I stopped checking my post when I realized that each envelope I received through the door would not be from the person that I desperately wanted to hear from. You were that person. With every clunk of the mailbox, every expectant shuffle through the bills, one letter was always missing. I realized though, that I had never sent one to you. Many times, I turned over a new page of the notepad whilst my hands shook, staining ink on my hands. My hands were stained with the ghosts of words that I wanted you to read but I never knew what they were. I felt that I should write you a book but it would be plotless. Still, each day I waited. But now I know that each day when your mailbox turns up empty, you would not look for my scrawl on some tattered envelope.
But there never were words to describe you. You occupied the liminal space between love and un-love from the start. I remember our first meeting and I remember seeing a kindness in you that is still there when we meet now. Now though, it is a kindness that I can never trust. Your moves towards me were as unsubtle as a checkmate. I did not love you at first. I could not love someone who so utterly trapped me. A period of my life is now partially lost. Memories are afflicted with the strange light of sadness. It is like thinking in sepia.
I once met your gaze with a smile but now I cannot bear it, nor can I bear your touch. Not your hand on the small of my back or your hand in mine. We share the same friends, and as each group outing progressed, we became closer and closer until I gave you more thought than my partner. He realized he was losing me and watched me slip away slowly like a boat going out to the ocean. I will never forgive myself for the hurt that I caused him.
I recognize now that I have been foolish. I recognized your loneliness and the doubts inside your head that mirrored my own. You gave me hope that even if I was falling out of love with someone else, you’d pick me up and set me right.
You were not the man that I woke up to each day as the sun streamed through my curtains. You were not the warm presence in my bed through cold nights when the moon shone brighter than any of the stars. You were never my lover but often professed to be my savior. You offered me company when I felt alone, dried my tears of frustration but left me, unsure as to whether you could handle the real me that I kept hidden beneath my make up.
You wore me down until I broke. It turned out that I am just a plaything, a toy to be discarded. Even now, I am of no interest to you until you find yourself alone. You keep both a veneer of disgust and sympathy ready when we happen to meet, I never sure which I am to be greeted with. You frighten me and you know. The break down of our friendship was bitter. You tried to pull my friendships from under my feet and tore down any confidence you helped me build. Since that day, I have struggled to find my old self. I stopped caring about my appearance, I stopped caring about my feelings and I hurt those closest to me. I became ill but I will never be able to blame you completely. I do not see you regularly now but when I do hurts. Contrary to the opinions of others, I believe that am responsible for what happened. For their sakes though, I have started to open up again, participate in life a little and have strangely, gained stronger new friendships.
In the end, I rebuilt my relationship. I have had to learn how to gain another’s trust again and repair the wounds that led me to you in the first place. I am lucky in that I have someone to love me and share love with but it will take time to forget whatever it was we had. People do not talk often of those they fall for outside a relationship but I hope that someone reads this and realizes that it is a cryptic game that can never be won. I know that you will never read this letter but for now, it is enough to have written it.I hope that one day, you remember me fondly and perhaps write a letter of your own. I will never wish to read it but I’ll always check my mailbox, just in case.