I don’t remember what my last words to you were. I just remember that I was angry.
I have it all written down somewhere, but I’ve never had the stomach to go back and read the whole conversation that led to us never speaking again. Us – you, and me, who’d loved each other for so long. Or at least, I loved you. I know you said you loved me, and I’m sure you thought you meant it, but I can’t imagine that you’d have been so quick to let me go if it were really true.
But I loved you. And the tragedy was that eventually I couldn’t love myself and you at the same time anymore. I had to choose: Do I let my sense of self-worth suffer so I can stay friends with you? Or do I love myself more than that?
I chose me. And while I know I chose right, part of me still wishes every day that I’d fought harder-… no. That isn’t true. Part of me still wishes that you had fought harder. I just wish you had tried to understand me. Because goodness knows I tried to explain.
I wasn’t mad at you for not getting it. How could you have gotten it? How could you have known where I was coming from? I just wish you had believed me. I wish “that hurts my feelings” had been a good enough reason for you to say sorry and try not to do it anymore.
I cried for days after that fight. I still think of you and have to ward off tears. You are someone I never thought I would have to be without, and to this day, I can still feel you not being in my life. I felt like you’d died. That’s how deep the pain was. And I know this is spiteful of me, but I often find myself hoping that it hurt you that much, too, but that’s probably wishful thinking. Maybe you don’t miss me at all. Maybe you still think I’m crazy. Ever since then, I’ve had this awful fear that the only time you ever talk about me anymore is when you’re telling someone about the “crazy black bitch” who “blew up at you over nothing.”
Do you remember when I was still in high school, and you used to send me pictures of things you’d doodle in class? And one day, you sent me a doodle of a little woman with huge boobs, a big ass, and enormous lips, and captioned it with “it’s you!”
Back then I hated myself too much to tell you how hurtful it was.
My biggest wish for you is that you’ve grown since then. You were always so brilliant, Mike. So goddamned talented. So passionate. Smart as hell. You’re still one of the most talented people I’ve ever known. But you, like anyone else in the world, were a product of your environment, and your environment taught you some really fucked up things. And those are things that can’t be unlearned without effort. I want you to be a better person than you were then. I want you to be better than the guy who preferred to let our friendship die, than to be sensitive to his friend’s concerns.
I just… I dunno, Mike. For a year now I’ve wanted to reach out to you but I’ve always been too scared of finding out that you haven’t changed (and tbh I’ve been hella scared that I’ll find out that you actually died a year ago or something awful like that. I REALLY hope you are not dead). That would break my heart more than anything. I always wished that someday you would get in touch with me again and tell me that you’re sorry you hurt me. I let myself believe that you haven’t done so yet because you’re scared – scared that I’m still angry, that I won’t forgive you, or maybe you feel too ashamed… or maybe you just aren’t sorry.
But if you are scared, and if you are ashamed, please don’t be. I promise you that I can forgive you, if you ask me to. I want to see that you’re the Mike I know you could be, and I want to forgive you. And if you’ve done the work on yourself, and you’ve soul-searched and opened yourself up to learning to respect the things you can’t quite understand, then you have nothing to be ashamed of. And if any of those things are true, then I would love to hear from you – if you find this letter, then you know how to find me.
…But if you just aren’t sorry, then… well… I want you to keep that to yourself. But I still hope someone gets through to you someday. I hope you never hurt anyone the way you hurt me ever again. I hope you take care of yourself.