“I thought I had my chance when he was gone. See I wasn’t old enough to join the war like he was, and I thought that that might give me the chance to talk to you. It was silly of me to feel happy about someone going into war, but I guess that just proves I was too young and innocent. Even when you said goodbye to him you smiled, though you looked so sad. I thought If I managed to cheer you up, you might share a real smile with me.”
Smiling weakly he twiddled with his thumbs, trying to think of what he wanted to say and how he could convey it best.
“Oh man, how far I went trying to earn your love. I bought you brightly coloured flowers every day from your favourite shop, and even took you for dinner once or twice. But you would always give me that same sad smile; looking off in the distance, as if you might find him approaching if you looked hard enough. Every time you did this my desire to win your love away from him grew stronger. So I took you too my favourite spot to see the stars one night. I set up a soft blanket to lay across the dewy grass and food that I'd prepared for just this occasion .I thought for sure you’d see how romantic and dependable I was and finally fall for me like I did for you, but you just smiled and looked off at the stars with the saddest look I ever saw. You’d tell me all about what he’d written in his letters. How he saved 6 children who had gotten stuck in the crossfire of a battle, you smiled a real smile at that and I was fuelled with envy. I remember how that smile stayed when you talked about what the land he was in and how beautiful it must have looked like. That was the breaking point for me. I remember I got so agitated that you wouldn’t like me back, even though I was trying so hard. I couldn’t understand no matter how hard I tried. I wanted to yell and scream and ask you why nothing I was doing was reaching your heart, and what I was doing wrong.”
He sat back in thought. Hands rubbed at his tired eyes in a groan when he thought ofjust how stupid he’s acted. Who gets upset when the person they like is finally happy? Even if it wasn’t because of something he’d done that should have been enough. He sighed heavily before continuing where he left off; writing was not his strong suit.
“Do you remember what happened next? When you got up the next day to check for any new letters from him, you got a letter from the army with something you hoped to never receive instead. He’d been killed two days ago and died a very heroic death, seems being so caring was what finally got him in the end. How ironic. Although I hadn't done anything heroic like he had, I thought surely you’d be mine when you got over him, right? I tried my best to be supportive with that thought in mind. I held you every time you would cry for hours, it made me angry thinking about how he could just leave to fight a war when you were here waiting for him to return, hoping, hed return. I listened when you talked about him and how wonderful he’d been to you. And slowly but surely I watched as you cried so much you had nothing left of you.”
He paused to wonder If maybe this was even something he should write. Would it bring back bad memories for her when she read it? Would he be the reason she cried over her lovers tragic death all over again? He bit his lip before making the final decision to keep it. It’s not like she would have forgotten it after all.
“But when you jumped off that building; scaring me to my core, I finally realized something. Not once did you ask me how I was feeling, not once you’d asked where I'd been all day, and frankly now I realize that that's ok. I realized just what it means to love someone, and that I couldn’t possibly feel that feeling like you did, because I didn’t really know you. I realized that love wasn’t something you could buy, or earn from someone just because you bought them nice things like I'd been trying, that’s why nothing I did worked. Love was something that grew between two people over time the more you get to know them, and the more time you spend with them. Maybe I have a crush on you, but I couldn’t tell you now wholeheartedly that I love you. You never knew my favourite colour or my favourite food; you didn’t know my dream was to become a chef; you never even knew my hopes and dreams. And you know what? I didn’t know yours either. So I hope that when wake up and read this letter, that we can talk and help you remember your hopes and dreams. I hope you’ll realize that there's more to life than men who leave you to fight and die in a senseless war. I hope you can remember him as a good memory and a reason to live rather than something to make you cry. I hope you can one day find it in you to smile at his memory as bright as you did before this all started, however long that might take, because just as you loved him, there’s people here, like me, who love you.
Sincerely, someone trying their best.”
He hoped with all his heart she would understand what he was trying to tell her. He hoped his words would help her realize that feelings change and so does life. That she might not get over him ever but at least she could live on with his memory being a good one.
He picked up his letter, ready to send it off to be read.