Where to begin?
I suppose I’ll start when we met because that’s where it begins, isn’t it?
We met through a mutual friend at a one-act play. As cliché as it sounds, when we first met each other’s eyes, I knew we would have something special. That first night, when we were all hanging out at iHop after the play, I was so nervous I made a fool of myself. Talking too much, laughing way too loud and long at stupid jokes I made myself, and then tripping all over myself when I left. I’m still surprised you gave me your number.
It all started with one look. After that night, we talked nonstop. I’d be in the middle of doing something random and my phone would go off and I knew it would be you. Do you remember those little “Hey you” texts with the smiley faces? They were the highlight of my days for months. We would talk all day and long into the night about the most random things we could think of. I still remember our conversation about what we would do if aliens were actually just people made of chocolate. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much in my life.
I told you all my secrets, even the big scary ones that no one knows. And you told me yours. And when you cried and poured your heart out to me over the phone, I wanted so badly to be there and hold you. But you wouldn’t let me. I didn’t realize it, but that was the last time we really talked without you pushing me away.
Maybe I should have seen it coming. I don’t know. You had just lost the love of your life a year and a half ago in a car accident, one you still blame yourself for. But it’s not your fault. You can’t help that she was driving too fast, even though you told her to slow down. You can’t help that she wasn’t wearing her seat belt, even after you put it on for her. It’s not your fault. Yet you still blame yourself. I wish I could take that blame away from you, make you see that it’s not your fault, but I can’t. You won’t let me into the part of you that’s so guarded. God, I hate seeing you so hurt and not being able to do anything about it.
After you told me, your texts became less frequent. You wouldn’t answer me for hours and your texts went from cute and romantic to plain hellos. You were slipping away.
A while ago, you liked my “Truth is” status on Facebook, but you told me you wanted it in a message. So I sent it in a message. I told you exactly what I thought; That I still like you, but we grew apart and we don’t talk any more. I blamed it on the fact that you’re in college and I’m just in high school, but I know that’s not why and you confirmed it that night. You said you push me away because you’re afraid that you would corrupt me because you think you’re unclean.
The fact of the matter is we’re all unclean. We’ve all done things and been through things that corrupt us in some way or another, but you use yours to push people away instead of using them to help heal yourself. You keep reopening that wound like it benefits you to feel that hurt. It doesn’t.
I’m going to be frank. She’s gone. Nothing you can do will bring her back. Beating yourself up over the fact that she died and you lived isn’t going to help anything. Turning to marijuana to escape won’t help. Drinking all the time won’t help. You’re just doing this to keep the pain alive, to constantly punish yourself for surviving.
It’s okay to still grieve over her. Miss her, cry for her. Love her still. I know that’s never going to go away. She’s as much a part of you as anything. But you have to let go. You have to realize that she’s not going to come back. It will hurt. It will hurt like hell, but after you deal with it, it’s going to be so much better. It’s still going to hit you when you least expect it, but at least you won’t be tearing the wounds open yourself.
I hate seeing you in so much pain over this, but I can’t do anything to help you when you don’t want help. It makes my stomach hurt to say this and I’ve thought about it for so long, but I can’t keep doing this. I can’t compete with your first love, even though you lost her. You are still so completely consumed by love for her that there isn’t room for anyone else. So I’m going to let you go. I can never send this letter to you because I know it will just break you even more. I’m going to bow out gracefully and leave with my dignity still intact. I’ll be your friend and I’ll support you in whatever you do. I love you, more than I have any other person who has walked into my life, but I can’t do this anymore.