Hey old friend. Hope this letter finds you well. Then, what letter DOESN’T find you well? At least, the “real you”. The kind that faileth not.
Love, I owe you an apology. I must tell you about the run-in I had with one of your imposters. Most unsettling, I know. I shouldn’t act so surprised. I suppose I owe him an apology as well. Oh I’ve met him before. The first time was February of last year. He was so handsome and tall, blonde hair and beautiful penetrating blue eyes. He wore a blue and purple plaid shirt and jeans. He touched the arch of my foot as I sat on the couch and he on the floor. I sat next to him as the hours wore on, and he read to me with my head on his shoulder. Oh! How I wanted for him to be you!
We stood by the bookshelf and I thought out-loud after sharing a beautiful quote about you. “I wonder sometimes, what are we afraid of?”
“Oh.” He said. “I see.”
He took me into his arms, and he gave me what I thought was your kiss. I guess I didn’t read the fine print because he left me with his kisses and his words.
“What are you thinking?” I asked the next night, our eyes locked.
“What you will look like…in 10…20 years.”
The next morning he was gone.
The whole mistake made me a bit crazy. I read a passage from my journal around that time, “Can’t breath. Still choking on my own words.”
I would not be fooled again. I spoke of YOU. I read books on YOU. I made vows to stay true to YOU.
The morning of New Years Eve. The same people, on the other side of the country. You’re probably wondering what on earth I was doing there.
We spoke in his kitchen that Friday morning, snow draped over all of Queens, light seeping through the glass and getting all over the tile. He stood as he made bread with currants and I sat at the table stirring the blueberry muesli and vanilla rice milk he gave me for breakfast as we spoke. I still drink rice milk. I brought him a ginger candy and began to cry. He hugged me close to him and the rest, was history.
No really, history repeating itself. Once again I found myself searching his hair, his lips, his eyes for you. The difference? This time, I knew I wouldn’t find you.
He kissed my hair, my head, my forehead my cheeks, my neck, my eyes, my ears, my lips. How I wanted him to be you. How willing I was to lie to both of us.
At one moment truth overwhelmed me, and I began crying again. I pushed him away. “C…this isn’t what either of us are looking for.”
He brushed my hair out of my eyes and looked at me with a kind smile (Does not that sound like something you would do? Wait for this…)
“Maybe” he said, “We should stop looking.”
I shot him a glance that compelled him to hear what he was saying.
“I’m sorry” he muttered as he buried his face into my neck.
“I know,” I whispered, tears swelling.
I’ll leave out the rest of the details, Love. I remember how much they offended you. So much, in fact, that I felt your absence from the very moment he put his arms around me. He filled your vacancy for a time, but as soon as he left, I was without either of you. The weight of the guilt was painful—not nearly as painful as the emptiness created by your absence.
So love, I am sorry. I’m not afraid that I hurt you. You are resilient and seem to exist and flourish with or without my consent. I am sorry that I created such distance between us. I know I’ve been forgiven. I know I haven’t learned all you are trying to teach me.
I don’t blame him. Not anymore. I forgive him, as you have forgiven me. May he and I both learn to live more honestly.