It’s been almost three years since we first met. It feels like longer; how can so much have changed in such a short span of time? I still remember the very first time I saw you, but I guess I didn’t really see you then. You were just that friend of that guy that I know. I barely even looked at you when we were introduced—I was too caught up in my own life at the time. I never would have guessed in that moment that you’d be the one who would change everything.
It doesn’t make sense, but I feel like I owe you. That’s the thing about love, isn’t it? You left me scattered on the sidewalk but I’m the one apologizing for the mess. But we weren’t always messy. We were epic. Sure, we fought a lot but you also made me laugh harder than I ever have before. I think we were meant to be, but we were young and stupid and we did it wrong.
Looking back now, it’s hard to remember our mistakes. It’s hard to remember anything, really, except the feeling. I didn’t know what love was before I met you, but now you’re the very definition of it. I think that’s what makes first loves so monumental: For the rest of my life, my idea of love and relationships will always be rooted in you…in us. Not because I still love you, but because I did once and it changed everything.
I was angry with you for a long time after you left. I went to bed every night praying that the sun would rise and I’d finally forget your name. I tried to convince myself that I didn’t love you anymore. I knew it was possible; if I could be convinced that you never loved me, why couldn’t I do the opposite? But that’s not how it works, is it? You’re still the only one that knows the truth. You got to walk away knowing that I loved you. I was left drowning, not knowing anything.
I could have filled this letter with clichés like “it’s your loss” and blah blah blah, but I don’t really believe that. Yes, I would have done anything for you and you walked away from that, but maybe there’s more to it. Maybe we were lucky to have what we did at such a young age, even if we did burn too quickly. Maybe timing is everything, and maybe ours was all wrong. Maybe we really weren’t meant to be. Either way, I don’t blame you for leaving all those years ago.
I’m too much of a romantic to believe you never think of me. I hope you look at the empty side of your bed and wonder what I’m doing or what I’m thinking or if I look at the empty side of my bed and think of you sometimes too. Maybe I am too romantic. Maybe you never think of me at all. Maybe I’m just that girl you knew three years ago. Sometimes you scroll past my face on your newsfeed. Maybe you just keep scrolling. The truth is that I don’t know. I don’t know what made you leave. I don’t know what made you stay gone.
I have come to accept that we will always be a question left unanswered.