“I don’t write often, so don’t judge too hard,” the text message read.
I opened up my email and there it was, waiting for me. My eyes could not read fast enough. They scanned and rescanned, checking to make sure not to miss a line.
Every word of his made my heart flutter. It was not that his writing was particularly good, but that I could hear his voice in my head speaking to me with each sentence. “I didn’t think I’d be falling in love with you.” Me neither, I thought. “Thank you for letting me break down your walls.” It was my pleasure.
“It’s beautiful,” I messaged back, not knowing what else to say. I meant it.
I had sent him my own word document a few days prior, at his request.
“You know,” he said, “you made me fall for you a lot harder than I meant to.”
“Funny you say that, I wrote something about that the other night.”
“Can I read it?” he asked excitedly.
At first I did not want to share it with him. The letters I wrote to him were never supposed to be read. It’s this strange thing I do. I write letters to people, but I never actually show them.
A counselor once told me that I had too much “buried anger.” I keep my emotions within instead of releasing them to the outside world. It is hard for others to tell what I am thinking, so they never know if something is wrong. It gets frustrating. I don’t try to be mysterious. I’m just more comfortable living inside my mind. It ensures I cannot get hurt, at least, by anyone but myself. Vulnerable is a word I never learned. Through writing, though, I can express those emotions.
He managed to convince me otherwise when he said that my writing was the best way for him to know what I was thinking. He knew me too well. Give that boy a gold star, he had figured me out.
When he wanted my opinion on what we should do about the whole long-distance relationship thing, I already had my answer. In writing. He knew I would have a written response without asking. I promised to send it to him that night.
I grew scared when I did not receive any kind of reply before going to bed. I worried my letter was too harsh, and that maybe I should not have let him read it. I did tell him to take me or leave me after all, something I would never say in person. I woke up multiple times that night to check my email and phone, but there were never any new messages. I began to regret sharing my writing with him. Sharing my writing was equivalent to sharing myself. If he rejected my writing, he would be rejecting me. I had given him the dagger to hurt me.
Finally, in the morning, another email sat in my inbox. “If I’m doing it with you, I’m willing to try it. I love you.” The dagger that floated before me slowly vanished, replaced by an open palm.
I could not figure out if that was the response I wanted to hear. Any other girl would have been relieved. But I was always closed off, and it terrified me that someone was willing to fight for me, take me. His hand was there and ready for me to hold.
I will admit; I was in a funk for a few days. He could tell, but he did not get upset with me. Instead, he sent me another email. One titled, “Understanding You.” Again, he apologized for his poor writing. An insecurity he need not have.
His words. Oh, his words. People had written to me before, but never for me. He had learned to express himself in my language. A language put to paper instead of spoken out loud. A language that required actual thought instead of being blurted out loud. A language that was permanent, with the capability to be read over and over. A language some might consider dangerous, including me.
And what’s more, he really did understand me.
I don’t care what he says. His writing is beautiful, just like I told him that first night, and I would read it any day. No judgment involved. He had the capability to hurt me and instead he showed me what could happen if I only took a risk and opened up.
In life, you can either actively avoid getting hurt, or you can take a chance. I went for it, and ended up with a guy who is not only willing to go the distance, but write for me — the ultimate reward.