Read aloud on the porch. Thursday at 11:34pm.
When I said I couldn’t do this anymore, I said it thinking it was what you wanted, not because its what I want. I shouldn’t have spoken on your behalf. But you walked out, so seemingly easy, and I thought you didn’t care. With space, or rather radio silence, I know this isn’t true and that I have unforgivably hurt you by saying I was done. I chased after you to make what I want clear, you said you needed space; I didn’t understand that what you meant was you were done at that moment too, and again wanted the white noise silence of the radio.
I wish you had communicated what you meant by space. That space meant distance in the wemightjustnotevertalkagain kind of way. If I knew you were done, if I had known that my words were ones that you wanted to say, I would not have reached out to remind you that I care, to tell you that I love you. I am sorry for suffocating you in my plastic love. You left but never moved some time prior, sitting restless, resenting high school mistakes you told me you had forgiven. Perhaps you overstayed.
I need to be clear, I don’t want this to be the conclusion. I love you, I trust you, I respect you even if I am also terrible at demonstrating these three things. I never thought you were trying to cheat, but I was uncomfortable with the circumstances you created. Even when I said this, you continued without consideration. Where was your empathy? I shouldn’t have been so immature, so insecure, shouldn’t have become accusatory, but why did you defend your choices, despite my discomfort? Why did you deflect the situation back on me, tell me you are irresponsible for the insecurities you cause and declare on my behalf that my discomfort was distrust? I will never understand why she was your priority after a week in separate cities. Why did you not want to see me first, spend time together instead?
We both know quality time is the only way I understand affection. It’s my quantifiably measurement of appreciation. You know this, but you still chose to see her first, to spend your time with her instead of me. I just wanted to see you, spend time in the same room as you, even if on opposite sides of the same couch; I missed you. I don’t know how to understand why someone I love— someone who says they love me equally— wouldn’t want to see me first when they get back to town, but instead a girl outside of our relationship.
I can see while writing this why you say I don’t trust you. Perhaps on some topics, I don’t. Your tendency to promise commitment in several means and forms, I believed you at first. But then you retract these promises. This hurts and I don’t understand it, but I forgive you as best as I know how. What I haven’t forgiven, I know I will forget with time.
I love you more than the early morning light I speak so highly of, the way the spilled light dissolves on your skin and hesitates in your eyes. I don’t ever want you to feel trapped in my early morning reflections. My love isn’t your small town in the midwest, please leave if this is what you wish, what will be best for you. And if you decide to leave, I will be a late summer forest fire, but that can be contained. It wont stop you, I won’t try to. After all, I was there first to admit I can’t do this, and although I mostly meant the conversation, I will always be stitched with the regret of my statement’s ambiguity, regardless if you stay or leave.
With this, please stay if you would. I honestly believe we can still untangle this string, in spite of the fraying tips. I don’t want to destroy something we spent three years braiding because we can’t seem to communicate well when angry. We aren’t normally angry. You asked to talk, and now that we are, now that I am no longer angry, and I hope you aren’t either, perhaps we can continue to untangle. I will start first at my steadfast knots.
My mind is stuck on what you feel is yours, and I’m sorry you feel emotionally responsible for my insecurities— you’re not. I’m sorry I believed and held so strongly to your premature promises— I’m sure you intended them at the time. I’m sorry I became accusatory, rather than asking questions— I will hesitate when angry to hinder this habit. I’m sorry I wrap myself when I don’t get my way— I should have outgrown these temper tantrums. I’m sorry my actions suggest that I don’t trust you— I do, indefinitely. I’m sorry I don’t always show my attraction to you, and this causes strain in the relationship— I have never known a more beautiful human before you.
Since Monday, I have missed like individual grains spilled sand, I felt physically ill in my stomach, I stopped eating again, sleeping too. I’ve spent more time than the days have permitted wandering to find your head. I am yet to find it, but have come to the following conclusions: I am forever grateful to know you, for the fraying threads you intermingled with mine; I might possibly be impossible to love, this will likely remain the same regardless of my efforts; even when you treat me ill, your intentions are always the kindest, and I hope to find last Sunday was no different.
If you leave— because I’m not going— I hope you never feel this chest shrinking pain. If you leave— or if you stay— understand, I will always love you in some capacity. If you stay— or if you leave— thank you, I will do better; for your sake, I will be better.
Again, because I can never say this enough, my dearest, I am in love with you.
Sent as a text message. The following week’s Wednesday at 2:31am.
I’m accepting now that I was just a habit to you, like you said, “a fixture” after you moved in with me, not even considering if I was ready, just to move out when I finally became comfortable with the arrangement— again, not asking how I might feel.
I’ve watched how easy this seems for you and I envy how little you must have cared, how little you invested to go and stay so quietly, how insignificant a “fixture” I had become to you. I understand now it was a mistake to have made myself so vulnerable to you last Thursday. As you said, to you, we have always been in a power struggle, and if so in the end you hold all the power, but you should keep it for whoever comes next. I don’t want to compete for the type of power you sought.
I can never understand why you told me we would work things out— but that is what you do so well. You tell me empty words because you know they fill me, just to take them back without considering that to do so, you take more than you had given. You first did this on our first date when we sat outside uptown, and I should have known this was a habit, not a mistake. I should have known you didn’t mean the relationship when you said we need to work some things out. I should have known the effort I invested would be your excuse to take back more words. But of all your returned promises, this one you shouldn’t have suggested. You should not have slept with me twice that night— under the understanding that we were untangling this mess—just to walk away the next. I don’t think I can ever find enough forgiveness how you misused my emotions, once again to selfishly do as you please, to once again make me just another “fixture” in your life, a tendency of your old habit.
I have always held the highest opinion of you, but I see now those opinions were overpriced for how cheaply you must have thought me. I am not that terrible person you told me I was last Thursday, I am not some sex toy you can keep around for your physical pleasure or an unnecessary lamp when emotional investment is required, and I am not some weak child crying for your affection, despite you teaching me to feel as such.
Calmly now, I am upset that you left and I miss you. I am angry that I still love you— and in some capacity always will. I need an explanation for how you could treat someone— after three years in a relationship— so poorly, how you smiled and waved as you continued to walk as I cried on the busy sidewalk, how your turned your insecurities on me, projected the worst without supporting any of your accusations, why your selfish needs grew to become the only considerable factor, why communication isn’t important to you. When I think of you now, it is Monday and you are walking so carelessly away with some other girl and my eyes are swelled, my face humidified, low barks catch in my throat on Broadway, and I am uncertain of where we are.
As much as I need explanations, I don’t. I think I am finally coming to understand, and if so, I pity you despite my chest seeming to shrivel dry at the thought of your absence.
I love you, my dearest, but goodbye.
The only response received concerned his bike lock being returned.
Note: The previous letters have been edited to remove names.