He called me while he was driving in the countryside. It was a Saturday evening submerged in low spirits, as we have been fighting. When his phone number flashed, I hastily picked up and was prepared to say sorry.
No words were exchanged with a long silence on his part. He was so quiet over the phone that I could hear the sound of his car’s stereo system blended with the howling gale. The song was ‘Lost on You’ by LP, once was a favourite for both of us. Its words broke the fragile veil of silence.
“When you get older, plainer, saner
Will you remember all the danger
We came from?”
The quietness on his part was so excruciating that I started to utter “Hey… You know I…”
Before I could finish, he gasped: “I think we should end this… It doesn’t work.” The shock in my body ramped up from stiffness to searing, blinding agony faster than I could blink.
“Are you breaking up with me?”, I asked, in disbelief. “I’m sorry that we have been fighting… but we can work this out, right?” As the emotional shock found their way through my veins, tears started to shed from my eyes. “… Right?”
“I don’t think this works… I’m sorry. We are not good for each other.” His voice, once so sweet, cut through me cold and clear “I should not have entered this relationship. I was lonely.“ His words were like needles jamming through my skin and straight into my bones.
This was the man to whom I thought I could betroth. Parts of me died when he said what we had was mere convenience. I could not remember clearly what was subsequently said in the 1-hour phone call; except for a lot of crying and griefs, while the words of “Lost on You” were replaying over and over in the background.
“To all the things I’ve lost on you
Tell me are they lost on you?”
Fast forward three years later, all of those hurtful memories flashed before my eyes once again. My now boyfriend and I were driving to Hong Kong airport for a Saturday evening flight. I relived those memories when he turned on the radio and ‘Lost on You’ also happened to be playing. My boyfriend and I had been fighting, hence we were not talking to each other in the car. The words of the song became more piercing in the presence of our upsetting silence.
“Burning like embers, falling, tender
Long before the days of no surrender
The atmosphere in the car got heavier; I shivered as I revived the sharp shocks and indescribable pain during that phone call three years ago.
“All I ever wanted was you
I’ll never get to heaven
Cause I don’t know how
Let’s raise a glass or two
To all the things I’ve lost on you“
Tears started to flow uncontrollably from my eyes as the song progressed. It did not take long for my boyfriend to notice my tears. After a while, his hands reached out to mine to console me, “Hey… you know I…”, soothed he, “… I’m sorry… We don’t have to fight. Don’t cry.”
Little did my boyfriend knew all these tears were not his, nor about us. They have been used up on another love. My remorse, coupled with his genuine effort to console me, hurt me even more deeply. Outside the car’s window, it was pitch black. The rain was coming down in torrents. The windshield wipers whipped back and forth over the window, attempting to clear away the large droplets clinging to the glass – but it seemed they weren’t moving fast enough to wipe away all the tears.
“I can’t do this… It doesn’t work…” Overwhelmed by the dizzying pain and unbearable remorse, I sobbed, “I’m sorry… I should not have entered this relationship. I was lonely.“ What I just blurted shook him like a straight stab through his core.
“Are you breaking up with me?”, he asked, in disbelief. He did not look at the road when his disbelieving stares cut through me.
That phone-call conversation three years ago would have now replayed in this car word-for-word, like a hopeless loop that I could not escape – if not for the violent interruption that followed. Blinding lights suddenly overwhelmed us, piercing the impenetrable darkness. With a jolt, I realised that those lights belonged to a car – a car that was speeding towards us from the opposite direction, but in our lane. The sound of our car’s screeching brakes and tires skidding on the wet pavement shattered the immense silence that had been pressing in on us all night.
Suddenly, as our car spun out of control towards the oncoming car, a huge blow hit us with immense weight. I saw a waterfall of glass cascading down on us. In those short seconds, images of this relationship and the last one flashed across my mind like a slideshow that was sped up. When the collision stopped, it took me a brief moment to regain consciousness. With horror, I noticed blood dripping down from my forehead, whilst my boyfriend was also bleeding and seemingly unconscious. I frantically scanned around and saw the other car that collided with us. The driver of the other car appeared recognisable, cruelly too familiar. It was my ex-boyfriend, who was also covered in blood. Without hesitation, I frantically tried to open the door, in order to get out to reach my ex-boyfriend, yet to no avail. At that moment, I felt my boyfriend’s weak touch on my arms.
I turned around; my mortified look met his bloodstained eyes as he breathlessly gasped: “Do I deserve this?”
His last gentle whisper was quickly buried in the sounds of ‘Lost on You’, which were then suddenly blaring to my ears.
“Hold me like you never lost your patience
Tell me that you love me more than hate me all the time
And you’re still mine”
As these blaring sounds faded out, I woke up with the song on the radio, while my boyfriend is still driving quietly next to me on the way to Hong Kong airport, in the sobering darkness.