This story is one of the April Writing Challenge entries chosen to be a featured story.
This letter will never find your hands; I know that by now. Still, I just have to write it. You see, it’s funny how even the most mundane of things can transport you back to memories of long ago. Earlier, my mother wired my allowance to me through a Western Union. The list was long, and it was taking a while, so I passed the time listening to music and watching the muted TV. There were no regular shows, really, just random things like dengue fever infomercials, random advertisements, and–get this–a short video on how chocolate chip cookie dough is made in a factory before being shipped out to bakeries. This last one is what inspired me to do this, as weird as that sounds.
It’s only been two years or so, but to me, it feels like a lifetime ago. Sitting right by the window in that French cafe, passing time watching people go off to who knows where to do who knows what. Sipping my coffee, eating my chocolate chip cookie (remember how we always used to order more than two plates and some for takeout because it was that good?). Waiting. Always waiting.
How long did I wait, I wonder? That used to be a big deal in our relationship. How you were never on time for the little things. How you never seemed to come through when I wanted you to. In retrospect, I can’t believe how shortsighted I was, focusing on those things instead of thinking of the long-term ones. Like, how you always dragged yourself to hell and back for me when I needed you. Like, how much time you spent trying to comfort me through panic attacks during midterms and finals.
In the end, it’s always like that, isn’t it? It’s always the little things that pile up. The snowball effect. We always lose sight of ourselves, lose sight of our goals. Where we began, how it started and developed, how we matured–we always forget until all that’s left are the insecurities we failed to address beforehand. The differences that were once endearing are now just painfully annoying. And I know… somehow, I know… that this is truly how love ends. That this is why they said hate isn’t the opposite of love, but indifference.
How did we come to this? How did I come to writing letters to you because of a Western Union infomercial? I don’t even know where you are anymore, if you’ve graduated, or if you’re still the same boy searching for his place in a world that’s determined to prove him wrong. Right now, I’m sitting by the tree outside that French cafe, right in front of the window where I used to sit to wait for you. And I am hoping against all odds that you would pass through again, just like all those times before, even though this is a small town and if you still lived here, we’d have met somehow in the past few months.
We were so hung up on the idea of forever that we forgot that when the world loses its rosy hazes, time passes much more slowly. And then being with each other ends up being a test of endurance, a battle of wills.
Now here we are two years later, strangers with a shared past. Now here I am outside a French cafe writing letters you’ll never read. Now, you’re out there somewhere living a life I’ll never be a part of. And we are moving–always moving–farther and farther away from the other.