An Open Letter

Dear M,

As the time since our time grows longer and longer, the more I feel I really need to write you this letter even though I know you will never read it. My hope is that writing to you can be the final step in moving on. It took me a long time before I thought I had let go, but after I had a near-miss with Joe in California last year I realized you were still in my mind. It seems crazy how much time I have spent in the past nine years thinking about those six months, but the time I spent with you and J was the most important time of my childhood and I am working hard so that they are not the most important six months of my life. I am not there yet.

Despite everything I put you through, most of which I regret, I am so grateful that you were there for me. It never occurred to me how unlikely everything was: getting to know you, both of us meeting in Texas. Meeting J and spending the summer with her. The weekend in Baltimore where I was a brat and then you came and stayed at my house where I pushed you too far. Breaking up with J, and then with you in the span of two weeks. Once it all ended I started to realize how in a bubble that summer was, like a dream. I could do anything that summer, I was unstoppable. Nobody around me had any real clue what I was doing but then I clearly had no clue what I was doing either until it ended.

I am not sure if you ever really knew why things ended, it happened so suddenly. What happened was that you called me desperate and you were right. You were saying it while trying to get me to back off a little, which given the circumstances was totally fair, but once I read it in your words I knew it was absolutely true and I knew I had to end it. My mind was not fully-formed enough that I could handle being called that, and recognizing it in myself, without having a breakdown. It took me a long time to fully accept that I am a desperate person and only recently have I started to overcome it. I still am desperate, but I am trying.

I am sorry I was so immature. Though I like to think I am more mature now, I am not sure if that is really true at all or if I am just better at hiding it. I was just a kid and it pains me to think of the things I said and did back then but that is how it goes, right? Because I am more mature I can recognize now how things were winding to an end with us anyway. How we were never going to be together, that I was not what you wanted even though I could not see it then. I was so self-absorbed that I was not able to see things from your point of view and if I had, maybe it might have ended in a better way. It was unfair to you, but it was what I had to do.

My main regret, if I could change anything, was that I did not tell you that you were beautiful more often. I was so self-absorbed and so much of our time was spent on my feelings; your beauty intimidated me and I was afraid to say it more. That is a shitty excuse but it is all I have. You were the most beautiful person I had ever met and I have no idea if you ever realized it for yourself. I hope you have by now and I am sorry it has taken me so long to say it.

I like to think that the only thing I did right after ending it was to not give in and beg you to take me back. It got close there for a while, there were a number of drunken nights when I was on the cusp. When I saw you in Baltimore again in '06 I was in a bad place and it took everything I had not to say anything. You never let on if you saw me, and for that I am grateful.

It was because of you, because of what I did that I learned the lesson how time keeps moving forward even if you never want it to. I spent every day in the cocoon of my dorm room but things kept happening. Kerry lost the election, I almost failed out but instead I graduated and found a real job. I bought a Ransai and a bass guitar but I never played either much, mostly so I could copy you. I became an adult and know so much more than I did before. I guess that is to be expected.

I think I am in a better place now than I was then with you, I think I am a better person. Well, I like to think that anyway, it is a nice thought.

Love,
Alice