Dear A,
When I first met you, I told you a story about myself that was a lie. I lied to you because I thought it would make you like me better than C. I think that it did, but still I feel guilty for wanting you to be my friend and not hers. I thought that if you just pitied me more than you pitied her then we would be better friends. That was 1998, in the dorms at UPS. I e-mailed you a story about my not life, about the not life that was harder than it ever actually was. No doubt things had happened to me, but what I wrote to you was something that never happened and I secretly wished had because I wanted the anger I would be allowed to have if it had.

Instead I was just a melancholy eighteen year old with nothing to show for it but a black wardrobe to hide my rotund body and the cuts on my arms. Those were real, those were not lies, but all the rest was.

What I’m trying to say is that what I did to you two years ago is inexcusable. I know A that it seems like these two things are unrelated, but in truth they are part of the same folly. They are part of the same story, the story where I say something or do something to get attention even if it is the wrong kind

When I went out to the car with him all I meant to do was get another drink. That’s all I meant to do, I swear it. I would never have done anything to intentionally hurt you because you were my best friend, the one I called out too, cried to, wrote shitty poetry for, and most of all loved more than I loved any other friend. When I went to the car with him, I thought yeah… maybe I’ll smoke some more too and talk a little. I know it’s not okay to blame things on the tequila and weed, but you’ve done stupid things on tequila and weed too right?

We talked about drumming when we went out to the car and I sang him the first song I had ever written by myself. I was so proud to have my first song, the one that was all mine and meant that maybe I was better than some stupid 9-5 job. I sang him the song not because I wanted him to hear it because I would rather have sung it to you, but because I needed to get it out of my soul because it replayed itself over and over again in there and it needed to be let out.

As I sang, his hands beat the steering wheel and the dash then the windows making my song come to life with the beat of his makeshift drum kit. I was delirious with joy because it was like he understood me for a second and that’s all I wanted. When the music was done he said, “I want to sleep with you, you’re so sexy.” A, I knew that I couldn’t do that because I would never do that to you, and so I shook my head and said instead, “I won’t, but I’ll kiss you.” God, this all sounds like an excuse and I’m sure at the end it will still sound like one and I can’t take it back though that’s the one thing I wish that I could do.

After it happened I realized it was wrong and that I couldn’t take what had happened back, swore with him that we would never say a word, took another swig of tequila and headed back into the club. “What took you so long?” you said. I felt that you already knew, did you?

I introduced you to someone to distract you, a guy I was seeing at the time. I thought if you saw me kiss him that you would forget your worry and doubts. I kissed him though I didn’t want to. Laid it on really thick for you to make it look like there was more than there was and instill doubt in your suspicions.
You smiled at me as we all danced, this is the last time I would see your smile except for in pictures I would look at later to remind me we had been friends. The dance floor was dying and my date had to leave and for his departure I was glad. I met someone else to fill his shoes, someone else in the bar to buy me a drink and tell me I’m pretty. I know that’s all I really wanted but I shouldn’t have taken it from “him” because he was yours, he still is yours.

I took the guy from the bar home that night. It wasn’t the first time I had done that, nor would it be the last, though it was closer to the ending. It was close to the ending because it wasn’t long after in the silence that came that I realized how selfish I had been, how selfish to kiss him because of how lonely I thought my heart felt. I didn’t understand until the silence that you were more important than any other person in my life. As the silence grew, a hole deeper and wider and more menacing than any I had seen, made its home in my heart. It made itself quite comfortable there and I tried to stitch it up, cover it, fill it in, but nothing seemed to.

I thought that the silence would end, but it never did. The hole has closed up a little, but it’s still there and it still consumes things when it is hungry for its fill. I miss you and I’m sorry for how selfish I was and for how selfish I probably still am. I’m sorry that I hurt you like I did and wish I never had because you didn’t deserve that, especially not from me.
I’ve tried getting you back for years now, but it is a futile pursuit. All I can say now is that I miss you, love you, and hope the best for your life. Please know, I never meant to hurt you.


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