My Dearest Friend,
I haven't written in so long. I feel almost guilty, like a thief returning to the scene of the crime, trying to return the priceless jewels before any one takes notice that they are missing. I feel guilty for the life I am leading as opposed to the life I should be living. I lay here at night, on this couch that does not belong to me, under a roof that will never be mine, being less than what I can be. I think of all the missed opportunities. All the unspoken "I love you's", not just between us, but between so many out there. I close my eyes and focus on the many stories floating through my mind, begging to be written down, struggling to be told, and I wonder why I refuse to share them. And then I feel guilty once more. For my life has before stagnate by my own hand.
I am not happy, My Sweet Friend. I look at my children, and I find evidence of God in their smiles. The Almighty speaks in their laughter. I try to tuck my sadness away from them, fearing that it may contaminate the innocence they are still cloaked in. I'm scared to hold them too tight. Look into their eyes too long, least they themselves get lost in the darkness that have enveloped my life.
I look down the road ahead of me. The decisions I will be facing in the upcoming months leave me tired and restless. I can not always live on some one's couch. I can not grow old under another person's roof. And while I've always known that I would face this delimia: how long to stay vs when to leave, it fills me with a heavy sorrow to know that when I move my children under my own roof, it will be a roof that I will grow old under alone. This realization is not new to me.
But, the emotions that accompany it are.
I've always been ok being with myself. Once upon a time, I looked forward to the days unfolding ahead of me, with just me and my thoughts. But, not anymore. I know that upon hearing the news of your death, a switch flipped inside my heart, a switch that made it possible for me to be content with just myself. I saw myself as an old widowed woman, having loved and never going to love again. Was I in love with you, My Dearest Friend? We were best friends. And aren't friends of that caliber in love with each other just the tiniest bit? Wasn't there something besides a shared traumatic past that kept us together? I know there was.
You held me like there was.
But, then you died. And a switch was flipped. And, now......well now, things have changed yet again. And I don't want them to.
I want my old self back. The one that was satisfied with the silence that surrounded her. The one who sought out solace in writing and photography. I don't know who this new woman is. This new woman who runs from anything creative. Who shys away from all people, known and unknown. This distrusting woman who longs for no one.
Well, that's not quite true. Even in death, I can not lie to you.
I fell in love once. I don't believe I've mentioned him in any of my previous letters. I only speak of him now because he is what has changed me.
And not for the better.
His voice is soft like velvet. Yet, it thunders when he speaks out of anger. He is cemented in his convictions and I can only dream of one day becoming as good a person as he is. At one point, this man seemed to occupy the majority of my thoughts. I wanted to share everything with him. I longed to open the dark shadowy corners of my imagination and let him crawl through the jagged spaces that very few have seen. But, he didn't trust me to take him there. And it left me feeling like the weird girl in the corner. Naked. Alone.
I still love him. I want to reach out and tell him that my heart is still open to him. But, I can not. I want gently remind him how short our days truly are. How tomorrow is not really full of promise. That it's all one big lie. Tomorrow is void of everything. It holds no purpose. There is nothing after today. When we open our eyes to the morning sun, we must grab onto every opportunity we have to love those around us. And allow ourselves to be loved by those who are willing. Because tomorrow is nothing.
You taught me that.
I need to climb out of this abyss. Start living again. Put the pictures in my head down on paper. Accept the fact that this is my life, and while my address will one day change, it will always be just me. I need to find a way to flip that switch back and lose myself in words again.
I need to find me......