Dear No- Actually, this time: Dear Someone,…. Dear You,
How selfish it is of me to demand you to sit still and read this. Nobody could possibly control you if they tried. (And I hope they never will) But, I humbly request some of your attention, so I can reminisce on some old memories we share.
We can blame this on time, distance, and the inevitability of growing up, but it would be foolish of me to deny that over the past few years we have grown apart. Maybe growing apart is not an applicable term. Rather, growing accustomed and getting used to. We’ve known each other forever, since we were little kids, and I see no problem with continuing to know you for the rest of my days. As it is Valentine’s day, it would only make sense for me to elaborate on these feelings I have for you. Partly because I believe it might bring us closer, partly because these emotions have become so strong I can no longer keep them to myself.
Do you remember your first school dance? You were so nervous you must’ve checked in with me 20 times to make sure your outfit was really okay or if your hair was looking good. In the end, it didn’t matter. You would go home that night with wrinkles in your clothes and messy hair after dancing with your friends. Who knew that you would look the most beautiful after the party, because you were wearing the most stunning smile.
What about when you and your team won the tournament? The mud on their faces and the scrapes on their knees did not keep them from chanting and shouting about how you had become the champions. And even though your mother had raised you to be quiet and polite, you couldn’t help but gleefully join in with that banter.
Or how about that time you felt that rush of relief when you got accepted into the school you had wanted to go to for so long. You jumped up and began to literally dance around the room, flailing your arms and spinning around whilst blasting some cliché pop song. The wave of relief that rushed through you caused you to laugh so loudly your chest began to ache. The unmistakable sense of joy was tangible throughout the whole room.
When you had your first kiss with that person you thought you loved, and you wouldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the week. You had a habit of softly tracing the curve of your cupids bow with your right index finger. Although you never said it out loud, I’m certain you were daydreaming about them in those moments.
I laughed, I cheered, and I celebrated all of your accomplishments. There is something so profoundly beautiful about the spark of happiness in your eyes, it’s hard to put into words. That subtle twinkle in your eyes seems to show a glimpse of the cheerful child you used to be.
I’m so proud to have been with you when you lived through all these moments of joy. Especially because, these bright moments were only high because they were contrasted by incredible lows.
Like that time you had the opportunity to retake that exam after intense tutoring and still failed miserably. You were so shocked by the outcome, you couldn’t even cry. You just stared at me. No, not even that. You looked past me. You weren’t actively trying to avoid me, you simply did not have the energy to talk to anybody anymore. Couldn’t bring up the energy to fathom that there were other things than feelings of failure and despair.
Can you even remember that night that you went out with the people who pretended to care about you, because you wanted to forget everything that had ever happened that week? I mainly remember the morning after. When you ended up all by yourself on the bathroom floor hanging over the toilet, with no one to hold your hair back.
Or when that committee couldn’t allow you to further participate in their posh academic program because you simply did not meet the requirements. Once again, you were staring off into the distance. This time however, you were murmuring apologetic sentences. You were practicing what to say to people in case they would ask what had happened, or why you had dropped out.
And the most painful moments of all, when the person who you trusted most broke your heart. In this case those moments appeared to be inevitable. All part of a vicious cycle in the love life of a hopeless romantic. I could not stand to watch you like that. Sitting in the dark, staring at the ceiling, breathing heavily, crying quietly, asking whoever was up there to explain why this had to happen to you and waiting for all of it to make sense somehow. Sadly, neither the ceiling, nor the universe, replied.
I could only catch glimpses of you during these periods. You have this bad habit where you tend to avoid me during the more difficult periods of your life, even when I wanted to help you. I was never upset with you for doing so, because I knew that you would always come back to me at some point in time. And so far, you did.
You would come up to me quite tentatively, almost as if you were asking for permission. Never quite knowing what to do with yourself. Making funny faces made the process a bit less awkward and eventually trying a smile. It wasn’t quite the same as before. I think that in these moments, the ones after your mishaps, you (and your smile) have never looked more beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, I like your smile when you’re happy, but it’s simply not as enticing and enthralling as watching the smile you give me when you had found the strength to crawl back up. When you had finally made the decision to try again.
It usually took a while before things went back to normal, but you can usually tell that you’re okay again when you stopped wearing comfortable clothes and put more effort into your appearance. I suppose one could make a joke about how in awe of you I am, to be able to tell how you feel, by simply looking at the state of your hair or outfit. But, I like to believe that it is merely the culmination of having spent so much time with each other over the years. Whether this comes from a sense of adoration or infatuation, I suppose I will always be able to tell how you feel.
I don’t know if it’s possible, but I truly believe that the world becomes a little bit brighter when you’re able to laugh again. I don’t mean the quiet laughter reserved for a general person you’re conversing with, but the loud and unapologetic laughter which makes you throw your head back. Words can not describe how refreshing it is to hear that sound after having heard your sobs for so long.
After listing but a few of these moments we have spent together, I feel that it’s safe to say we’ve known each other for a very long time. As I’ve previously mentioned, lately I’ve been taking a lot of our time spent together for granted. Yet, upon further inspection; the feelings we share have never died out. I can confidently say that I love you. No if’s, but’s, or maybe’s that can ever be written between that. I have loved you when you were radiant with joy and I have loved you when you felt so low, you couldn’t even take my help when I tried to get you back up. I think I have loved you the most when you eventually did so without any help from me at all. And I can confidently say that I will continue to love you for days to come.
I can’t guarantee that all these days will be free of sorrow, but I can say that we will make it through together.
The person in your reflection.
P.S. Author’s Note: In a society which has become infatuated with the idea of finding true love in order to be whole, it became important to me to remind myself (as well as the other hopeless romantics around me) that it is nevertheless important to love ourselves wholly and most importantly; unconditionally.