She had woken up that day, refreshed and warm under the southwestern sun. She looked at the boy next to her, smiling to herself that she had once again stammered back from heartache. She could finally feel something again, something other than the trickling pain that clung to her like an unwanted shadow in the night. This boy was a symbol of hope for her; a sign that her past was not something that would continue to haunt her.
His hair was strait, but messy. He had the slightest bit of stubble growing from his face; he was the first boy in a long time that made music play from her heart when she looked at him. Her parents liked him; he was sweet to her, and as a bonus he was in phenomenal physical shape. But there was something missing, an incompleteness, something she couldn’t understand completely, or even acknowledge within her own mind. Nevertheless, she swooned when he woke up, and his voice and arms beckoned her to come closer for an 8 AM hug. A simple, “good morning,” was shared between them, and then it was time for him to leave. A half hour later, he was gone, leaving her at the door, wanting him to stay, and wanting this feeling to last.
She had an idea, a sudden urge to say goodbye one more time, and was soon in pursuit. She grabbed her keys, and raced down the stairs in nothing but pajama bottoms, an old t-shirt, and the closest pair of slippers she could find. She yelled for him right as he was about to reach the doors, and he turned, shocked but smiling. She ran into his arms, embracing him like an old friend, and feeling the cool warmth of his body. He kissed her forehead, apologizing for leaving, but promising he would be back soon after. He held her hand as he walked out the door, prolonging the inevitable separation of bodies.
There she was again. Alone, drunk from his touch, and still wanting more. She looked around, sobering up to the influx and outflux of her apartment neighbors. Quickly, she walked to her mailbox, an excuse to her appearance and lost look. Inside her mailbox, she was surprised to find an envelope along with the usual junk mail and advertisements. The envelope, a plain white and crisp container for something unknown. The front was stamped, with no return address, but a handwritten delivery address in the middle. She recognized it immediately, and her throat swelled accordingly. Her heart began to beat, her face became flushed, and she hurried to the elevator back to her room.
She closed the door behind her, taking a deep breath to prepare her mind on how the next hour would go. She went to her trash can and let the letter hover over it. She grabbed it back, setting it on the kitchen counter, letting it stare at her for what seemed like an eternity. She grabbed her phone, looking for his contact information, and remembered it had been months since they had last spoke, and his name had not been on her screen since. This was an unsolicited letter, a spur of the moment, but wanted letter. She was clueless about what its contents would bring, but she knew it would be heavy, something that would either bring her peace or reignite that very weak flame she had put so much effort into extinguishing.
Her curiosity was too strong, and the longer that letter sat there, the more those old feelings would float back to the surface. She grabbed the letter, and ran it into her bedroom, where she gathered tissues, and prepared herself for what would come.
She ripped open the top in a rushed frenzy, tearing a part of the paper that was inside. “Oh, fuck!” She dropped it between her legs, taking a few deep breaths, and carefully opened the rest.
It was as she expected, his small handwriting spaced within the soft blue lines of his paper. It was cleaner than before, slightly slanted left, and the letters were sharp, making her think that he had mapped out the letter well before he put the pen to paper. There were a few tear marks scattered throughout the two pages. One had been wiped away, the other two were left alone and dabbed later. She couldn’t help but picture him write this, in his old dorm, with his expensive pens, and under a single desk lamp while the rest of the room remained dark. She grew sorry for him, sad that she had not thought about him in the longest time, but decided that with or without whatever love she still had for him, she would read the letter, and throw it away right after. Her eyes, those two hazel eyes wandered to the upper left corner, and began their nostalgic trip.
I know that this letter will come as a surprise to you, and if you’ve made it this far, then I know that you won’t have thrown this in the trash, but braved yourself to what might be an emotional read. In which case, I’m glad to know you took the risk.
I’ve been hard at heart lately, the past few years I’ve been angry, upset, and bitter over an inner-confusion that I couldn’t seem to reconcile. That heaviness has since passed, knowing that in the end our run is over, but that it was real. And when times are dark, I can look back at the happiness and love you brought me as something I can hope to find again, and I hope that have done the same for you.
I know we are far apart, but I hope that one day we can look at our time together and remember the joy that we put in each other’s hearts. Our love was the best that it could be at that time. You taught me so many things, like how to use excel, how to mourn, how to love, and how to be loved. The fire you started within me has since ceased its glorious roar, and now sits as peace and acceptance in my heart. But I can wake up every day knowing that it may start again; you’ve shown me that. So, while time may pass, and other people come into our lives, I only hope that they, and the world, feel your love as much as I did. That thought eases some of the pain that comes with losing you.
Wherever you are, or whoever you become, just know that you will always have my love.
She held the letter to her chest, wiping away the few tears that came, and fell back upon her bed, where she would lay still for quite some time.