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A Letter to Him

Listen While Reading: Apartment // Young The Giant 

The last morning we ever spent together, we sat quietly across from each other at our rickety, wooden kitchen table, staring into our cereal bowls. You held my icy hands as I tried to find the right way to tell you that I no longer love you. I left you that night, without so much as a goodbye.

Here is a letter to you, a letter that says everything I couldn’t with my trembling lips as I got lost in the milky whites of your glossy eyes. The bags underneath your eyes measured the number of nights you’ve had trouble sleeping because of the physical and mental distance between us. I would’ve guessed years from the depth of the purple rings you rubbed violently as you sipped your coffee, black.

I loved you as much as I could, I can promise you that. At times, I loved you more than I loved myself. The first time you told me you loved me, we were sitting under your favorite maple tree at Singers’ Park. I had just taken a bite of an apple cider donut and my eyes beamed brighter than the autumn sun above us. You snickered and said, “either you love me, too, or that’s the best apple cider donut you’ve ever tasted.” I knocked over my cappuccino with my bony knees as I leaped into your arms and embraced you tighter than I’ve ever embraced anyone before. When I finished chewing the donut, I reciprocated your words as I cupped your unshaven jaw in my hands. I meant them. Truly, I did.

I didn’t think I was capable of loving someone else because, growing up, I was told you had to love yourself before you could love someone else. But, oh, I loved you. I was sure of that. I loved your hoarse laugh, the cluster of dark freckles on your neck, and the way you slurped the milk at the bottom of your cereal bowl. I loved the way you cherished your family and spoke so highly of the hero your mother was, raising three children as a single parent in a two-bedroom apartment in the city. I loved the way you caressed my face with your gentle fingers as we lay together on the couch watching reruns of Seinfeld until I fell asleep in the cradle of your arms. I felt so safe in your arms. And, more than anything, I loved the way you looked at me with desire so intense, like you could never get enough of me like I was all you needed to be happy.

I wish I could’ve felt the same. I wish you were all I needed to be happy, too. Sometimes, love isn’t enough. It wasn’t enough to wake up in the warmth of your embrace every morning. It wasn’t enough to come home to your smiling face after a long day. I still felt crushed beneath the weight of the sadness in my heart. Your love was a temporary fix, but I knew I’d always relapse once the medicine wore off. Your love wasn’t enough, I needed my own love, my own approval.

If I saw you again, at the coffee shop where we had our first date, or the beach we used to spend every Saturday morning watching the sunrise, I would smile and hold you tightly. I would tell you I miss you and wish you the best. But I would always free you from the bind of my toxic embrace.

I would always let you go in the end.

Words by Kristina S. // Photography by Ashley Sharma.

© 2015 Reef Magazine.


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