In hindsight, I can clearly see that our relationship was doomed from the start. There were a lot of differences between us – our beliefs, cultures, and countries. There was no way for us to be together, and in the back of my mind, I knew it was never going to work.
But I was blind, consumed by the idea of being in love.
I never thought my first boyfriend would be a foreign student, a red-haired guy with pale blue eyes and beautiful accent. Our relationship was a big mistake and I knew that. Eventually, it would end in tears, but I foolishly ignored it for the sake of temporary happiness.
He was a serious man and wasn’t afraid of commitment.
He always talked about our future. Every time he brought up the topic of our life after college, I tried to change the subject. The mention of marriage reminded me of the possible ending of our relationship, which would definitely be an epilogue of heartbreak and despair.
I lived with mixed emotions every day.
I wanted it to last forever, but at the same time, I knew how wrong it was to pretend it would work when I knew it wouldn’t. I’d been successful in dodging the marriage topic, until one day he dropped a giant bomb on me.
He proposed to me.
It shocked me. I was utterly flabbergasted, stunned, fazed and dumbstruck. There weren’t enough words to describe how I felt. I was so speechless for a few seconds, and then I did the unexpected.
I said yes.
Saying yes to his proposal was a huge mistake. Inter-religious marriage is legal in some countries, but not in Malaysia. It was impossible for us to be together, no matter how much we tried.
It took me weeks to find the courage to talk about it.
It broke his heart to hear it. I tried to reason with him, but he came up with many ideas to make it work.
He didn’t want to break off our engagement.
Of all ideas, there was only one that could work – elope.
Somehow, he managed to convince me to do it. Yes, I actually agreed with that idea. He suggested that we move to a different country and start our new lives there. We were even willing to ignore the fact that both of us were students at the time.
I have to admit, I was actually excited by the idea of moving to another country and getting married to the love of my life. If it weren’t for my family and future, I would’ve packed my things right away to be with him. It was the biggest dilemma I’d ever faced. At first, I was so tempted to be with him. I did want to spend the rest of my life with him.
He was my first love and I couldn’t imagine my life without him.
But then I thought about my family and my future. The thought of the shame and humiliation faced by my family was unbearable. I couldn’t imagine how disappointed they’d be with me. Also, abandoning my studies seemed like an extreme change in my life, and possibly not for the better.
My heart told me to go after my happiness and elope with him. But my sensible mind disagreed.
After days of thinking, I finally made up my mind.
We both met and I told him my decision – that I could not be with him. He was shattered and begged me not to leave him. It pained me so much to see him heartbroken that I had to turn away from him. When he was convinced that I’d never changed my mind, his heartache turned to hatred.
He’s despised me ever since.
I don’t blame him. I made him believe we had a chance when there was none at all. Being in love was a beautiful feeling that I just couldn’t let go of. But in my circumstances, there would be unfortunate consequences.
That was my first heartbreak and I almost believed I wouldn’t survive it.
Sometimes I regretted my decision, other times I knew it was the right thing to do. Every time the pain of our breakup hit me, I tried so hard to convince myself that time would heal me.
Everything would be better eventually.
And I was right. It took a while, but I did get over it in the end. Now I’m happy with my family, almost done with my studies and hopefully, I’ll earn my degree at the end of this year. I have everything I need in life and couldn’t ask for more.
But sometimes I wonder, what would my life be like if I actually did run away with him. What if it didn’t work? I’d have been left with nothing, no guarantee for my future and no one to support me. Eloping would’ve been a great adventure for a romantic story, but in real life, there were too many consequences.
Thinking about it makes me feel more grateful that I made the right decision. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.