I am going to, for the sake of argument, believe that you were telling the truth all those times you said you loved me. It’s been four years since
I closed you out of my life you chose to walk out of my life, and I’ve wondered ever since how it could have been true. But for right now, I’ll believe you. You loved me.
To this day, you’re the only man who’s ever said it to me, who might have also meant it.
I’m just writing to say that in spite of everything, I miss you. I don’t know if you miss me. I have changed a lot since we first met – I was 13 – and I’ve changed more still, since we last spoke. I was 18. I’m 22 now. You’re 27. I’ve just finished my first screenplay and you’re a budding filmmaker. Last I checked, you were still doing and saying things that disappointed me. I know that if we had ever had the relationship I wanted, I’d have left you eventually. And you wouldn’t have fought for me. It wouldn’t have been much unlike what happened between us in reality.
But somehow, knowing that doesn’t make the heartbreak any less potent. I still grieve the “what ifs,” like they were just taken away from me yesterday instead of in my sophomore year of college, alone in my dorm at 4 in the morning, crying into my pillow like any other goddamned heartsick teenager.
There are things I know about myself now that neither of us knew back then. I’m not exactly the ~girl~ we thought I was (even though I still look it on the outside). Somehow – I’m not surer how – this realization makes me feel like I’ve lost you all over again. It makes me feel like, if only I had known what I know now, perhaps our relationship would have culminated into something different before it ended.
I know it’s unlikely.
But like I said. It doesn’t ease the pain.
I miss you all the time. I think you were the last person I learned to be close to before my mental health took a turn for the worst – I can’t make new friends anymore. No new connections, no new loves… I make acquaintances, yeah. But no one I feel kindred with. No spirituality, no until-death-do-us-part loyalty. You were the last one.
I think that’s why the ache is still so fresh. The hole left in my soul is still shaped like you, and I can’t get anything else to fit into it.
I dream that our paths will cross someday, and you won’t know what to say to me. I’ll have already said everything to you – in this letter, in other things I’ve written about you in the past – but I won’t be able to remember any of it.
I want to talk with you. I want to know how you’re doing. I wonder if you’re in love with anyone right now. I wonder if anyone is loving you, and if they are, do they love you as much as I still do?
That’s the shittiest part of all this: I still love you. On many days, I convince myself that I don’t – I’m over you, I’ve moved on, whatever. It’s not true. I loved you even as you chose not to fight for us.
A few months ago I found that comic book you sent me for my 16th birthday on my bookshelf. I had thought I’d torn it up and thrown it out. But it was neither thrown out, nor torn. I sat and stared at it. Held it in my hands. Realized that it was the only thing I can hold, that you have also held before. I remember in the card you sent with it, you wrote at the end, “happy birthday, my love!” For a long time, that card was the most special thing I had.
I wonder if you still have the stuffed penguin toy I sent you. I got it from Homestead Gardens one winter, and I sent it to you when you were going through some rough shit with some shitty boy that I knew you deserved better than. I named the penguin Oliver, because I knew that was your favorite name. I wrote a note along with it that said something to the effect of, “Penguins mate for life. This is Oliver, and he will love you forever. Just like I will.”
You said you almost cried when you opened it.
Another time, I sent you 50 pink hearts, each with one reason why I love you written on it. You used to tell me about how whenever you were feeling down, you’d take them out and read them, and smile, knowing I loved you.
I wonder what you ever did with Oliver, or with our 50 hearts.
If you are like me, then you got rid of them.
I hope you still think about me, and miss me. You are a grown ass man now. You have bigger things to worry about than some
girl guy you used to say you loved. But I’m still thinking about you, and still mourning the long talks we used to have, the declarations of love, the near-tearful rendezvous in New York that never lasted long enough…
I know there are better guys out there than you. Ones who would try to win me back if they ever realized they’d been pushing me away. Ones who would never dream of turning their back on me. Ones who want to be better, wiser, more benevolent. You are not, and never were, that man. I don’t know if you ever can be.
But I love you, and I miss you, and I would give so close to anything just to be able to look you in the eyes again.
Rot in hell.