#5: Dear Rachel

Dear Rachel,

I know that you hate it when I call you by your english name, but I don’t think you ever asked me why I loved both of your names. We were too young to really think anything of it back then anyways, but I can look back and realize that I loved your names because they had a unique sound. They had texture, and movement. Because I loved the way your name caught in my throat when we fucked, and I loved the way your name trembled from my lips when we made love.

We were 14 years old when we met. We still reminisce about that moment, because it was a moment we both remembered, but we didn’t know why. We were in Mrs. D’s classroom, watching Romeo and Juliet. You were there because you needed the extra credit, and I was there because I didn’t want to go home. I remember looking at you. I wasn’t a sexual being yet in the sense of the word. Sure I had hormones and all the urges, but they never really bothered me until I saw you. I pushed it from my mind when Mrs. D introduced us and you mumbled your hello. You were a beautiful girl, and I was me. I let myself get lost in the movie, never realizing that you were sneaking glances at me the rest of the day.

Life is a funny creature isn’t it? Such an innocuous moment led to 10 years of love, betrayal, loss, hope, and tension. Do you know people still think we should be together? We were that couple to so many. The couple that gave them hope for themselves. I know it gave me hope. I loved you so much. I loved the way you scrunched your face in confusion. I loved that only your nose got red when you cried, and the smell of your skin along your neck. I loved the way you whispered into my ear as I became undone around you.   There were many aspects I didn’t like, but I loved you.

All these years later, and I still can’t figure out why you hurt me the way you did. I can’t figure out what I didn’t give you. Maybe it really was you; maybe it was your fear. You hurt me so I wouldn’t hurt you. Our fights were pretty epic in high school, but never once did my love wane for you. I was 16 when I told you I loved you. What did I know of love? Nothing….except I just knew. I would have willingly spent the rest of my life loving you. I didn’t care that you would be the only one to know me completely…as long as it was you I would be fine.

I fell apart after everything went down, and jumped into a relationship that I just didn’t have heart in because I just needed to know that I wasn’t someone who could be caste aside. I was wanted in someway. I know you say that you love me, and I know after we finally mended some of our bomb-blasted bridge that you wanted me, but you knew…you knew how I felt about being discarded. My father had tossed me aside like I was nothing when I was younger…and then you did the same thing. Discarded everything I had felt for you because you were too afraid to talk to me about what you wanted.

I don’t know where that fear came from honestly. I never said no to you. It took me almost 6 years to learn how to say no to my lovers, but I never said no to you. I never stopped you, or told you that you couldn’t, do something that you wanted to, so I just can’t understand why you stopped trusting me. What is the point though? It’s been so long, and even though we have a tenuous friendship, the past is just that…the past. You can’t change your mistakes, and I can’t change mine. And it was a mistake Rachel…the day you showed up at my college dorm-room almost 3 years after you shattered my heart, and we fell into bed.

You always said there was something between us. That spark. One look into each other’s eyes and we knew everything we needed to know. It was something out of a movie. It was what gave hope. For me, it just hurt. Everything about you hurts. The way my heart tightens when I hear your laugh. The way my skin reacts when you brush against me. The way your lips taste when pressed into mine. It hurts, because I know for the rest of my life that you will own some part of me that I won’t ever get back. You were my first love; you were my first everything, except maybe kiss…but we don’t count kisses at 8 years old.

I’m sorry I’m hot and cold with you. Sometimes when I’m around you, or talking with you, I just get turned around and it is easier to be a bitch than to show you how I really feel. Because the love I have for you is tainted with this hurt I can’t seem to get rid of. The first person I gave myself to threw me away, and came back, and threw me away again…and I just can’t shake it off.

I’m sorry that I can’t get behind your recent engagement. I really think that you are just lost. You are searching for the thing that you and I once had, the thing you destroyed, and I think you are searching for a fairy tale that no longer exists. So you are settling, and it is sad. But I know that it is because I can’t give you what you want. I can’t be the girl I once was, because you destroyed her the day you called her to tell her you loved her, while in the arms of somebody else. Because the last time we laid in bed together I cried because I still loved you…

I could turn a corner, some 50 years from now, on some remote street, in a city too large, and see you standing there and I wouldn’t be surprised. I wouldn’t be surprised if our lips met instead of our hellos, and that we just held each other. I wouldn’t be surprised because you were my first love, and it was unique. Not because we were young and stupid, or because all first-loves are unique, but because it was us. Because for all the hurt, I can still laugh with you. Because I embarrassed you with silly-singing telegrams. Because we sat on the steps of our high school, holding each other as we watched the sunrise on the first day after the end of our childhood. Because I know that walking away from you was the hardest part of my life, but I had to so we both could start living.

We used to share the same dreams, and I know in recent months some part of you had hoped it would be the same way again. But, for this moment, in this time, this is my goodbye. I don’t love you the way you want me to love you, even though I will always love you the way you want me to. Sometimes, it just isn’t enough. I know you think I only know what you want me to know, but I know everything. I have to leave, because for the first time I love myself more. There is something out in this world waiting for me. It might be you. I don’t know, but I have to find it. If the roads lead me back, then I will know. But right now, I have nothing to give you, because you have nothing to give me. Love, this time, isn’t enough. You broke it….we broke it. Our hands that once healed all the hurts, caused new hurts, and if we continue doing what we are doing we are going to poison ourselves beyond repair. So I have to go. I’m sorry.

I love you. Goodbye.

-Faith

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