You know that I love you, right? But you know what really makes me mad? The fact that it’s always been so damn one-sided with you. I used to believe that maybe someday you’d come to see the error of your ways. Realize that we were right for each other. Cut from the same cloth. As true and binding as a covenant burned onto a stone tablet. But I need you to see it, too. I’ve recently had a feeling that something soon will come between us. Remember what I once warned; ‘I’ll be devastated, but you’ll be the one with regret.’ I know it sounded cursed, but it was a warning of what I saw coming. I’d like to say I want you to be happy, but I’m not going to lie. I do want to see you content, but feel the misery without me. I’m too selfish to want for your happiness without me there to have it with you. There. I said it. Sorry if this rubs you the wrong way. Brandon
Any girl would be ecstatic to receive a letter as emotionally charged as this (outwardly enraged, but inwardly flattered, secretly delighting in the fury steaming from an infatuated admirer). But this is Brandon we’re talking about. And I’m not just any girl. So naturally while reading through it, I react with that all too familiar feeling of worry and annoyance that has plagued me since the beginning.
Brandon, please. Don’t do this to yourself.
We’ve been through this so many times already. And don’t talk about fate. For one thing, I’ll decide my own fate. It’s bad luck to assume something is destined before you’ve seen the outcome. It’s like mocking Providence. Only in hindsight do things appear to be preordained. It’s another thing to assume you’ve won the grand prize. It only dooms you the opposite. Almost analogous to proclaiming the next engineered cruise ship to be unsinkable, then deigning to name it Titanic. In life where the gods keep vigil on our egotism, rarely can we afford to esteem ourselves in such high regard.
Starting from our teens, my friend Brandon and I developed a tradition of writing letters that has lasted to the present day. Whenever one of us had something raw to share, you can be sure we’d end up losing sleep over it scripting an epistle. We held fast to this method, un-swayed by the convenience of modern Email, each of us refusing to let the Internet age intrude on the habit. A letter, scripted by your own hand felt permanent. It committed you to your actions. The very effort sent the message that you cared. That you meant business.
Brandon had been my next door neighbor and best friend since our early teens. For that reason, it was easy to pop letters in each other’s mailbox whenever one of us had the ‘urge’ to ‘purge’ and get something off our chest.
You can tell them off. You can say all the things you wouldn’t have had the guts to say if you’d had them standing in front of you.
I knew he’d seen me kissing Devin from the front porch, a man I wouldn’t torture him into meeting at this point. The swift drop of the curtain from behind the arched window told it all. The spectacle instantly starving any hopes he’d nurtured on me for so many years. I’m guessing it prompted him to write this letter where he poured his guts out for the umpteenth time.
And my heart ached for him now as it did from the very beginning.