A Decade

An almost-relationship that dragged on for a full 10 years. Brace yourself for an extremely long post, it’ll be worth it.

Name: ISAAC
Origin: KL, Malaysia
Ethnicity: Malay-Chinese
Height: 5″10
First impression: The popular kid, the player
Age: 1 year older

When it came to Isaac, the song “Lips of an angel” comes to mind.

I was 18 when we met in college. We were classmates. Coincidentally, we were neighbors too!

We got along instantly. Well, Isaac gets along with everyone with a snap of a finger. He was charming, charismatic and everybody seemed to love him. I definitely did.

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We hung out at the apartment’s pool the night we met and within a week, I started sneaking off to the poolside every night. He would sing my favourite songs, kept me entertained with his endless stories and jokes, stared at the stars or just simply sat in silence enjoying each others company. He called me Goddess Tess. I felt like together, we could take on the world.

There was a strong emotional connection and we both felt it.

Waitttt.. why was I sneaking around?

At that point I was in a 1.5 years relationship with Leo. You won’t find a post dedicated to him anywhere on this site. I’ve nothing to say about the relationship other than the fact that we argued and screamed at each other almost daily. Leo was possessive, manipulative, jealous, controlling, sensitive and demanding. For the love of my life, I still don’t know why I was in that dysfunctional relationship for such an extremely long time.

As time went by, I introduced Isaac to my friends. First Jenna, who at times snuck up on us at the pool when I didn’t answer my phone. Then Sherry, my other best friend who would have every boy she meets drool at her feet.

I attempted to end it with Leo but he cried like a baby and literally begged on his knees for me to stay. For real, I am not being dramatic. It seemed that through all the arguments, the guy really loved me and I did not have the heart to say no or give that up for a guy I’ve only just met a couple of months.

Sherry knew about my crush on Isaac. But she immediately developed one for him too! Knowing I would never leave Leo, she gave me the ultimatum;

Her: Are you gonna leave Leo for Isaac?
Me: No
Her: Then I’m sure you wouldn’t mind if I went for it, right?
Me: …. Sure..

It wasn’t even up for negotiation. Sherry was marking her property and telling me to back off indirectly. If I really were to break up and go for Isaac, I would have sparked WWIII.

Sherry knew she would never be alone with Isaac for he always wanted me there. The only time I’d never agree to was in the AMs. They started going for breakfast every morning at 6am. Things a girl would do to get a guy. *rolls eyes*

They got closer as days went by. I gave them my blessings and kept my distance. But Sherry wanted to watch me suffer.

Instead of hanging out with Isaac after classes, I ran off with other classmates in an attempt to avoid them. But they always managed to find out where I was. She would be all over him and she made sure I watched.

I was devastated.

Not only because I could not be with a guy I really wanted but because my best friend was torturing and enjoying my agony. How could she do this to me? Why was she doing this to me?

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Jenna was concerned. One night, she came over with a bottle of Vodka. I drank myself silly and started sobbing uncontrollably at the corner of my room. Jenna could only watch me in silence. She had no words of wisdom that would not harm my friendship with Sherry. I could bet every penny I have that if it was any other girl, we would have been plotting ways to win him back instead!

6 month later, they broke up. Sherry called me, all pissy, going, “He told me – I only got together with you because Tess won’t leave her boyfriend“. Owh. I won afterall ey?

They obviously ceased all communication and as her best friend, I did the same.

Fast forward, Leo and I dated for a total of 4.5 lousy years before we broke up while Sherry and I slowly but surely drifted apart and eventually had a fall out a couple of years after.

 

4 YEARS LATER

I was out partying with Brett, a close friend of ours.

“Isaac is here. You wanna go say hi?”

I was highly intoxicated and stumbled over. Isaac was leaned on a pole puffing on a cigarette.

Me: Heyyyy.. You got fatter!
Isaac: Thank you! .. and you got hotter!

We laughed and exchanged random drunken small talks. I went back to my table where Chad was seated. Chad was in the midst of pursuing me and I was very much into him. He was different from other guys. Charming, responsible, relaxed. I really liked him.

After party, Isaac called. “Come down to the pool”.

We hung out as if it was only yesterday when I last saw him. It felt so comfortable. I did not have to make an impression. He knew me all too well. But he had a girlfriend, and I started dating Chad soon after.

Still, we were hanging out and partying 5 times a week. Each time, he made sure I was well intoxicated and I’d pour my problems to him while he reassured me that everything’s gonna be fine, I am after all Goddess Tess!

Within a month or 2, he was single again.

One drunken night out with Brett, I was completely knocked out. Brett called Isaac over to carry me up to my room as he had no idea where I lived.

When I jumped up an hour or 2 later, I ran to window puking my guts out. Apparently Brett had to pull over at least 5 times on the way home. Isaac was still in my room sitting next to my bed. He handed me some water and we talked while I sobered up.

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Isaac apologized for how he treated me 4 years back. We both teared.. and we kissed, with tears rolling down our cheeks. Our very first kiss.

It was an extremely emotional moment.

After Isaac left that night, things became awkward. Though we still hung out with the same group of friends, we didn’t talk. As much as I still had feelings for him, I was still too upset about what happened 4 years back. I could forgive but I could not forget.

Forget what happened. It doesn’t mean a thing. I am now with Chad“.

My birthday came around and as I got tipsy, Gina, our close friend pulled me away from the crowd for ‘a walk’. On the way back to the table, I saw Isaac standing by the wall.

Me: What are you doing here?
Him: Turn around *points at me to spin around and puts on a necklace*
Me: What’s this?
Him: Nothing. Go back to your table
Me: *Drunkenly stumbles back*

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Isaac had planned the moment with Gina.

I woke up to a necklace on my neck and it was gorgeous. White gold with a pendant and a tiny diamond. Wow!

I wasn’t sure if I was angry, guilty, upset or happy. But I knew I had to give it back.

The next few nights when he called, I was out drinking. I was annoyed by the calls. When I finally answered, he begged me to meet him at the pool. I had nothing to say to him and I really didn’t want to see him. After much convincing, I met him to get it over with.

Me: I can’t have this necklace. Please take it back. Why did you put it on me while I was drunk?
Him: Because if I gave it to you while you were sober you’d never take it.. and I’ll never get to see you wear it. And no, It’s your birthday present. Keep it. But please take care of it, it’ll be worth something and you can sell it when you are low on funds.
Me: *after much arguing about the necklace* Sigh OK. What do you want to talk to me about?
Him: Since you hate me so much, I will not bother you anymore.. And I won’t need this *hands me a tiny piece of paper*

It was little note I doodled on in class which I gave him 4 years ago. A picture of stars and clouds with the wordings ‘I’ll always be there for you‘. It looked brand new!

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I held back my tears, hid my sadness and went home.

 

5 YEARS LATER

Thoughout the years, we did not exactly keep in touch although we do see each other from time to time through mutual friends’ birthdays and such. And whenever we saw one another, we would keep each other updated on our lives.

At 28 while I was dating Luke (Read about Luke HERE), Isaac and I were in the same agency and had no choice but to see each other pretty frequently. We hung out occasionally and constantly annoyed each other about what happened through the years. How I refused to break up with Leo, which resulted in him hooking up with Sherry. Me choosing Chad over him.

Clearly, we still felt the same about one another but by then I was no longer interested in pursuing a relationship with him.

He still cared. He was still there for me every time I needed help with work, including slotting in my appointments for me when I accidentally double booked myself or when I needed a shoulder to cry on. Every now and then, we’d argue about what happened to the point of giving each other the silent treatment.

.. and he hated how Luke mistreated me.

Him: I don’t understand. You chose that idiot Leo over me. Fine. Chad is a nice guy and you were happy, fine! But Luke is an asshole!
Me: I have a boyfriend! What do you want me to do?
Him: Break up with Luke. That’s a start. It’s been so long, you know I’m good for you. You know I’ll treat you right.
Me: You know I won’t do that. It’s been exactly 10 years now. Get over it! We’ve changed, I’ve changed! I’m no longer the happy little girl you once knew. You don’t even like me anymore, this is just an obsession!

I ignored him for weeks. But he was still there for me whenever I called. One night after a temporary break up with Luke, Isaac texted me and somehow we went through the same age old argument, which ended with me telling him, “I just argued with Luke, I don’t need to argue with you as well. If it makes you any happier, I’m single now“.

15 minutes later, he called, “Open your door. I come bearing gifts and a hug“. He was at my doorstep with a can of Milo and Coke, pretty much the only 2 drinks I ever order. We sat at the door talking for a bit before he left.

Candle Light Dinner Picture

Weeks to come, he took me out to a nice restaurant. He called it a date. Through the 10 years, we have never been on a date. All we did was hang out at the pool, at malls, fast food outlets, with friends, bars and parties. As much as I enjoyed his company as usual but I did not want to lead him on anymore.

A couple of weeks later, on the same night I broke up with Luke for good, Isaac and I were texting. I came to realization that I was treating him the exact way Luke was treating me and I didn’t want him to feel the way that I do.

There were many instances where I’ve pissed him off to the point where if it were any other men, they would probably have slapped me. But to rid of Isaac, I had to rise to a different level of a F-ed up bitch.

Me: Please stop being so nice to me. I’m not worth it.
Him: I like being nice to you. It makes me happy. It’s not for you, it’s for me.
Me: Just stop it. You and I will never be. Just as some girls only go for men with a thick wallet, I’m obsessed with men with huge biceps. Do you not think that if you went back to the shape you were when I first met you, I’d be all over you in an instant?
Him: I know you want me to hate you. But I just can’t. Many times I’ve tried to ignore you but I somehow can’t do it.
Me: Common, you don’t even like me anymore.
Him: Tess, I have loved you for a very long time. And you know it damn well.

We stopped all forms of communication since. Except for a couple of calls regarding work, our paths never crossed.

I am a horrible person and Isaac had treated me like a princess for a whole decade. He went out of his way to give me everything I wanted (non materialistic) within his means and I took every bit of him for granted. I couldn’t bare to hurt him anymore. So much has changed in the 10 years but the way he treats me remains exactly as we first met.

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I loved him dearly and I still do today. But I know he would be better off with a girl who would treat him right from the start and appreciates his fine qualities.

Selfishly, the last thing I need is to jump into a relationship with him and be disappointed. Least if I don’t find out for sure, there is still a glimpse of hope that there are still nice men out there.

Isaac is a true gentleman. He never once took advantage of drunk ol’ me , never attempted to get into my pants (and never did). With him, chivalry isn’t dead. He knew the right things to say at the right time. It was as if he could read my mind. He has seen me at my worst and accepted me for who I am. All my friends loves him, every single one of them. None of them could brain why I just wouldn’t give him a try.

How could they, even I don’t.

Luke once told me, “If you hate it that I’m such an asshole, you really should consider dating Isaac. He would walk through a brick wall for you“. I know he would, I just don’t want him to.

NOTE: This might seem like an extremely long post but if I included every single memorable moment with Isaac, you’d be scrolling through this post infinitely. Oh and congratulations if you made it this far!

VERDICT: He was a hopeless romantic. The sweetest man I have ever met and I doubt anyone could ever replace him.. or even come close.