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Jillian’s P.O.V:  

There is always hope. There is always joy. This does not mean that everyone is hopeful and joyful. 

Customs, traditions, and society’s standards convince you that contentment is reached by having what is considered to be “normal”, the criteria includes: a stable job, a wonderful career (preferably doctor, lawyer, engineer, architect, pharmacist), a husband who is prominent amongst the current society (also preferably doctor, lawyer, engineer, architect, pharmacist), kids who are academically and socially ahead, and a big fat smile inching from ear to ear to reveal this so called contentment. All others who live beyond this notion are outcasts, discards. How funny it is to be an outcast! One would assume deviation from approved normality is something enforced upon the individual by society, yet never assume that the choice of being different is well…a choice. A decision. A resolution. I was never different. I always fell into the pattern of normality so perfectly. Never even thought of deviation, or becoming an outcast, or rebelling. Always having this incessant need to become the perfect daughter, friend, student, loved one, fiancé… I depended on conditions to be accepted. Depended on people for approval. Does it have to be this way? Constantly seeking and chasing after sanction? Is the true meaning of living; to gain other’s consent?

 “Can you come over for dinner?” I asked suddenly.

“Jillian…” she was starting to object, “I insist Cici, mother will be glad to see you”, then I continued revealing my ulterior motive, “And you are the only person in months to ever listen to me without criticizing or attempting to preach, you understand what I am going through, we have the similar condition, well not the same reasons that lead to the same condition, but nevertheless the same. I am sure you need me as much as I need you.”

It is quite odd how life turns around, how it operates, how it circulates. Here I am sitting with this person I haven’t seen for over a decade, yet I am pleading with her as if she were some life line or some beckon of hope at the end of a tunnel. I needed her in my life again, I needed someone I could empathize with. I cannot stand another lecture on the consequences of leaving my brilliant fiancé.

My fiancé…Zen…I wondered how was he doing. I felt a sudden jolt, a skip in a heartbeat, this minuscule ache. I missed him. I did not feel very terrible, it was just a feeling remnant from past affections. I put thoughts of him in a box, and sent them to him the day following our breakup. As I was packing his stuff, I turned my watch to see what time it was, and there it was; the watch he gave me. People, not going through depression or a current numb state, usually shed tears of regret and sadness over such a loss, so I unclasped the watch and placed on the top of the pile of stuff which were in the box. This felt final. It was like an abrupt end to a movie you were watching, but instead of being the heroine deprived from her lover, I was the director orchestrating this sudden scene. He did not want this, yet I needed this. I cannot withstand this continuous chain of repeated events. My engagement to him, our engagement, was a pattern I needed to be relieved from. Also out of respect to him and the fondness of our memories, I needed to relieve him, whether he approved or not. He cannot start a life with a person who is on the verge on giving up on living.  

“You miss him don’t you?” my train of thoughts was broken.

“I don’t know. I think I do. But it is not that terrible. It is bearable.” I said with a straight face.

“Jillian, now you are in a state of unresponsiveness, believe me, it hurts. Separation and relinquishment are unbearable. Trust me.” Her voice poured with sadness. I did believe her, she was forced into separation. I chose it willingly.

“I guess at a certain point, I will. Miss him. But currently I do not regret what I have done, because it is done. No point in regretting past actions, only living their consequences and hopefully outgrow them. I do not even believe in a destiny involving us.”

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