A love letter to the men I love

So different, they are.

I often joked that if they were one man, not two, he would be perfect.

But there is no perfect man, my friends say. Oh, yes, but together, they were perfect. To me.

Explain to me, then, why it is that each is what the other isn’t. Why their birthdates are each other’s, reversed.

One is dark, one is fair.

One doesn’t have very good English yet speaks charmingly. The other’s English is good but he speaks as though behind a baklava.

One spent his teen years and early 20s working to provide for his siblings, thanks to an absent father and an indolent stepfather. The other’s known a simple, nuclear family upbringing.

One is working so damn hard to keep himself in university, almost giving up that he’d ever get there. The other squeaked through because he found he really shouldn’t have taken the course in the first place.

One is far away from me, yet stays close to my heart. The other is so near, but he might as well be on another continent.

And if they were ever to meet, I think the only thing they would have in common is me.

I love the first one like I love air. When I met him, my knees buckled and I stopped breathing. Like some sappy scene from a torrid romance novel. And even through tears and trials, we always come back to each other. Like magnets of different polarities; it’s futile to resist the pull that’s kept us together. Even the other once wryly observed, after our umpteenth falling-out, that there was no cause to worry because the man I loved would come back. He always did.

And the other, oh, I love him like blood. Like flesh, like my right arm. He’s like a ghost limb – though amputated, I still feel it there.

So maybe it’s fitting that as things cement with one, it crumbles with the other.

Balance? Fate?

I don’t know anymore. I only know what I feel right now. As I find myself still getting to know one, I wonder if I ever really knew the other.

What use the wondering? Why can’t I move on and leave the past where it is – memories, tears and anniversaries, books and plays and lies and anguish and bitter recrimination?

Because there’s such a fine line between sayang and cinta – that’s why it hurts to lose either. And having one doesn’t necessarily make up for losing the other.

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