There was a letter written to someone, somewhere, once. It may have read, in part:

“Dear [REDACTED],

A cold wind pushed us apart, but I’m hoping the convection currents will heat us again. I can live in this cycle for the rest of my life, happily, as long as it’s with you. You love my hobbies but sometimes forget they aren’t me. That’s OK, though. I understand it and, if that’s the only way you’ll love me, I accept it.

Do you remember the first time we held hands? The first time we kissed? Made love? I think I do, but it all seems like such a far-away dream at this point. Mountains rising from buildings, and people trimming clouds in their front yard. Beautiful, but nonsensical.

When you said goodbye to me in that parking lot I knew it would be the last time. I tried to savor the moment—I took still photographs of your hair, eyes, lips, and smile; recorded your voice and laugh; I wrote poetry about your movements—all in the hopes that those final few fleeting moments could somehow be immortal.

Of course, they weren’t. How could they be? Even then we were changing. As much as I wanted to steal the sand from our hourglass to hide in my heart, the grains were too small. They slid right through my fingers and kept falling. I realized then that my memory was all I would have to rely on. It’s a shame memory is so fallible.

 Eventually my memory of you degraded into dream, and from dream into fantasy, and from fantasy into ideal. My memory of you became almost political, or religious. Remember when we rode bikes to that beautiful church by my apartment? Me neither.

The point is: I was never mad.

I know you probably thought I was, and I probably let you believe it. But I wasn’t. You know this already, but it can be hard to understand the future. Because I saw it, sweetheart, and I didn’t like it. Of all the possible futures that could have been mine, the one without you in it was the one I wanted to avoid. Yet, in my avoidance I’m the one that brought it to fruition. When it started to come true I panicked. In my mind there was no other option. I was scrambling to find a solution that was never there.

[REDACTED], you’ve made me want to burn every piece of paper you’ve inspired me to write. Destroy every happy ending I wish we could have had. And yet, if this were one of my stories you love so much I would have found the solution and our hands would be interlocked as we sleep once again. Unfortunately, this isn’t a story, and a solution doesn’t exist. I just wanted to let you know I haven’t stopped looking and I never will. Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to make you understand why.”

And someone, somewhere, never read that letter.

To learn about my thoughts behind this story, check out this blog post.