A Letter I'll Never Send
In my head, you smell like roses: sick, sweet. Sick because the thought of you destroys the calm of my mood in the same way bad seafood destroys the calm of my stomach. Sweet because the thought of you still fills me with joy, even though I have no right to feel it.
The girl I wasn't better than found out about you last week. I know because she wears the same expression I wore when I realized I couldn’t be good enough for you. On her it's different, though, isn’t it? Because it wasn’t your decision--it was hers. She realized you weren’t good enough. I feel a strange victory in that. It’s vindication.
Sometimes I drive past your neighborhood and wonder what you’re doing now. I heard you have a job at Lowe’s now. I don’t know why that image seems so wrong to me. You never seemed the type to give into society and get a regular job. I always imagined you doing something exhilarating, like flying jets or jockeying during horse races. I never pictured you as you are now. It’s odd how we imagine those we admire as something greater than they are.
I’m not sure why I’m writing this letter, to be perfectly honest with you. You don’t owe me anything, nor do I owe you, but here I am. I wonder if I’ll even send it to you. I don’t think it would make a difference anyways. We haven’t spoken in what feels like years. I thought we were better friends than that, but I guess we never quite got to that point. Instead we just orbited around each other, dancing away until the distance was too much and the gravity dissipated. That bothered me, I think, but not anymore.
I’m not angry anymore, and it was never really you that I was angry with. It was her, for listening to me and never once telling me. It felt like betrayal. Still does, a little. She doesn’t understand why I’m distant sometimes, cold. She doesn’t know that there’s very little I tell her now. I’ve learned that I’m very good at subtly distancing myself from others. Sometimes even I don’t realize I’m doing it. It’s both a gift and a curse, as they say.
I hope that you find happiness one day, because it doesn’t seem as though you’ve found it yet. I know you like to think that you have, but the few times I’ve seen you in the last couple months I could tell. It isn’t real, not yet. I used to look like that--as though I was trying to convince myself I was happy. You’ll get there. Or at least, I hope you will. I haven’t yet, but it takes less convincing now, so that’s something.