The last train home from the city boarding call boomed over the crowd. Zipping up her jacket, she boarded on with everyone else heading north. She had her headphones in, bag with her notebook and personal affects. It had been a longer day than expected and the sun had already set, submerging the city into darkness. It was late fall, almost winter and the ground had a light dusting of snow. She knew what was waiting back home, even more snow, so she had brought with her mitts and a hat in preparation.
She walked up the two flights of stairs and found a single seat against the window. Sliding her bag under the chair she thought of the dinner she had to cook for herself when she got home. It would be almost 8 pm by the time she got home. It was times like this being single was a burden. Wouldn’t it be nice to have dinner made by someone who loved her instead of making one for herself so late… She contemplated ordering in.
As she sat waiting for the train to depart, she changed her music playlist. She wasn’t feeling like listening to her usual upbeat tunes, she needed something mellow tonight. She chose a 90s alternative rock list, Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye blind started, she turned up the volume a couple notches incase loud talkers chose to sit near her. As the train began it’s slow send off from the platform, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath; trying to clear the day away from her. And that’s when she saw the names that haunted her.
Names that she had been trying to move on from. Like every human, she had people come and go, but these recent experiences made her cuts even deeper. So deep she was feeling trapped and unable to escape the tall walls within her. She often envisioned herself in a well, jumping and climbing the wall; seeing the top within her reach, light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. Until this past year. This past year she felt the walls growing higher and higher, the light getting smaller and smaller. Gradually she saw her body in this imaginary well droop, progressively more limp and tired of trying, until she was slouched on her knees, head and shoulders hanging forward. This is how she envisioned herself now as the train blew it’s horn to warn others of its coming.
The sound of the horn sparked something in her. It shook her out of her hopeless well and made the walls start to crumble. She reached under her seat and pulled up her bag, removing her notebook and pen. She felt ready to start healing the ever-expanding wound. She began to write. She began to write letters to all the names that built the wall around her. The names that made her feel insignificant, that removed her spirit and blocked all her hope.
These are her letters.
I rushed into you, cautious at first from all my previous scars, but then due to circumstances I was thrust into deep waters with you. Not really knowing who you were, and unable to do so as a result of our circumstance, but also because you were turned off. No one or no thing had turned on your light yet. You had no passion, no spark, for yourself, for life, for anything. You just lived day to day. I have theories about why you are the way you are, but I will never know for certain as the moment I showed raw emotion, you ran. And thank you so much for running. Call me desperate or call it the fighting response for the mere possibility of forever love as I usually do, I held on where my presence wasn’t mandatory.
Thank you for being so cold and pushing me away. Thank you for showing me who I am, that I am a sensitive person and need to be with someone who understands that. Thank you for teaching me not to settle. I hope that your light is lit one day that you don’t go through life motion by motion.
You were a reminder for me to stay true to myself. You opened up my wound, exposing old nerves, old fears; but the scar from our relationship healed easy. You no longer have any power over me. My goodbye to you was said long ago.
When I think of your name, it brings up so many feelings. Feelings of anger, love, lust, respect, admiration, embarrassment, confusion. Not one of those feelings overpower the rest. Love used to, but time and time again you showed your true colours. Who you are shone through, but the shame I feel for falling for your false colours was my own fault. I felt mislead by you. But when it occurred multiple times, I was to blame. My desperation for love and the way I felt about you after you inspired me to blossom and grow, after you awoke the joy in myself, I was to blame for thinking you were honest to your word.
I thought you were everything; you had me entangled into a web of dreams and hopes. Perhaps it was all in my head; perhaps I created this imaginary world where you felt the same. I was blindly dedicated to you, no matter what you did. How poorly you mistreated me, how little respect you had for me. You showed me how I deserve not to be treated.
I will never know what the real reason was for your departure. I can overthink and analyze the crap out of our conversations, but only you really know. In all honesty, I don’t think you do know. I think you’ve lost yourself and your own passions, throwing them into meaningless busy work. I think you’re truly grey, striped of your fire. I hope one day you find your fire again; you open yourself up to love. A love that you knew I could give but weren’t ready for.
What I can take away from our almost relationship was what you ignited in me. Thank you for inspiring me to find my passion and lighting a whirlwind within me. In due time I will be over you, today’s a major leap away from your reins.
This goodbye is final this time. You won’t be able to play me again.
You are the one I cannot feel certain about our ending. There is no evidence to support my hope for you, perhaps because unlike the other two, you were decent, kind and respectful of my feelings and myself. I was unsure of how I felt for you, until, well, I knew one day. It just clicked. You and I just clicked. Or so I felt. It seems I cannot trust my feelings anymore, they lead me to disgrace. But you my dear, you were unlike anyone else. Most often I could read you, I could understand your thoughts. Majority of the time you said something and I was like “I was thinking the exact same thing”. Which might by why I think there’s some room for hope still. If we thought so alike, perhaps you are too scared like me to follow up with our almost relationship. But then again, perhaps I’m being me and staying in a position that is no longer available to me.
It isn’t easy for me to say, but I hope you reconciled with your past and have found all the joy you deserve. I know you hold yourself back from joy for whatever reason, but you deserve it.
Thank you for showing me what kind of love, the kind of connection I deserve. What I should look for; someone who I understand, and who understands me. Who speaks my language, who admires my passions.
I don’t feel ready, but the evidence and history tells me it’s time to say it. So here’s to you and here’s your goodbye WJ.
This letter is for you, you bold, outspoken, thoughtful, creative, sexual, scared, dedicated, sensitive, lonely, compassionate human. Don’t you forget your past, don’t you run from it, don’t you let it hold you back from something wonderful in the future.
This letter is to remind you to keep chugging forward at full speed, slowing down and stopping along the way until you find your home. Don’t ever dim your shine for anyone, don’t ever forget how you deserve to be treated and don’t ever settle for less. Find the one who treats you with respect, find the one who you connect deeply with, find the one who understands your view of the world.
Don’t ever settle.
Don’t ever forget how wonderful you are.
No love you receive defines you except the love you give.
As she finished off the last of her letters, she felt numb. Writing was always her therapy, writing these specific words and feelings drained her. Her heart felt empty and with some rest, she will be able to fill it again. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, but she will find that spark again. She looked at her watch, realizing how cold her hands felt exposed to the cold air on the train, she still had 30 minutes until she arrived at her stop. She pulled out her mittens from her pockets, rested her head against the wind and she let her eyes close. Dreaming not of the names that flooded her, but of the warm mug of apple cider she was going to make herself when she got home.