After All This Time… [A Letter to a Part of Me Called EXO]

I don’t know how I’ll start this, so I’ll just say (read: type) the first words that come into my mind – ‘EXO, my boys, I miss you. I really do. Despite everything that happened.’

I’ve been wanting to draft this letter for the longest time – actually just after the world turned upside down for both us. It has been two months since I last checked on your smiles, your tears, your laughter, your ups, your downs, your happiness, your miseries. I can’t deny looking at you hurts me so much so I chose to just not look at all. I can’t deny a part of me hated you guys for changing so much, albeit if the changes were or were not your fault. I can’t deny I compared your situation to the previous stories I’ve seen, and I can’t deny it pained and disappointed me that your version was so much different from them. We’ve hit cold-rock bottom, and the changes hushed us so much that there wasn’t even time to react. I can’t deny I’ve changed, too. A drastic change, at that.

The first few weeks of his absence was too painful for me. I would understand if your minds refuse to believe me, because I myself, noticed that I’ve been handling the situations too well – well, on the outside. Truth is, I’m not okay. Until now, I’m not okay. I cry alone and break inside of me, and there’s no one to talk to, because everyone’s busy about you guys, the 11 remaining you. I felt like I was the only one suffering so much (although I’m not stupid enough and I know people who believe and prefer you guys as a complete picture are hurting, too). But I felt like I was the only one suffering this kind of hurt. Unlike them, I don’t have any clips to watch out for. Unlike them, my chances of seeing are slim. For them, there will always be episodes to watch out for, activities to follow. For me, there were only bits. Bits smaller compared to before. I can only hold on to the fact that he’s happy – so there’s a little shimmer of light in my eyes.

I was jealous. I was bitter. I want to be that happy, too. That blissful kind of happy. I am happy for him. But it was kind of unfair that the ones who are happy for you guys, may not be necessarily happy for him. In fact, most of the ones happy for you, have already forgotten him. Whereas I still watch over you in my own, silent corner.

The bitterness got over me. Hate was everywhere. Hate was being directed to him. And he was alone against all of that hate. Automatically, I felt alone, too. I can’t talk because there were things I wanted to protect, like the friends loving you, you gave me. So I did the first thing that was logical, in my opinion, and shut everything that hurt me, out. I could not risk blowing up my emotions, because I know it wasn’t right to let the negative emotions get the best of me. I don’t like regrets, so I tried to prevent anything that can cause me regrets later on. My desire to shut out the pain, in the process, shut you out as well. It was like seeing you meant experiencing pain, too. It also didn’t help that there were some ‘ugly truths’ I uncovered along the way. Those ugly truths, I never talked about them to anyone. Anyone but one person. The person I whom I was with when I first realized how much you meant to me.

I can’t deny I felt like I didn’t want to hear about you anymore. At least while I was still trying to figure out how I really felt. And how I can handle all that I felt.

Last month, at the height of his absence, I was avoiding you – anything about you. At some point, I started to feel distaste towards some of you, specifically the ones involved with the ‘ugly truths’ I found out about. It went on for a month, then another. Slowly, things were changing again, and this time, the changes were under my command.

For two months of nothing about you, I begin to think, as memories slowly fade away. Was it really the end for us? Just a few months, I was preparing to give up everything for you again – the dream I shared with another person was on its way to coming true. I could feel it on my fingers, that sparkle and tingle of excitement. I was planning to see you. Until some things broke us apart. You have known, for the longest time, and I was quite honest, that he, he whom has gone away, weighed more. And he was my primary reason. But then he went away, and I followed with my own will. I kept telling myself, if I were to ask him if I should go see you, and still love you, even after he’s gone, he’ll surely say, ‘YES.’ But how can I, when whenever I look at you now, and I see that void space he left, all I feel is pain? And with that void in existence, you’re still smiling? Some of you, may be breaking inside, but how am I to see who’s suffering? When all that surrounds me is indifference.

Someone told me, how can she support you guys, when those who support you, would not necessarily support him? It was going to be unfair, because she, on her part, will support both sides, while most will support only one, and hurt the other side? It was unfair that she, will treasure the memories of the past, while them, would throw away that part of the past that had him. She would listen to your songs, but them, did they listen to his solo song with the same passion? I knew she had a point. We were after all, outcasts now. It’s us for ourselves.

Slowly, I started to drift away from most of you. And only started to watch silently over those whom evidently showed care for him even before.

Was I beginning to completely drift away? Yes, I was. Even as I look my now emptying box of collections, I knew I was drifting away. But I wasn’t drifting away to someone else, I was drifting off to nowhere. If what, I was drifting off to the life I left behind before. The life without you guys.

But lately, when I wake up in the morning, when I see the posters up in my room, the posters which I never had the courage to tear down from my walls, I began to ask myself – was it really possible to just throw everything away? A part of me says yes, because most of the people around me already threw him away, or threw all of you away. But a part of me says no. How could I? It wasn’t easy to just erase the past. Especially when it’s the most beautiful part of my past. I told you once before, your entrance to the picture allowed me to keep the relationships I treasured the most, all the while giving me new relationships to treasure. You were important to me not just because you brought me, childish, simple smiles. But because you also brought people in my life that gave me additional smiles. And of course, it was still because of you that he even came into the picture. It was because of you that I developed new dreams.

I find myself waking up every morning these past few days, and its your voices I want to listen to first thing. So I started to listen once again, and imagine your old smiles – when things weren’t broken yet. I find myself smiling, too. That old smile, when things weren’t like this yet. And just that, I knew I was ready. Ready to face you again. But will it be the same as before? That I don’t know. I’ll have to see first.

But there’s another thought that crossed my mind, if I asked him if I should still support you, even as his presence has completely been replaced by that void and oblivion of a space on the last…

I really think he would say ‘YES.’

Because he’s always been like that. He’s always been unconditional. And I’m sure, you guys know that, too.

I know some of you don’t like what he did. Hated him, or will continue to harbor negative feelings towards him. But I know, and believe, that he, does not. Call me biased, and accuse me for having eyes only for him, but I truly believe that. So, who am I to hate you?

I can’t promise it will be the same, because it’s not. Actually it will never be the same. I can’t watch over you the same way as before. I can’t buy your albums anymore. I can go to all events anymore. I can’t also promise that I’ll be happy for you all the time. But I can still try other things, right? Maybe I can just sit silently in one corner and smile when your smiles tell me you’re genuinely happy. Cry when you’re hurt. And join you when you, if ever, miss him.

I will never be able to give you my time anymore, because if I have free time, I’d probably be looking after him more. But at least now, I can start to look at you with just a little pain. It’s a start. Eventually, I will have to say good-bye. But at least, I’ll be saying good-bye without hard feelings. And I can thank you with all my heart.

After all this time, after all, you’re still EXO. The EXO he once called home. And you still hold that part of me. Even if it’s a smaller part compared to before.

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