Dear M

Dear Mike,

Thank you for giving me a chance to escape from myself by dating you. Although our relationship was just of the high school nature, it meant the world to me at the time. I needed to be disconnected from my previous self, and hiding in our relationship allowed me to do just that for the rest of my Senior year. I do apologize though because I was using you without knowing it. I had no idea who you were when we sat down at the same table in AP Environmental Science. In fact, I didn’t even make note of you for half of the year. We had been going to school together for three and a half years, and somehow managed to avoid intertwining circles in the small, clicky school we attended – I knew nothing about you, and you knew nothing about my dad passing. At first I was unsure if you were aware of the sad reputation I had formed in the last semester of public school – but when you asked me where my dad was and if my parents had separated the way yours had, I knew that I had successfully found someone who didn’t know me at all. You knew that I was pretty, popular, and looking to ditch school, and I hope that was enough for you at the time. That first day we ditched together was wonderful, and I will forever cherish that memory. I had never planned on playing hooky before, but when you proposed that we ditch state testing and head to the lake, I had no hesitations at all. Riding in your shitty Toyota Corolla along those windy mountain roads, not needing to use any words with Wolfmother drowning our ear space, breathing in the fresh air and sunshine, it was the revival I needed to continue on that year. We weren’t dating yet, and I am glad you didn’t have the courage to ask me out that day, as it would have stolen the moment from me and made it about the superficial relationship we were about to embark upon. Having my mother catch us and meet you for the first time was the cherry on the sundae for the day. I had never officially rebelled in the way teenagers do before that day, and it was exactly what I was looking for. I was so lost, and you were there to wander with me, and that meant more than I can express to you.

This reminds me though that you had once been brave enough to venture forward with the words “I love you” in my direction. You did it in an indirect manner, uncertain of what my reaction would be, and you were right to do so. Those words were too heavy for me to use at that time with anyone outside of my family. They were more than just words that were expected to be spoken after a designated time period of dating someone – they were all I had left to share with anyone anymore because everything else had been taken from me. I apologize for crushing you in your moment of courage, and deflecting your words before they could ever be formally expressed, but I hope that one day you might understand. I have a feeling that you were speaking those words in the hopes that it would progress our relationship from teenage infatuation to a mature physical relationship, but I was not ready for that, and that’s where I drew the line for going with the flow  of my derailed life train. Those words are special and significant to me, and I use them only with people that have seen my soul and for who my heart aches when I am not around them. I think we both know that that was not the case with us.

Sincerely,

Her

P.S. Maybe I will see you again some time around our hometown or at our High School Reunion, but I have my doubts, as neither of us were exactly fond of the location or environments we grew up in. We couldn’t stand the rich kids and their fancy cars, we mocked the popular girls with “Juicy” tattooed down their sides, and we spent more days ditching school together than attending spirit rallies. Our split before college was necessary and needed, but I do wish that from time to time we would have stayed in touch. Then again, what would we talk about? We never did much talking in the first place. I barely took the time to get to know you, because I was too busy running away from everything. It was nothing personal, and I am sure you turned out to be an amazing, successful person in your own way. I would love to meet you again some day, as strangers, forgetting that we ever had a past in the first place.

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