Summer Flynn broke Tom Hansen’s heart. The movie 500 Days of Summer opens with Summer and Tom in the park, holding hands, staring into each other’s eyes as if deeply in love. You catch sight of Summer’s engagement ring, and you’d think they would end up together. But they don’t. And while it’s easy to empathize with Tom, it doesn’t really take a genius to know that he was a selfish asshole who hoped for more than what he was given. Summer Flynn broke his heart, yes, but he sure had it coming.
I have been likened to Summer Flynn more than once, by guys who thought it would make me feel guilty for breaking things off so easily. But it never bothered me. I like Summer. She was clear with what she wanted, and she went on and lived her life as she liked. She broke things off with Tom when she wasn’t happy anymore, and she even found herself falling in love with the right guy by the end of it all. It never mattered to me that I was always the Summer Flynn in my relationships. That is, until I wasn’t. I met my own dose of karma, in the form of a college soft boy, nonetheless.
He came up to me when I was sitting with our friends in a bar, asked me if I needed anything because I looked wasted. It was the first time that I met him, even though we had so many mutual friends, but he never piqued my interest until that moment. He drove me home, and I fell asleep while he was driving. I could hear him laughing at me as my head kept bobbing up and down, and when we reached my place, he looked at me and asked, “Wake up with me tomorrow?”
Okay, in retrospect, I should have probably known that that was a proposal of the sexual kind, but in my inebriated state, I viewed it as a cute and cheesy way of saying that he wanted to spend more time with me. I didn’t go with him, of course. (Thank God!) I only smiled at him and then got out of his car. I wouldn’t hear from him for days, but when I finally did, it sparked the beginning of a month-long relationship that made even my stone-cold heart hope for true love. He seemed like the right guy. He liked me for who I was: my nonchalant and detached demeanor, my love for beer — heck, even my aversion to some of his friends.
But it was all for nothing in the end. I found out that he had a wife and kids. Yup, the whole shebang. Talk about a plot twist.
I have tried again and again to write this story. Months ago, when the wounds were still fresh, I came up with 800 words of pure anger that narrated why he deserved to be punched in the face. When I pitched this story a week ago, I was asked if I was really okay with writing about something as personal as this. And I was. I am. I have always been one to deal with my feelings by writing long essays (and sending the occasional drunk text, of course), but this time, I just couldn’t seem to find the right words. I didn’t know if it was because I didn’t care about the story anymore, or if I still cared too much.
Turns out, I was actually still lowkey in denial about a lot of things.
I have come to terms with the fact that I was nothing but a pawn in his game, a past time, a trophy — but the realization only occurred to me after some much-needed tough love from friends.
The thing about acceptance is that it happens in phases. Differentiating right from wrong is easy, but to understand and fully accept your situation takes a lot of time. I have come to terms with the fact that I was nothing but a pawn in his game, a past time, a trophy — but the realization only occurred to me after some much-needed tough love from friends. There was a moment when I was so close to forgoing my morals and ideals for him, despite being painfully aware of the truth and how wrong he was for me. There was even a time when I thought I was in love with him. But I wasn’t. I know now that I wasn’t. I guess it also helped that I actually got to punch him in the face.
I was used to being Summer Flynn. Used to being in control of my relationships (a typical Virgo trait, I guess). But this time, I wasn’t even in the same spectrum as Summer. It was an entirely different movie. I could go on and say that I was more of a Cameron Diaz in The Other Woman, but I was never really the other woman. (Because apparently, he’d been separated for years). But yeah, you get the point.
Maybe I was too trusting. Too eager. Too blind. Maybe he was bad karma personified — the universe’s way of punishing me for the bad things I did in the past.
For the first time, my life was a whirlwind of uncertainty. I was thrown off-course by some guy, and it made me question so many things about myself that I began to wonder if I deserved what he had done to me.
He never valued me. I was a mere object meant to be shown off to his friends, a thing to fill a void in his sad, pathetic life. And yet, a part of me felt like everything he did was my fault. Maybe I was too trusting. Too eager. Too blind. Maybe he was bad karma personified — the universe’s way of punishing me for the bad things I did in the past.
In the end, the experience taught me that sometimes, life throws you curveballs and you just gotta live with it. No matter how in control you think you are, the universe could always fuck you up, and all you can really do is grow up and learn from it. I didn’t deserve what he did to me. His lies weren’t my fault. And while I know that I did nothing wrong, I now know better than to trust so blindly.
But here’s the thing: Do I regret meeting him? No. I was genuinely happy with him and the pain that came afterwards could never invalidate that. But would I come back running to him if he asked me back? Nope. Not even if things were different. Thank you, next.