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  • Erma BreAnn

Dear Tiffany:

I thought I’d start this letter like the notes we wrote in middle school. Make it pretty, spending all of 1st period coloring. Fold it uniquely, so I know it belonged to you. I start off the letter asking you about your day knowing it only just started. I would fill the page knowing I spent hours on the phone with you the night before. I’d asked questions knowing I’d see in 2nd period. We are way past middle school and this letter is way overdue. Your name, what in the past would have been written neatly at the top of page, I no longer speak. So I'll call you Tiffany. We aren’t friends. So I thought to myself, ‘how would this letter get to you?’

I still cry. Embarrassed by the hurt I feel ten years later. I cry because of wonder. I cry because I want to tell you “I miss you” without feeling stupid. Without you thinking I want more than to tell you, "You impacted my life in both positive and negative ways", but in the end I miss my friend.

I remember everything. Which says a lot since I don’t know what I did last week. I remember how close we were. Everything from middle school to the night I realized how three words could quake my life, creating craters, and an unbalanced equilibrium. I still get dizzy around my memories.

I don’t know if you know this but I cried then. Standing underneath the glare of the stadium lights I couldn’t see your face. Still in my memory are those lights and my tears. When the memories flashes over me, ten years later, I cry again. I cry for you like I cried when I was eight and learned what death was. I cry for you because the thought of you breaks my heart. I'm overcome with sadness. I am weak to it. It's embarrassing to know I still miss you. I feel ignorant. I don’t want to cry anymore but I don’t know how to let go of ‘coulda’. I want to have the strength to realize it wasn’t meant to be - anything. We weren’t even meant to be friends. I’d like to believe our diminish was natural and fate. I struggle with that. I truly can’t believe it. It's days like this, Summer or Winter. My emotions around it is like a clock. These days I should see coming. The days where I realize ‘I control nothing’, not even my emotions. My heart is not my own. If it were, I would have left all my feelings towards you go, the day you left my life. They day you chose to forget I was ever anything to you. The day you stopped caring. It's irrational to still cry over something that happened when I was fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen. I’m a rational person. I believe feelings have deadlines. According to my beliefs, I should be over this by now. I’m just not.

There aren’t too many days that go by where I don’t think of you. There aren’t too many times when I think of you and I don’t cry. The worst part is I feel foolish because I just want to know if you miss me like I miss you. If I was as important. Based on the reasons why we don’t speak, I would think not but maybe you know something I don’t.

I remember you wrote me once. Said we needed to talk. As I read it, your words burned in my memory. "I kinda think that me and you need to talk. Like really talk. I mean I know what to say but then again I don't."

Had we actually had that talk, I imagine we would have gone to a Mexican restaurant. We would awkwardly say hello, question if we should hug, I'd choose to skip it and we'd sit down. Then we would go down memory lane of good conversations, advice I didn’t listen to, "that time when...", etc. We would trace every moment before that night but never quite getting to it. The night I messed up would be left untouched. We'll pay for our meal, separately, then head to our cars. We'll stand in the parking lot questioning again if we should hug and this time we do. As you turn to you car you'd say "sorry". I'll do the same. We would leave at that. Never addressing the unclear reasons behind how I lost my friend. We'd walk away and return to not speaking.

Since I am a person of timelines, by that time you wrote me, I thought it was a conversation too late. As you see, I already played it out in my head. We weren’t ever going to be friends again. I wasn't ready but I regret not having that closure.

Although, I still believe that I should be over it. Truth is I didn't want the awkward conversation. I didn't want to say "I'm sorry" for what I said because I'm not. I didn't want to defend myself against things I didn’t say or do. I didn't want to piece together the truth verse the lies.

Over the past years, I've done it all. I figured it out on my own. I know what happened. I'm aware I had no control. I realized no one cared as much as I did and had I had the confidence it wouldn't have the same outcome. If I were then the person I am now, we may still be friends. Truth is, I don't know what would have changed the outcome.

I cry for how fragile I was at fifteen. I wish I could saved me. I cry for how fragile friendship can be.

In the end, I wish you well. I also wish I didn’t think about you. I hope one day, I’ll have the strength to keep you in my heart but let you out of my mind.

I'll end this letter similar to the notes we passed in class. In case you want to write back.

How's life treating you? Fine, I hope. I'm alright but I'm too far from home and get homesick often. I miss Friday Night Football games, playing basketball, being silly. What are you up to these days? I'm off trying to make my dreams come true. I wish you could witness first hand. How are your parents? My mom is great. She asks about you every now and then. She thinks you're talented. She wonders what happened between us. I can't bring myself to tell her. I think I will. When I'm ready.

Well I gotta go. I think the bell is about to ring. Good Bye and have a good day.

I'll see you through the internet.


Erma BreAnn

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