We owned that summer. We owned those nights that we sat up talking about everything and nothing. My heart will always skip a beat when I think back to that night you looked at me in the moonlight and said, “My God, you are so beautiful.” Sometimes I think that if I had known that would be the last summer of my life that I had to be young then I would have left to Vegas with you in September. But then I look at my son and…
Remember that night you sang Sinatra to me on those bleachers? I had lied to my mom so I wouldn’t have to go home. We slept in my van so often it was like home to me. I always loved our phone calls that lasted all night and our inside jokes that we could never explain to anyone. We are different people now, but for those few months and all those nights, we were perfect for each other. There was always something poetic about our good times. Our bad times were horrible, but when we were on an upswing, we were unstoppable.
So much went on when you weren’t around that I wished I could tell you about. So much abuse that just spiraled out of control. You kept me sane. You kept me ALIVE. I think you know who that abuse was coming from. I wanted to tell you so much, but I was so scared of everyone. The only light I had in my life was you and the pills. I hate myself for it now because you deserved better. I shouldn’t have lied. I didn’t see any other way. Then one day you were the cause. He knew about you. When he found out, he jumped through his bedroom window, pinned me to a wall, grabbed a knife, and all I could do was close my eyes and try to hear your voice singing to me. It was the first time I had ever been truly afraid of him. I didn’t want you to know and there’s still so much I wish I could tell you about that time.
I want you to know that I’m happy now. I’m getting married in just a little over three weeks. Like, actually MARRIED. In VEGAS. I know that’s what we always talked about doing, but this time it is actually happening. I’m in Cali and I know you’re just an hour or two away, but I haven’t tried to contact you. I think it is more out of fear than anything else. Or maybe it’s because I consider our time together as my own. It was a summer hat I will never forget. Your name and face will always be connected with youth and love and reckless abandon in my mind. *You will always mean something to me.*
In my own way, I still love you. I love you as a memory and an idea. I love you with all the passion that one 17 year old girl I knew once could possibly love someone. The only this is that now I can recognize the difference between that love and what the kind of love that lasts forever is. We were never meant to last forever any more than giraffes were meant to fly. But we needed each other at that moment and I like to think that we both got what we needed. I want you to know that, somewhere in my heart, we will always be staying up all night in my van laughing and loving and listening and *living.*
I wish you all the happiness in the world. I hope you find what you are looking for. I hope that your memories of me are always a source of happiness like mine of you are. I hope that neither of us ever completely forgets the other, even though my memories are already beginning to fade. I hope you never give up on all the dreams you told me you have. I hope you never feel worthless or unloved because you will always be worth so much to me. I hope one day we see each other again and can smile and reminisce and walk away happier because we found each other. I hope we never find each other so drastically different from the people we were during that summer. I hope we always keep some bit of the people we were and never let it go. I hope you always wear Converses still and that your hair never gets cut too short. I hope you find a girl who can deserve you and that you live a long, happy life together. I hope you can know the peace and happiness that I feel now. I hope we both can come to terms with the negative parts of our pasts. I hope you look forward and see a brighter future. I hope you learn to trust and that you don’t get hurt for it. In my heart and mind, you will always be the boy I fell in love with one day in June. In my heart, you will always have your own place.
With all the love in the world,