This is (not) a love story.
Last October, my friend Dazi and I decided to go for a hike to Sunset Peak—one of the hardest trails in Hong Kong that (according to some people), is definitely not for beginners. Yet I was like, yolo, we’re gonna make it.
Although we did research on how to go to there and which bus that will stop near the starting point, we still missed it—shoutout to the bus driver who didn’t even bother to stop even though I pressed the bell already. So yeah, it was a bit hard for me to accept the fact that:
1) We got off at the second bus stop after the right one. It was around 2-3 km away and Google map says it’s just 40 mins walk.
2) I only got a water bottle. I mean, I hadn’t started the real hiking yet……
3) It was burning at almost 30ºC.
The Starting Point
I was so happy when we arrived here, like, oh my gosh finally, I thought today’s agenda will be changed to walking in the sidewalk.
We rested for while before continue walking, and all of sudden, anxiety crawled into my mind:
It’s 6.5km? But I just walked for 3km!
Ugh now I’m already tired, let me drink first. Wait, my bottle is just half-filled now?
Nevermind, there will be no toilet anyway, so don’t drink.
Ok you know what actually it’s not too late to go home.
The same thing might happen to us—I mean, we all have met someone who makes us excited, haven’t we?
It’s like, you might not be full of expectations yet, but you imagine a little about the moments that are going to happen. Sometimes, you’ve been through an exhausting journey before, and there are things that make me so doubtful so you feel hesitated. What if this doens’t work?
But in the world full of uncertainties, you will only be sure if you choose to try.
The early steps
Despite there’s this clear path for hikers to walk, the first 10 minutes feels like hell to me. I think this has to do with the urge to reach the top as early as possible, considering the time (it was almost 1 when we first started). There were also some people who walked in unbelivably fast and constant pace (like, how?), so I felt intimidated that I had to keep walking… #peerpressure
Without even realizing, sometimes we rush over something that will be better if taken slowly; in my case: I have to work things out. You know, sometimes you see others get to know each other, they get closer and closer, and voila—relationship status is updated. #peerpressure
But it’s hard to jump into a conclusion when you’re still on the opening paragraph, and rushing might just make you tired. And so, just like when I took a rest whenever I felt like I need one during the hike, I decided to take my time.
During the Hike
My ultimate goal is to reach the peak and watch the sunset because I heard that this place offers the best view (yea, there’s a reason why it’s called Sunset Peak). But as we continued to hike, we found out that we were surrounded by the reeds and this made me hyped. Taking pictures in the middle of the reeds is another goal.
↑ Look at me posing as the girl in typical MV who is usually chased by the guy as she pretends to enjoy the breezy wind.
(Well, I ended up looking like I smiled while smelling the reeds. I know. Thanks.)
If you know me well, I always emphasize how much effort I should put in taking pictures. This time—omg, I can’t even. You have to believe me that:
– It looked fine but once you step outside the path, the ground is uneven and you’ll never know if there’s actually a hole
– There’s a possibility of wild animals’ existence
– Not to mention that some people were staring as they walked past me
But I was very determined that time, I mean, look at me posing as if I was a Disney Princess who’s unseparated with mother nature.
I think when you like someone, you might do something crazy and try to overcome your fear for them—it doesn’t necessarily have to be a big thing, tho. Like, I once tried to pick up the call when I actually hate being on the phone (this is kinda lame, I know).
So yeah, while this may be a good thing, I feel like the amount of effort you put is not always equal to the outcome you get. Or is it?
Reaching the top
The weather, unsurprisingly, got colder as we hiked further. The sunshine was faded, it felt so gloomy up here. Most importantly, the path became unclear and harder to follow.
At one point, I felt like giving up on this hike. First because I doubted there’ll be any sunset view. Second, there was literally no solid thing for us to step on; as it gets higher, it’s just a slope made of soil, sands, and some pebbles. So we literally had to crawl up.
And just like the main guy who’s hanging in a life-death situation in a movie, this thing happened to make it worse:
Despite my weird drawings (the stickmen, I know), I hope you get the idea. In short, some random guy accidentally kicked a medium sized stone so it started to roll down towards me. I swear that moment felt like forever and I couldn’t even move so I just closed my eyes—luckily, the miracles that usually happen in a movie, also happened to me that day.
Afterwards, Dazi and I decided to stop risking our life and we went down.
At some point, you feel like you can’t go beyond your limit anymore. It’s either you’re tired of trying or you’re not even sure about your feelings.
Call me indecisive, but even after taking some times to think, I can’t understand my feelings completely. All I know is that I am somewhat cold-hearted, to the point that I can go for days without talking to this person (I’m such a weirdo). That’s when he starts to question this feeling-and-stuff… and that’s when I realized that this makes me tired.
It doesn’t really matter who leaves who, because in some cases like mine, we both are parting ways.
time to leave
I actually was disappointed that I was not brave enough to continue the hike. I knew that one was the hardest trail of Sunset Peak, but I felt like I actually could push myself harder.
As I was leaving, I looked back at the peak for one last time. Maybe someday I can conquer this mountain, I remember saying it to myself.
It was already 3PM when we followed the trail to go downhill, but the sun was completely gone and it was all cloudy and cold .We stopped for a while as we saw some people actually gathered at on one particular spot to take pictures of the view.
I was like, okay let’s go there, let me at least conquer that rock.
But who am I kidding… I didn’t even dare to step onto the rock. Like, basically if I lost my balance while climbing it, I would’ve had a free fall. So, no.
[BTS] Left: Waiting for the uncle to go, turned out to be a movie poster “The Traveler’s Story” lol / Right: Me taking a picture of Dazi taking a picture of me, featuring the uncle who left already.
There’s also an abandoned house (I read somewhere that it used to be the soldiers’ camp during the war), but it was not open. So I could only stand on the rooftop.
After you decided to end this thing, you might feel some regrets lingering in your heart. You’ll find yourself thinking, what if I stayed? What if I tried harder?
As someone who took things slowly and gave up eventually, I often felt sorry for him and for myself. So sometimes I looked back to where I used to be or what we could’ve been, another day the good memories just came without permission.
But actually, there are still beautiful things around me, things that make me happy. And so even if it’s all grey and cold, I decided to keep going.
By the way, nothing could be worse than not knowing the way back to the city, when it ‘s 6PM and the sky is getting darker.
At first, it was a clear, single path that led us to the finish line. But suddenly, we saw this sign with 2 arrows—if I remember correctly, both will lead to the city but different distance. I actually forgot which one we chose, but most likely the shorter one, obviously, because we didn’t want to stay here when it’s completely dark.
But when you’re exhausted, thirsty, and cold that you’re so ready to faint, the worst thing in life feels like joining just because it can.
The path we chose was actually so difficult. It was like, endless of stairs where there were trees on your left, and rock face on your right. At first I could just take light-footed steps, but then I lost my count and felt so dehydrated. It was so bad that I was sweating despite the cold weather.
Then our fear came true; it was completely dark so we had to turn our phone flashlight on. After almost an hour going downstairs, we arrived at the end of the trails, only to found out that we’re actually still in the middle of nowhere. It was like a highway, with tall trees on both sides. Wait, actually I was not so sure about that—I couldn’t see anything clearly. In that moment, I planned how should I react if there’s a random stranger showed up. I even thought that maybe ghosts are real that they actually walk behind me.
Another 30 mins in an absolute darkness made me scream when we realized we have arrived in a neighborhood. No, I was not hallucinating; it was not a ghost town. There was a street lamp and a vending machine, so we got some drinks before walking to find the nearest bus stop.
As I said before, it doesn’t really matter who’s the one leaving. I get it—the one who is left behind will usually feels lost, but have you ever thought that the one who leaves can actually have the same chance of getting lost?
In most of my cases, lost refers to the feelings that exist when I’m trying to erase some memories and restore my heart.
Like, I know I have these regrets and guilt, but I can’t even cry over it because I don’t feel sad enough.
I don’t like seeing the other person moves on so quickly, but I do feel relieved that at least he found the right one.
I know that I should’ve and could’ve done it better, but I think I wouldn’t have wanted to change for someone anyway.
Some days I am haunted by the memories, but I sometimes think they don’t exist at all.
I don’t think I miss the person, I just miss the thought about him. Maybe. I don’t know. I’m lost.
But guess what, just like when Dazi and I finally found the right bus stop to go home after we spent hours of wandering around, I too, eventually find my way back to the days when I’m doing just fine.
Conquering the mountain is my goal, but failing to do so is not a total failure because you have some stories to tell about it, at least. The same goes to relationship cycle; feelings may be gone, but memories stay; you’ll always meet a person either for a blessing or a lesson, they say. And for that, you can say it was all worth it.
ps: this is (not) a love story.
pps: the writings in blue are my random thoughts (based on personal experiences lol) so you don’t have to take em seriously!:)
Hong Kong • March 2017