After two days of straight travel, the wind deposits a letter on LINS, bound in hard cover. Due to the long nature of the journey, its binding is worn and its pages are weathered, but the heart of the letter – the content – is intact, and the message is undefiled. You open the battered cover and see familiar handwriting and then… then you begin to read:
It all comes down to this: two people who never speak any more, yet BOTH claim to love the other. Neither person can see any possible way to work things out, yet BOTH are currently experiencing indescribable pain at the absence of the other. One is convinced that letting go is the right thing to do, while the other has tried to hang on with all the strength he can muster. So who is right?
I’m not going to call you out by name or sign my own at the end of this letter, but I can guarantee that you will know who this letter is addressed to as you continue to read, if you haven’t figured it out already. I know there’s no guarantee that you’ll even read this, but I think the writing of it is just as important to my well-being as your exposure to it. This will be long (2,798 words to be exact) and many will pass over this letter because I’m writing down months of thoughts, but I know you will discover the identity of the author soon enough and will likely read through it because you WANT to hear what I have to say – you need to hear it, even though you’ve heard parts of it before and some of it will be painful. Because this is my heart, stripped naked and vulnerable to your eyes and criticism. Tear me apart or build me up; it’s your choice.
The first thing you must understand, and perhaps you already do, is that I NEVER meant to hurt you. I have never lied to you or deliberately made you upset. I’ve never gone against you or spoken ill about you. I know you are hurting right now because I am 99.99% sure that the letter I read on here a few days ago was from you.
Even now, the last thing I want to do is hurt you. If I could, I would take ALL of your burdens and pain upon myself so you can live your life happily and freely. However, there are going to be a lot of things in this letter that are going to hurt you to read just as much as it hurts me to write. But they must be said. So I must ask your forgiveness ahead of time. Because the second thing you must understand is that I Love you – far more than I ever did while we were dating. I suppose distance does make the heart grow fonder.
I meant every word I said to you in those short five months twenty-eight days we were together. I fell in love with an AMAZING girl and you made me the happiest I’d been in a very long time. Yeah, you had bipolar disorder, were unpredictable and you had some flaws, but the ocean of my love swallowed them up and buried them so deep below the surface they were crushed underneath the water pressure. None of your flaws mattered as much to me as just ONE of your attributes. No girl is perfect, but you convinced me that you were perfect for ME and I loved you just as you were.
I know it may hurt, but please take your mind back to the days when we were together; when I would look behind those beautiful eyes of yours and tell you exactly what you meant to me, and how your eyes would light up as you spoke those powerful words “I love you, too.” Remember those nights? Remember the serenity and peace that hovered above us like a blanket and kept out the cold? Oh, what I wouldn’t do to have you in my arms again!
Time to switch gears. Do you remember those times when you would have an episode in front of me? It didn’t happen very often, but when it did I saw the worst side of you as you would cuss out your mother or trample on the power of prayer. Did I ever run away? Did I ever retaliate with harsh words or piercing criticism? Or did I respond in patience and kindness in order to calm you down and allow you to see more clearly? You know the answer to that.
Do you remember when I drove all the way to your house in the middle of a school night so I could deliver an English paper I printed at my house that you needed the next day because you didn’t have access to a printer?
Do you remember how I stayed with you four straight days when you had your wisdom teeth pulled and were cranky due to the pain?
Do you remember how I would show up at your house at 7am every Friday because you asked me too, even though you wouldn’t get up and get ready until 8 or 9? Do you remember how I did that regularly, even though I knew I’d be waiting out in the cold for you?
Do you remember how I would sleep in my car to save money and be able to spend more time with you since your landlord doesn’t allow overnight guests?
Do you remember my regular encouragement whenever you struggled with trusting God or understanding certain things?
Do you remember how much I truly loved you?
But I didn’t Love you, at least not as I should have. I thought I did, but these last few months have shown me exactly what Love IS and how it exists between two people. I so dearly wish I could have Loved you as I should have, because it would have saved us a lot of heartache and stress. I didn’t step up and stop things when they got too far physically, because those boundaries were blurred. I didn’t defend those boundaries we had set in place, and I have no justifiable excuse as to why not.
I was weak, unworthy of the title of “man”. A true man follows God’s standard unwaveringly; I compromised and the devil won. Eventually I realized that things were getting too far. Something wasn’t right, but instead of handling the situation properly, I panicked and ended the relationship. We never had sex, and for that I’m thankful, but it scares me to think about how close we came to toeing that line. As a Christian I understand how God designed sex for marriage, but as a human I see just how difficult it can be to say “no!” True Love waits, and now that I’m stronger I intend to do all in my power to save myself for my future wife. I just wish that could have been you.
I know I screwed up a lot, but for some reason you loved me anyways. Unless I’m wrong, you STILL love me, but you’re afraid of what might happen if we DO get back together. You’re afraid I’m going to leave you again because I’ve already done it once. I know you are. You’re afraid things will just go back to the way they were, because what other way have you known? And NOTHING I can say will change that mindset or reduce that fear, because to be honest: words are just words and are meaningless without action.
Do you remember how bad and awkward our first date was? Yet you requested a second date. Things should have ended there, but they didn’t.
Do you remember “Cerritos”? You broke down in my car because you didn’t find me attractive and intended to break up with me. You were upset because you felt you were “leading [me] on” and you just kept crying. Again I was patient, we went out for frozen yogurt (and a few laughs) and the relationship, for some reason, continued. What made you change your mind?
Do you remember how you never ran away from me, even when I told you my “secret” and when you discovered my faults?
Do you remember how you could calm me when I was stressed, or make me smile when depressed?
Do you remember encouraging me to be the best I can be? To be competent and successful and worthy of your love?
Do you remember how you loved me?
But even you did not understand Love, as I did not understand it. I was your first real love and it was a learning experience for you, as it was for me. I wish I could say you were my first love, but you know that’s not true. However, I CAN say that you were my GREATEST love, and I will always Love you in ways that I never could love her. Yes, I do still Love her, but I Love her as a sister. My Love for you will always transcend that form of Love, even if this is good-bye…
Are you still reading this? I hope so. I know life has been hell for you lately, at least as far as my absence is concerned, but why are you convinced that we can never be together? Why must you let me go, despite the love I know you still harbor for me? I guess that’s the hardest part right now for me to endure: the rejection; the fact that you don’t want to give me a second chance. I know I don’t deserve one, after what I put you through, but gosh, I Love you so much sweetheart. YOU are the river that flows through the desert of my heart and brings it to life. YOU are the lighthouse on the shore, guiding my ship away from danger and destruction. YOU are the stars in my sky that I look up at in wonder and amazement, contemplating how anything could be so beautiful, yet so mysterious…
And I know that God is quite worthy of all those comparisons, and quite rightfully does He claim them in my life, as you do, only He fulfills those roles in ways that I can’t even explain! And so much more on top of it! So please don’t think that I’m putting you above the One that is much more deserving of my Love, but He placed YOU into my life for a reason, and by doing so He made YOU my river, my lighthouse, my stars, and I see HIM through YOU, which makes you even more beautiful in my eyes.
Do you still have troubles finding your worth or value? Does the truth of your beauty still elude you? Does your attractiveness hide its face from you? Then let me remind you exactly who you are. Once, a while ago, I started writing down a list of things I missed about you. I didn’t expect it to be long, but somehow I came up with 73 things I really missed. Here are among the top qualities/memories about you that I miss:
I miss your passionate heart from which your dreams and aspirations poured.
I miss your beautiful smile that could pierce the darkest veil surrounding me.
I miss your faith in God where, although sometimes shaky, was such a joy to watch grow and mature.
I miss your intelligence and wit, which provided both entertainment and support, depending on the
I miss the weirdness of your personality, where you weren’t afraid to just have fun around me or other people.
I miss your blunt, straightforward honesty and how you don’t beat around the bush. I hate it when people sugar coat something to protect my feelings when sometimes I just need a hard kick in the rear.
I miss the love and devotion you had towards your family and friends, where even though you didn’t always get along with them, you knew the importance and value they had in your life and you rarely took it for granted.
I miss how you would retort to my sarcasm with some of your own, always keeping me on my toes.
I miss your appreciation for sentiment and how the little things sometimes meant the most to you.
I miss your creativity and way of viewing the world, and how you applied that frame of mind to all you did in life.
I miss your sense of adventure and desire for trying new things or going to new places in pursuit of new experiences to allow you to grow as an individual.
I miss your understanding nature and how I never had to hide anything from you, because you understood the battles I faced and that they are NOT who I am, but rather experiences and influences brought upon me by the state of the fallen world we live in.
I miss your devotion to health and fitness as you strove to take care of your body and tried to help me to do the same.
I miss the way you were full of life and joy and how light can be seen, even in the darkest of places.
But most of all, I miss the light in your eyes as you talked about your father and the powerful Love you have for him, and how much you miss him since he passed away. The relationship between a father and his daughter is so… unique and special, and it warmed my heart in ways I can’t even express to hear you talk about him.
You are so unique and beautiful and I was a fool for ever letting you go. I was a fool for so many things for so many months, and I am so sorry for all you’ve endured on account of me. All I’ve wanted lately is to be Loved, and it hurts because I remember how much you DID love me, and how much I threw away. It hurts even more knowing I probably won’t ever get you back. It might be just as well, considering there have been a couple of changes in my life that would make a relationship even more difficult between the two of us:
1) I moved in with my dad a couple months ago, which would add at least another ten minutes to the already-long commute, meaning it would cost more to see you. However, this is probably the easiest obstacle to overcome, in comparison to the others.
2) I’ve been dealing with severe depression these last several months, and I have no treatment for it mostly because we don’t have the money. However, most of the depression comes from the feeling of emptiness, of not being loved because I really don’t have a lot of people in my life, and I miss your love so freaking much, and I think perhaps if we were to Love again and you gave me a second chance, it may help solve this issue, but no guarantees.
3) I am going into the military, and I’ve made up my mind. Remember how I was contemplating this course of action when we were together, but I discarded it because I wasn’t going to place someone I loved in a position like that? Well, now I’m convinced it is the right move and I’m going to see an Air Force recruiter this weekend. And even if we were to get back together, I’m not changing my mind on this, though I would not even consider then re-enlisting for more than the original term (four years) as I might were I still single.
None of these things could stand up in the face of True Love, however, and if we do Love again we CAN and WILL make it through, and be stronger in spite of it. But I also realize that the chance of True Love developing between us is microscopic almost to the point of unrealistic. But a guy can hope, can’t he?
With that, I think I’m about ready to wrap up this novel and send it on its way for you to read (or, more likely, not to read). Perhaps if you don’t see it, one of your friends may recognize you in here and expose you to it. Who knows? I just want you to understand how much I Love you girl and how so very sorry I am for all that has happened between us. If this really is good-bye and we are going our separate ways permanently, then I pray that God bless you with true joy and happiness in your life, and I want you to know what a great benefit you were to mine while you were in it. As of this moment, I refuse to allow myself to become sad or depressed at the thought of you, despite all the reminders of you I come across in every day life. I will ALWAYS Love you, and I will NEVER forget you, but you were right in at least one thing: sometimes there is a time to let go and move on. And if you have chosen to move on and let go, then I must do so as well. However, if by some act of God you wish to give it a second shot, you know exactly how to reach me and there is no fear of rejection for you. I just pray that you take EVERYTHING into consideration before making a decision.
In case I haven’t iterated it enough, I Love you!! Please take care of yourself. You are bound to bring sunshine into somebody’s dark, lonely world. It’s who you are.