If I never met Bandi

Sometimes I play what-ifs with Bandi and he (unwillingly) played along. The what-ifs were various from “what if you could only live by eating only tuna forever?” (Bandi hates tuna smell) or “what if I had a growing penis, would you still marry me?” to the serious what-ifs like “what if I couldn’t have children?” Or “what if I had cancer?”

But the most occurrence what-if question was “what if we never met?” How would our lives be?

You guys must know that I’m head over heels in love with Bandi. I mean, I don’t only love him, I LOVE HIM, with capitals.

So how would our lives be without each other?

Sadly to say, the answers weren’t so romantic… If we never met, I would probably met somebody else and that guy probably would fall in love with me so hard because well, I’m adorable, and then if I loved him so much too then we’d be in relationship. But most importantly, if I never met him, I’d probably be a serial dater, and of course I would work for UN, probably lived somewhere like Congo or India, to lead a Unicef team to build school, empowering unskilled women and stuffs like that. I would move around every two years to different parts of the world. I think it was the single life I’ve always wanted.

What about Bandi? Well he said he would not go to US because he wasn’t so motivated to “see the world” before he met me. He would probably finish his degree and went back to his hometown, found a girl and married one.

But then…. I realized something just now.

Our answers were not true at all!!!

Come on!!! It is so impossible that Bandi was created to be someone else’s husband. I mean, I bet all the money in the world that he was created custom-made for me!

So I was thinking… If we never met back then in college, then we would definitely meet sometime later in our lives. Let me make up some scenarios…

1. What if my father didn’t come back from Australia and I was born there and lived there for the rest of my life?

Well in this case, I think Bandi would probably still go to US for his college because he got the scholarship, and then he continued to work there and in some point his company allocated him to Australia, and then we finally met maybe somewhere in Sydney. I was walking my dog and my dog walked towards him and I dressed my dog in Italian Jersey and we started conversation with “you like football, huh?” and we fell in love.

2. What if Bandi was accepted at NTU and went to Singapore for collage?

I would still be living my life almost the same. I probably didn’t go for UN because I needed to support my family financially so I preferred to work in Singapore. Bandi had finished his college and continued working in Singapore too and at some point we met, probably in an Indonesians outing in East Coast park. We rode bikes and then I saw Bandi’s Juventus key chain and I mocked him and then we had a conversation about football and we fell in love.

3. What if I never got the scholarship in college and I had to drop-out from it before I met Bandi?

I would probably be working my ass off in my twenties and would live in Jakarta all my life, while Bandi continued his college in Bandung and went back to his hometown to continue his family’s business. My high school friend, Septian married Bandi’s high school friend, Erlina and we were both invited to their wedding. We met on that wedding and we started the conversation with “you like football, huh?” and we fell in love.
(P.s. Septian and Erlina are true characters and they did have their wedding last month. True story.)

4. What if Bandi dropped out from junior high school and became a punk and he lived in Palembang of all his life?

I would still be living my life almost the same but then in 2009, when I was working in Femina I was sent to Palembang to cover the Indonesian beauty pageant and when I visited one of the good pempek (fish cake) stall I met Bandi. Bandi was riding his motorbike and I saw his Juventus painted helmet and I commented about it, “you like football, huh?” and then we had the conversation about football and we fell in love.

5. What if Bandi never came back from US and never asked me back?

This would be the saddest of all because I would think he didn’t want to be with me anymore. I would probably face a very difficult time to move on but then I would eventually make it. Three years later I received a scholarship from an American Fine Arts college and I moved there. And I wrote in my facebook status, “Living my dream”, checked in Atlanta, USA. Bandi read it and took his car keys, drove all night from Austin to Atlanta and the next morning when I opened my door, there he was, standing still and looking straight at me, saying “hey you.” And then we fell in love all over again.

Not only this post has proven that I’m a drama queen and a good story maker, it’s also trying to say that love will always find the way.

I believe that it is impossible for Bandi and I not to meet. I may believe in fate, I may not. I don’t know. But I know somehow Bandi and I were meant for each other. If we didn’t meet nine yeas ago, then it would be another time. But I’m sure that we eventually would. We would always find each other.

It’s true that I am a romantic and I’m not scared to show off my love to Bandi. I think it is a good thing because before I met him, I was a skeptic. I’ve always been a romantic, but I had a trust issue back then. I loved the feeling of falling in love but didn’t really trust anybody to fully read my soul. That was probably why I didn’t believe in marriage too. However, I’m so glad I opened myself to Bandi and I know this sounds so Disney-like movie but it’s true that…

Love is the most powerful thing on earth.

I’m gonna share a personal story which really moved me. I had a bad relationship with my brother. He abused me physically and mentally when we were kids. I never loved him and I blamed him for all the bad things happened to me up until my teenage years. He apologized and then did bad things to me and my family again and then apologized and then screwed up and apologize and then screwed up and repeat a thousand times.

Four years ago I’ve had enough and I confronted him. I asked him to never disturb me and my mom again. We fought and he kicked my stomach and he threatened to kill me. Three months later I moved out from Jakarta to Singapore. I’ve never talked to him again for so long.

Last week, he sent me a facebook message. He apologized for everything he’s done to me in the past. I had just finished my make up and I cried (Shit I have to re-do my mascara.) He always apologized before, but somehow this time he seemed sincere. He apologized without asking money, or things (in the past he apologized when he was out of cash.)
A week after that my sister texted me that my brother is undergoing a medication for a serious illness. I was sad. I never thought I would ever care about anything happened to him.

I never talk about my brother. Most of the stories were sad but I guess it’s never too late to love someone. For all my life, I’ve never loved him. Last week was the first time I heard “I love you my sister” from him. It tore down the wall I had built between us instantly. I had forgiven him and decided to learn how to love a brother, the thing I never thought I would ever do. And most importantly, I let myself to trust him.

I was so hurt I never thought I could ever trust anyone, especially guys. Meeting Bandi was the best thing that happened to me. Not only he loves me unconditionally, he taught me how to love back, how to let other people to love you the way you are, be honest with your feeling and not to be scared. Loving is trusting. You open your heart to a risk of hurt or betrayal. But to love is a wonderful feeling. It is so powerful it can change your life.

I watched Frozen the other week and I was sobbing like crazy because the movie was so damn good and it taught us that love indeed is a powerful thing. You just have to use it right.

Back to my what-if question, “What if I never met Bandi?”

I would never be born in a world where I would never meet Bandi because his purpose of life is to give my life meaning, and my purpose of life is to give him dreams. Universe meant it to happen.

Oh and I’m sooooo glad I did meet him. :)

“So you like football, huh?” and I played his keychain.

“Yes. Juventus!”

“Ew, bad choice.”

“You?”

“Parma!”

“HUAHAHAHAHA” he mockingly laughed.

I was angry and I accidentally broke his keychain. From that moment on, I was “the Parma girl who broke my keychain” for him and he was “that annoying juventus guy who had a cute keychain” for me.

The rest was history.

Cheers,

May, loving bravely.

Look Closer to Apple Pie and Cinnamon

Nope this is not a culinary post or a recipe blog. Sorry to disappoint hungry people though.

This post is about a  story of a girl. Let’s call her Apple Pie. Apple Pie has been in a long term relationship with her boyfriend, whom would we call Cinnamon, since they met in college, here in Singapore about 5 or 6 years ago. They’ve been together ever since. Apple Pie then had everything she wanted. A good settled life in Singapore, with so many great friends around, a good career, even an offer to be a public teacher (which is sooo amazing in Singapore), but she turned down the offer, and she must quit her job that she liked and she would sadly leave all of her friends and she must leave Singapore.

Why?

She did them all in the name of love.

Because her boyfriend (was then in a long distance relationship with her) proposed to her. Then she must follow her boyfriend (then became future husband) to where he lived, which is a city that if compared to Singapore is much less developed. And the most horrifying thing was, she didn’t know anyone in that city. She must restart her life. She leave everything she has just because of a guy.

In this paragraph, you probably would think “This girl is so stupid.”

I would too…

That, until I knew what her reason is, and that this is not “just a guy”.

I was in the same condition with her when Bandi was talking about going back to his hometown and I straight away told him “No way, we’re breaking up.” So I was blown awayyy with how universe works. Universe arranged my encounter with this girl and we talked and talked and talked until midnight and she opened my eyes of how idiotic love can be. And love should be that way. I requested Bandi to be idiotic, while I stayed sane. That wasn’t fair.

Now let me tell you the other side of the story of Apple Pie and Cinnamon, and let’s take a closer look.

Apple Pie and Cinnamon had the amazing two years relationship when they were in college. Spent so much time together and later found out that they were made for each other. Apple Pie learned a lot from Cinnamon, especially of how Cinnamon treated his family. He was the family guy every girls dying to have to be their husband. Cinnamon was not like that at all, then she learnt how to call her mom and asked her how she is and stuffs. That was one of so many things Apple Pie learnt from Cinnamon.

Long story short, after graduated, Cinnamon moved back to his hometown, a city in the other part of Indonesia, far from Capital city Jakarta, and not Apple Pie’s hometown either. Cinnamon had to move back because he had to inherit his father’s local business. His father was getting old and that was something he must do. Apple Pie tried to understand that but she still stayed in Singapore, for another 2 or 3 years and for that period of time, they were in a long distance relationship.

I know Apple Pie loves living here and it must be so hard for them to decide what to do for their future. They must decide something or otherwise they would be in an LDR for the rest of their lives! (And trust me that’s not a wise idea!) So I met Apple Pie, about 3 months ago. She told me she would go back to Indonesia for good. I asked her why and she said because I wanted to be with Cinnamon.

I asked why again, and she explained.

In the first two years of relationship, when they were still in college, it was all about her. She was the center of the universe. Cinnamon did everything for her. Because it was only the two of them. There were no parents or family involved. Apple Pie knows that Cinnamon would do anything for her. If he could, he would stay with Apple Pie in Singapore, and continue to treat Apple Pie as the center of the universe.

But Cinnamon has a family and he must take care of them and that is something that a man must do. And this is the time for Apple Pie to pay back the favor. Now she wants him to be the center of the universe. She would do anything to make him happy. And she knows he’s happy when he’s with her and his family. So she would move in with him, to an unfamiliar town, which language she couldn’t talk.

I, before knowing her personally, would never ever ever understand why a woman would make a sacrifice for a man like that. That is so degrading for a feminist like me. I would probably call her names like dumbo or stupido or anything.

But then I knew her, and she was not at all stupid or delusional or weak. She was just in love. And she proved me that love does conquer all, my friend.

I am so touched with her bravery and her big heart. It surely wasn’t an easy thing to do, but remember this:

“Sometimes the right thing and the hard thing are the same thing.” (Liz Lemon – 30 Rock)

I’m sorry I didn’t know her sooner. But I’m glad in that short period of time, I met her and got to know her better. We could’ve been BFF if she didn’t move out, but however I’m grateful that I met her.

She made me reflect about my relationship with Bandi which is more or less in the same situation. Bandi is just as worth to sacrifice as Cinnamon and there’s nothing I should hesitate that he will take care of me like he takes care of his sisters and his mother. He’s a family guy that every girls dying to have to be their husband.

But, my heart is not as big as Apple Pie. I am selfish and for these 6 six years of our relationship, not even once I put Bandi as the center of the universe. It’s been always me, me, and me. I have to be the center of his universe, now and always. I have to be spoiled in every possible way. And I don’t feel bad, because I love that.

God knows how much I love Bandi.

I told Apple Pie that. And she said, people speak different love languages, like in Gray Chapman’s book. And I shouldn’t feel guilty. Everyone express love in different way, different language. (You can find more about this in Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages).

Universe works in a strange way. I met Apple Pie in a cycling event, got to know her over a Pasta cooking session and talked to her til passed midnight, and finally realized how love conquers all over a short coffee in Cafe Cartel. Yet this lady made a difference in my life.

The wholemeal spaghetti that we cooked.

I hope I can deliver the message of love and sacrifices in this post. I hope there are no more stupid judgments over the things people do in the name of love. I used to be that person and now I’m not anymore. Love is the most important thing in life. Everything is worth sacrificing for love.

Hey there, Apple Pie. Thanks for inspiring me, and changing my perspective about love and sacrifices. Have fun on your next adventure with Cinnamon. And see you on your wedding day! So excited!!!

Cinnamon’s niece drew this for their wedding day.

Love,

May.

P.S. All photos are taken from Apple Pie’s instagram.

P.P.S. I use fake names just for fun purposes. :p

P.P.P.S Update: Apple Pie’s reaction of this post!