Dear John – An Unread Letter
A letter of regrets. It seems to me that I was too young, too naive, too impatient to trust that we might have made it work. I was selfish in wanting to let you go, but even now I think about you every day.
You sit on my window, always watching. I greet you in passing, and send you love from here. I wonder what you are doing. Do you have kids now, a family? How is your mother? Are you in good health?
I’ve written to you on paper a dozen or more times, always to be crumpled up. I’ve written to you in my head a million times, forming words that aren’t allowed to be written in ink. I’ve written your name on my heart so many years ago and still it stays, as fresh as the day I first gazed into your eyes.
I can hear your voice whispering in my ear, and I long to come home. But it’s not in the stars, not for me to trek your way. Not now. Maybe not for our lifetimes. But that doesn’t mean I don’t long for it.
All of the images I had in front of me at one point, to remember you by, are gone. Except for one, the one on my window, the one that never gets taken down. And the ring, that even now can fit my finger like it was put on there yesterday, with it’s Scottish curves of endless promises. Though it does need a good cleaning. But I remember your face, I remember everything about you that I knew about then.
I’ve worried for you when I haven’t been so concentrated on myself, like there’s some extension of me that might feel as you feel, whenever you feel it.
I’m sorry I didn’t trust, didn’t make it a priority. I regret it now. At the time it seemed like an endless army of paperwork and promises to change a country and neither of us had anything to offer, except to each other. I chickened out. I know that now.
I don’t regret other choices that have led me right here, typing this out to you. I have a passion in my art that I might not have found if I hadn’t stumbled here. I have a beautiful little girl whom I wouldn’t trade for the world. I am not unhappy with this life.
But a part of my soul is missing. And I think it’s always been with you, since the day we met. And I miss that piece, sometimes as much as I would miss the air I breathe, and other times wistfully like I just imagined the whole thing.
Except I know better.
I feel like a traitor writing these words, but you have been a heavy presence on my heart the last few months. I know I must talk to you, somehow. But I cannot bear to call the number saved in my phone, the one that has been there all these years. I fear that hearing your voice, the soft velvet burr, will kill my heart. That I might cry. And somehow that makes me weak and afraid, emotions that I don’t let into my life.
I wonder if you feel the same.
Is this you?