6 comments

Feb 15, 2020

Creative Nonfiction

Dear you,

No, dear lover,

Is that too forward?

I just get so tired of being scared all of the time. Scared of my looks, scared of my thoughts, scared of you. The possibility of you.

Dear you,

Hello. I am in love with you. I am not hopelessly in love with you, I don’t experience those cinematic butterflies when I sit with you on the floor of my bedroom. Does that mean I don’t love you?

No. It means something much simpler, yes, because you are my best friend. You live 908.3 miles away, but it feels like three million. I forget to call. I’m sorry. I’m not very good at those types of things, I can’t explain how much you mean to me over the two by three-inch smartphone keyboard. I wish they made those things a little bit bigger, but even then, I don’t think I could muster the words to type out a coherent sentence that encompassed…

Everything.

 I’m writing this, and when I think of you, I think of your hands. They are long and slender and dark and the pads of your fingers swirl in a forever, parallel dance of tag. I miss those hands to death.

 I’m not allowed to miss you though. You have someone else to miss your hands, to notice your pale finger pads, the warmth they offer on a cold day. I held those hands once. I try to sleep, but I find myself pressing my fingers to my cheeks, trying to come to terms with the fact that they will never be in your’s again. So, sue me if that’s wrong, but I miss your hands.

 God, there are only so many things to say to you. I just can’t write them down fast enough. I wish I could offer you time. Just a little bit more, a little more time in your company to treasure. I could accept that we will never meet again, just a little bit longer under those golden candle light bulbs, glowing with warmth on the August night. Crickets. Laughter. You.

 We shared a blanket that night, but we sat in separate chairs, and you linked your leg around mine and smiled at me. My heart didn’t melt, all I could offer you was a smile and my hand. 

 “Seven minutes until midnight.” I promised I would tell you everything at midnight, and you counted, and you smiled. We talked about everything and nothing, but it didn’t matter. When midnight came and passed, when you heard me say that I loved you, it didn’t matter. I wasn’t ready. I hugged you bashfully and crept off to bed.

 I tried to sleep in, I was so scared of you, you see, but they woke me anyways when you were leaving. I was still in my pajamas, no makeup, surrounded by everyone, and I hugged you. I felt your cotton t-shirt against my cheek. I didn’t breathe until you let me go and looked down at me. I was so scared, damn it, why couldn’t I have said goodbye?

 Next time, when I pluck up the courage to Facetime you, you aren’t there. She’s with you, and you don’t have time. You have AP Calculus homework, and it’s due the next day. It’s 11:00 pm in your timezone, and you are going to bed. I regret it, but I have to make up excuses when you call. It would be too gut-wrenching to see everything that could have been if I hadn’t been so damn scared. 

 Excuse my emotions, for I will never understand. The brief glimpse I had into something, scared me enough to make it nothing. It’s harrowing, what love can do to someone. Not the iconic breakup sobs, the effusive love letters, the gushy chocolate boxes. The fear. 

 I haven’t fallen in love with anyone since you. Part of me is still deeply in love with you. I can’t find that part of my brain, my frontal lobe coughs up excuses, and I don’t understand. Did I mess up? Because I am alone on Valentine’s Day, and I have nothing to offer you. 

 Dear you.

 Dear everything we could have been.

 I’d like to make a toast. Here’s to our past, here’s to our unseeable future, and everything I didn’t say to you. I can’t tell you over a screen how detached I feel, how I am seeing everything from behind soundproof glass. Am I being vague?

 I don’t know love, I’m sure of that, but I know everything I need to know. I can’t access the part of me that has fallen in love with you, and maybe that is love.

 When you told me that it’s okay that I don’t call, I couldn’t believe you. I believe you now. I’m positive that we will never fall asleep holding hands or kiss each other while the sun drips below the exploding horizon simply because we just never got the timing right. No, we got the timing right, I just didn’t have enough patience to wait it out. 

 Dear you.

 Dear laughing about this.

 I want to apologize because I haven’t called in two months. Happy Valentines Day! I won’t send this, but I promise that when I am on another long car trip to another big city meeting more important people, I will call you. Or when I am splayed out on vinyl wood flooring, a donut hole in a ring of friends and family, I will send you a text. It’s in the direct crossfire of things where I feel the most along.

 Okay. I’m done, I promise. Just make a promise to me that you won’t forget to call, even if I do. I will forget to call.

 Hello. I forgot to call, but now we can talk.

 Unlike those famous, soppy movies, it’s the beginnings that make me the saddest. 

 Dear you.

 I have a secret to tell you now: I was scared.

 I was really, really, really scared.

 Dear you.

 I have another secret to tell you now: I don’t think I’m that scared anymore.

 Dear you.

 I’m ready to try again.

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6 comments

Millie Spence
19:27 Apr 05, 2020

I adore the way you structured this. It's poetic and it's purely a pleasure to read.

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Natalie Frank
18:16 Aug 17, 2020

Thank you; this was a real experience in my life and I didn't want to state it bluntly, because for me, the experience wasn't just that. I appreciate you reading my story!

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Debra Johnson
02:32 Jul 29, 2020

This was beautifully written. I like the way the true feelings were expressed and the remembrance of when these two were together and how tormented she was not to have expressed her feelings when she had the chance. i was instantly captured by her feelings.

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Natalie Frank
18:16 Aug 17, 2020

This was actually a true experience for me and writing it down was an eye-opening experience for me. I'm glad that you could interpret what was not directly down on paper. It's readers like you that inspire me to continue writing!

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Debra Johnson
19:22 Aug 17, 2020

Glad I could help.lol we all need readers and people in our lives that can motivate us in a positive way.. Keep writing and I'll keep reading.

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I love the structure of this story, like poetry. It truly is a work of art.

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