Dearest Jon,

I am sorry to be such a wimp, but this just hurts too much. I should say all this to your face in your presence. Despite all my strength, I cannot bring myself to make the drive out to see you only to return home feeling lonelier than I’ve felt since the morning of June 2nd, 2015. Please forgive me.

Truly yours,

Jacqueline

P.S. You don’t have to read the four-page enclosure.

P.P.S. Remember to schedule yourself a dental appointment!

*****

This is about to be the most difficult conversation of my adult life – and I once had to tell my much beloved husband that I needed a divorce because I couldn’t stand to watch him die while he refused to seek medical care. So strap yourselves in because this is going to be rough.

I’ll start by saying that I love you. Surely, that truth is no mystery to you. I recently followed you four hours across state lines under the guise of buying myself some shoes and paper. I have treasured every moment I get to spend with you. There are some beautiful memories of four-wheeler rides and lots of awkward sex stored up in my noggin. But this is about love far more than it is about sex – and that is why I can feel my heart breaking at the need to tell you what I’ve come here to say.

I cannot do this anymore. This friendship that has grown between you and me these past four years has become my lifeline. At the end of my days, the best nights are consistently the ones where I get to talk with you and tell you all about it. I love hearing about your day too; learning about your highs and lows, hearing about what challenges you face and the spaces where you find success, moments of pain and moments of joy. I have loved serving as a receiver of your days, but I just can’t do it anymore. It hurts too much. And it’s not just hurting me anymore either…

That panic attack I had on the highway in Minneapolis was a subconscious cry for your attention, I am certain. As soon as it sunk in you were not coming to my rescue, I found my calm and safely drove myself back to the hotel. The other night we were texting when Duncan showed up at my apartment. I wanted him to leave so I could put my focus on you. Instead, my mind misinterpreted his affectionate gesture as a threat – which got him to leave so I could get what I really wanted… to talk with you for an hour or two. I hurt him with my accusation and I won’t do that again. However, it has become clear to me that as long as I hold you in my heart there will never be room for anyone else.

I have to let you go… and I would give just about anything to avoid the need to let you out of my life. Whatever it is I have to give, it is not enough. You have told me that truth many times – I just didn’t want to hear it. But now that I am hurting others (Duncan, Jason, whomever else may come along next) I am finally forced to listen; though I hate to really hear that message… you don’t want me. You are fine without me. I have to accept that and I have to be okay with that somehow.

I am not accustomed to handling rejection. It is usually me who does the rejecting and places someone else in the “friend zone.” I hate this. It is uncomfortable to want nothing more than to be as close to you as I can get, but to be held by my beloved at arm’s length. I yearn for you arms to be my castle and your heart to be my sheltering sky. To simply share the air you breathe is energizing and your touch on my skin is electrifying. The thought of your lips pressed against mine – nothing could taste more sweet and passionate. I want to be with you like I’ve never wanted anyone else before you. I will probably never feel this way about anyone after you. As it turns out, loving you will become my blessed life-long burden. It is one I carry with a heart full of gratitude if that is the price I must pay for having known you as I do now.

Grief and loss are no strangers to me. They both will help me carry on. This hurts so much not only because I love you, but you are beyond my reach… despite the fact you are still alive. This feel like losing my best friend all over again. However, you don’t need to be resurrected from the dead. All you need to do is decide that I am enough – that you do love me too. Maybe there is a mythical river Styx in the land of the living too.

I don’t know how well I will move forward without your support and your incredible kindness. Somehow, I will press forward regardless – though surely at a slower pace. You have been my rock, my confidant, the one who lifts me up when I feel low. For a long while, you have been the first person I want to share my good news with. I cannot say for certain when all that began, but I know it in my bones to be a clear and present truth. You have never been responsible for my happiness, but your presence in my darkest of days always helps me see the light again. I will have to figure out how to find the light without your help. There is no doubt, I will miss you terribly.

It is because of my insurmountable subconscious sabotage that I must say “goodbye” to you and to our relationship – honestly, we are so much closer than friends by now. I will never forget you. I will never forget the adorable way in which you adjust your glasses by the bridge of your handsome nose. I will never forget tuna mac and cheese. Every time I squeeze a lime into a beer, I will remember you. I only regret missing out on all the lovely memories we might have made together if only I could become a woman you might one day want to wake up next to each morning until we both embark on our return journey back into star dust.

*****

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1 Comment

  1. Pam Boj-Rivas

     /  November 10, 2021

    Unbelievably exposing your soul!! What a gift to allow me in to see what real love is

    Reply

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