One To One
One of the most common questions I get here on Tribolum is: How did you know she was the one?
I hesitated replying this question because it opens a can of worms. Is there only one “the one”? What if you already blew your chances with “the one”? Will another “the one” be provided for you?
I don’t have the answers to these questions. I’ve ventured through the philosophical possibilities thoroughly enough to know that no one, not even “the one” has the answers to how many “the one”s one gets in his or her lifetime.
Another reason why I had originally refrained from writing in response to those questions was that my personal experience is not a secular experience. It was a time when I wanted to be as politically correct, but now I know that sharing my life with you means sharing my spiritual experiences as well as my intellectual adventures.
So back to the question, “how do you know if he / she is the one?” As human beings we fall in love a lot. A lot of us get hurt, some feel used, while even more hold on to pieces of unrequited love, hoping to piece them together into some semblance of a relationship. Even an imaginary relationship seems better that what real life offers us at times. The months become years and we give up looking for “the one” and conclude that his or her existence is an adolescent fable. A Santa Clause for young adults.
So instead of looking for Mr. or Ms. Right, some of you settle for Mr. or Ms. Right-here. Others pack their hearts in little styrofoam-padded boxes and keep them in their storerooms, never to risk being broken again. Once in a while someone intriguing comes by and the question arises once more.
Is he / she the one?
You reckon you’re too old to fall for this anymore. You’re too jaded to ask. You don’t need to ask, you tell yourself.
I’m telling you that you need to know.
You need to know because no one wants to spend the rest of their married lives wondering if someone better would have come along.
After a couple of years of carrying the torch for Faith, I grew tired of carrying the burden of unrequited love. It wasn’t so much that I had my eyes on other girls, but loving someone who didn’t as much as give you the time of the day tore at my heart. Over the years my naive dreams of marrying the girl shrank, and it had come to a point where I would have been ecstatically happy if I could just have her as a normal friend, but even that seemed highly improbable.
Chin Keong, Erick and Matthew came over one night when my parents were away. We played the guitar, sang songs and had fun the whole night through. At approximately five in the morning, we slumped ourselves over any comfortable surface and went to bed.
Something prodded my spirit that night to pray about Faith. Before my eyes shut I prayed:
Lord, You know how much I love Faith. But it is getting harder each day to bear. If You want me to go on loving this girl, show me. I am willing to let her go if You want me to.
The next part of my prayer is something I won’t recommend anyone doing. I prayed this because I felt a leading to do so.
If she’s the one for me, show me. If I wake before six in the morning, I’ll take it as a sign that You want me to go on loving her. If I don’t, I’ll let her go.
Someone knocked at the door. I got up and answered the door. It was the maid who had to go out to buy some bread but didn’t know how to disengage the security system. I looked at my watch: five minutes to six.
I went back to sleep.
The whole of the next day I didn’t think much of it. I discounted it as probably my subconscious planning the whole thing out. Besides, it was wrong to put God to the test in this way. I nulled the whole incident.
Chin Keong, Erick and Matthew stayed over that night too. We did our usual and went to bed at around four. I had already taught the maid how to turn the alarm off, and looked forward to a good night’s rest.
Five minutes to six the burglar alarm rang. I got up and ran downstairs to check what had triggered it. A backdoor that we seldom used had blown open due to the stormy gusts that night. In my half-asleep state I turned off the alarm, went back upstairs and lay my head on the pillow.
“You don’t have to tell me more than twice, Lord”, I muttered before falling asleep. It was then I knew I had to hold on to my love for her.
It didn’t matter if we were to be married or not, or whether my love would eventually be requited. All I knew was that I was meant to love her as deeply as I possibly could. I held no expectation. Loving her was something that gave me immense joy in itself.
It still does.