I really didn’t ever forget to write you back. Years ago, I could imagine you walking the long stretch of gravel to your home, I watched you carefully rip open the side of the envelope to pull my yellow legal paper out – always folded three times, with your Dear, tucked away on the inside. We made our moves, you to the East and me to the West, not far, but a distance where we would then establish our lives.
We kept writing in the first years, always asking ‘what are you reading?’ And ‘what are you reading?’ – any favorite movie recommendations of late? We were consistent even when she told me her current partner hated seeing my name on the envelope, but she never stopped, or she never asked me to stop. We kept writing each other for years, recreating in a constant the love we had always felt with one another, but had lost confidences being yet young adults that were not sure.
I finally decided one day I would take a chance with you. I invited you to join me, I suggested just let everything go, and take the train, and come and see me, and then decide from there. I told I missed you and it was clear in my mind I would always love you. I waited for your response.
This was back in a time where patience had to occur waiting to hear from one another. I knew I would hear from you. (the wrath of email and text has destroyed my current partner in words – my haste, too discomforting). This particular letter I couldn’t wait to hear from you. I couldn’t wait to hear you say ‘I will be there by summer.’ The reception of your letter took a little longer than usual – over a week actually. I wasn’t sure I would hear from you again, and then when I did finally read the contents, I had a similar reaction.
Your words finally arrived and indicated your own disappointment. A certain distaste in my presumptuous nature seemed clear. I remember 40 years later, your words. ‘How can you even imagine I could do this now, after establishing who we are for so many years?’ The words have never left me, though I feel tortured by my response. I was left with embarrassment and every other sad reception my eyes would feel. I read your letter again and again and again, until I finally let go. I assuredly made a mistake and did not write you again.
I cannot imagine what might have happened if I ever wrote you again. Would you have allowed me a realization that you were testing me? Were you testing me? I failed and I let you go and over the years, I have tried to find you, not earnestly, just hopeful. I have often felt I would hope that someday you might see my words and know they were about you. Though it what I believe it hasn’t happened., and now in later decades I have accepted what I always regret.
All my love,
I have only this way about one other person in the last 40 years – more like 20 years ago. I found my muse, and my words came back, and she gave me more words in such beauty and eloquence, I could never quite grasp the special nature of our correspondence. It wasn’t until years later I realized her words and feelings were true. Though I was too late I still hold out hope and I suppose it is part of my own dynamic that I no longer want to let go of something I believe any longer.
© Scott F Savage 5/2020