that it was for him to decide and that so far, I was worth it.
The next day I went out again with friends and Integrity was there. We bonded more than I thought we would that night. He asked me about what Defeat was talking about and why he would say the things that he did. I didn’t think that I’d give in so easily, but I told him. I told him everything. I told him about Joy, I told him about Defeat, I told him about my lost hopes. His face was down, but only for about a couple of seconds. I thought he would say something that I’ve been hearing. Something like, “I hope things get better; it is what it is; I can’t believe you did that to Joy; what goes around comes around;” etc. Instead, he said that he was sorry. He said that he was sorry that I was going through it. He was sweet, so sweet and understanding enough to say that.
I woke up the next morning with him on my mind. I actually couldn’t fall back to sleep because there was too much of him on my mind. Really God? You let me meet this wonderful, amazing, smile-king now? Out of all times or moments, why meet him before I move across the world? God, why are you allowing this? I just got out of an almost-two year relationship and now I’m bedazzled and swooned by this guy. He has beguiled me in just a matter of just a few true and real moments.
I told Integrity that I was eternally thankful; thankful for meeting him because it was more than enough. Just meeting him alone made me feel worthy again and I owe him thanks. Let me rephrase that: I owe ‘Him’ all my thanks.
Chapter 20 (Faith)
I’m jealous of couples that live in the same country, same town, same city, same school, same hemisphere. But I’m also really mad at how much those same couples are taking what they have for granted. I wish with all that I can ever wish for that I could be holding hands, right now, walking alongside the man I love. I wish he would walk me to class and kiss me before he says, “See you soon.”
Do you all not see how lucky you are? You have it easy. You have it so easy as to see the person you have feelings for on a daily basis, when I’m sitting here - lucky if I catch the guy I love once every few weeks to talk, and usually it’s only for a few minutes at a time.
Don’t take what you have for granted. I see you guys walking around together and screaming at each other for no apparent reason.. stop it. Make the most of what you have. Be thankful you live on the same side of the world as that person you’re with, like i wish i could be. Instead of screaming at each other, how about start appreciating having each other.
I’m sure most people have probably heard the phrase: “You never know what you got till it’s gone.” It’s true, you really don’t.
Chapter 21 (Hope)
My friends and I went to the pool. (Yes, Integrity came along.) and we laid on the floor, listened to music, began to write to each other in his notebook. We weren’t speaking with words but we were writing with them. I asked him - what his full name was, when he was born and where - questions like these. I’ve learned that he’s creative. He wrote my name in pretty letters as if a calligraphist wrote it.
Afterwards, we went to go eat dinner with my friends and a couple of his friends as well. During dinner, I spoke well with his friend who sat in front me because he is also a believer. I could tell just by what he was saying that he didn’t mess around in life, but that he knew real truth. Integrity then spoke about how he wasn’t a believer, but how he tried to be. I don’t know what his friend told him later on that night, but it was enough. Enough to have him know ‘Him.’ He told me the next day that he believed. Honestly, I had thought that he already had. How could he have that beautiful smile and heart without believing?
I asked him to help me working with the middle school’s youth group. He came with me and helped me with the games. He smiled so many times; it was hard for me to focus on the kids. After the youth group, I took him to meet the leaders of the Bible study group that I go to. Let’s call them ‘Strength’ and ‘Understanding.’ He met them, and we talked for a while until we walked home together.
Strength and Understanding are married and have four children. They have strong foundations in their faith, and they set a great standard for the rest of their household. They were walking in front of us, and Integrity pointed out how he wants what they have. (I want it too.) Nowadays, there are so many divorces, so many break ups, and so many pity give-ups. Neither of us want to be like that.
This week, I invited Integrity to come to the Bible study. I met up with Understanding for coffee before, and I told her how everything was happening so fast that I wasn’t sure what was going on. She assured me that things were going to be okay and that I shouldn’t be ‘cradling’ Joy. This whole time, I’ve been making excuses for him and the way he’s acted towards everything. It hurt to hear it but it was something that I needed to be told. She wanted to know more about Integrity, but I told her that I barely knew enough for myself. All I could tell her was that he was something I wish I could have.
After coffee, I walked to where Integrity was, and we walked together to Bible study. Faith took me out of the apartment and shared an entry in her journal that she wrote in the middle of the Bible study discussion. Faith said it felt as if God took over her writing and was talking to me through her paper; Faith was only the messenger. The page included things like: “Don’t be afraid,” “Past is past,” and how I shouldn’t be afraid of moving forward. Oh how my excitement grew at that moment.
Integrity’s smile grew larger as the night got longer. I’m finally home, in this crazy life of mine. I am to leave soon, in about two months. Joy comes back in two weeks and I am here in the midst of all this. Even if I am never to see Integrity again, I am grateful. Grateful to have met someone who has lifted my heart up again where it should be. My heart certainly isn’t as strong as it once was, but it will get stronger.
Fragile love; we don’t know what true love is. We don’t know real love. Real love is sacrifice, selflessness. Real love is “patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-8