Dear the people who’ve passed in and out of my life,

I’d be lying if I said I knew that, one day, we’d grow apart. I didn’t know, but really, I never thought about it. I think I’m more aware of your existence now than I was when you were in my life. The empty space you’ve left behind doesn’t like to be ignored.

There are times I allow myself to think back on our moments together, while simultaneously reflecting on what could have been. I have mixed emotions, but the greatest is disappointment. I have to wonder if how quickly people have come in and out of my life is normal. Is it me? Is my personality incompatible with the majority of people?

At this point in my life, I have a few good friends–each of which I’ve known no more than a few years. I guess, growing up, I never realized maintaining lifelong friendships would be so hard. Except “hard” isn’t the right word. I didn’t lose any friends because I didn’t work hard enough. I lost friends thanks to time and distance. It just makes you wonder how important you actually are to people. It makes you wonder if friendship is more of a pipedream than the movies make it out to be. It also makes you wonder if it’s not a pipedream at all, but instead, maybe something’s wrong with YOU.

I don’t want to sound like I’m whining. I realize the path I’m taking with this topic is somewhat depressing… I suppose I’m not objectively observing. I can’t muse about lost friendships without eliciting an element of disheartening nostalgia.

In the end, I just miss you, and I blame myself. Whether or not that’s normal, I don’t want to anymore.

Sincerely,

Stephanie

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Dear the Guy I Can’t Seem To Get Out Of My Head,

I’d really like to be able to forget about you. And ya know, I have come a long way. I don’t think about you as much… but there are times, like now, where my mind wanders to you, to the texts we shared, and the hopes I had of seeing you.

You kind of treated me like shit, ya know. Your behavior resembled that of a complete douche bag, and yet, you aren’t a complete douche bag, so I’m having trouble reconciling the emotions in my head. But when I talk about you to my friends, they’re quick to convince me that you are, in fact, a complete douche bag. I only wish it helped me get over you faster. But for some reason, it’s not.

It doesn’t feel good.

Why the hell can’t I get over you?

I have some theories, one of them being this: Since you live in another state, all I had were your texts and phone calls. While you said some amazing things, I didn’t have the “video” to match the audio, so I used my imagination to fill in the gaps. I pictured us going on dates at the beach, talking in coffee shops, and making out under the covers—and it was PERFECT. You were charming. Your smile beckoned me closer. Your hands were soft. But see, none of that was reality. They were unfounded, scenes made up in my head, of what I considered “perfect.” But had they ever happened? No, and yet, I held them close to my heart, possessively, as if they were a memory, and I still do. I fell in love with you, but only the version of you that I had in my head. Sure, we became close over the phone, but the only foundation we had was an unstable one.

Anyway, I tried to create a healthier foundation for us, but as I’ve said before, you were resistant. Ugh, you had every excuse under the sun, but enough about that…

The truth is… I still haven’t gotten over you, and a part of me hopes I’m not in this boat alone. I hope you still think about me every night before you go to sleep. I hope you think of kissing me and talking about the world with me. I hope you still count the ways in which we seemed compatible. I hope you remember what it felt like to tell me that you loved me… Cause THAT happened…

It’s funny, because as much as I love my mind’s fictional representation of you, a part of me wonders if I’d feel the same way about the “real” you. I used to hope so, but since things have fallen apart, I’m trying to convince myself that the two versions wouldn’t match. Outside of finding you attractive, funny, smart, and family-oriented, I can’t prove that you’re caring, or affectionate, or brave, or gentle, or any of the qualities I once linked with you.

Maybe, in person, you’re really boring, and mean, and uncultured, and impatient. Let’s go with that, because it will make it easier for me to move on.

Oh, and you should know, I have a second date this week! I had written out something really snarky to close this letter, but decided against it. I just really hope this guy puts in the time and effort to sweep me off my feet, because I think I deserve it at this point.

Sincerely,

Stephanie

P.S.

Thanks for the birthday text.

Dear the Uber Driver Who Drove Me Through McDonald’s On the Way Home,

You were my age once. I’m sure you understand what it meant to me to have a large, hot, greasy fry in my stomach after a night of both good and irresponsiblity-inducing spirits, but we don’t need to talk about the latter.

The point is… you came in the night like a knight at the helm of a shiny, grey, armored land-boat… equipped with four doors and air conditioning. It was hot, was it not? My God… why did I even venture from my house? If I wanted to come home as wet (from sweat) as I did, I might as well have dived head first into the James River… that is, if the James River was a sweat river. A river of sweat.

But that’s beside the point.

What I’m trying to say is I was nervous about asking you if you’d mind going through the McDonalds drive-thru. It was 2 a.m. and you had a family to get back to. (Ugh, I hate ending sentences with “to.”) I knew that. My friend, Chris, knew that. And yet, the words came tumbling out of my mouth as if of their own volition. “Do you think we could go through McDonald’s?”

I prepared myself for a firm but respectful negative. But it never came. You were more than happy to find a McDonald’s! Oh, happy day! I’m not sure whether it was the elation or the alcohol, but I believe I offered—no, DEMANDED—to buy you a cup of coffee, as you were up late and clean out of caffeine. Plus, let’s be honest, the life of an Uber driver at 2 a.m. on Sunday mornings must really be something. You just never know what characters will pile into your car next. I’d love to read a book compiled of outrageous stories told by Uber drivers. New York Times’ Bestseller list, here it comes!

Anyway, you may not ever read this, but I wanted to thank you. I also wanted to apologize for forgetting your name. But, let’s be real, the minute I got home and inhaled my fries, I was out. But I thoroughly hope you enjoyed your coffee. It’s the least I could do for someone who managed to save me from a hangover the following morning.

Sincerely,

Stephanie

Dear The Boy Who Let Me Go Two Nights Ago,

I REALLY liked you. And from what you told me, you really liked me, too. It was the long distance, we said, that was coming between us. But while I would have dropped everything to make a first date/anything happen, drive thousands of miles and hours just to see your face, the feelings didn’t seem to be mutual. I had to practically beg you. Was I fooling myself? Should I not have believed all the things you told me over text, phone, and Facetime? All the times you told me you missed me more than you’d ever missed someone before? All the times you told me I was different, special? How do you let someone so “special” go then?

You told me you didn’t want to hurt me anymore, keep me waiting, wondering. You told me the timing was just off. I agreed. But do I really? Couldn’t we have made it work? During the four months we were texting, how is it that we never saw each other? 7 hours—that’s all there is between us. Living in a Universe so big, 7 hours is nothing.

Kindred spirits, we called ourselves. We talked about religion, politics, the Universe, our day, how much you wanted to kiss me, how desperately I wanted to touch you… and yet, there were those 7 hours.

I find myself getting angry as I write to you. Seven. Hours. That’s all. I have no choice but to believe you didn’t feel what you told me you felt. I know life was in the way, but what did you expect when you finally admitted your feelings to me? What did you want to happen then?

I tried. And failed. Did you even try?

You are one of the nicest men I have ever met, but there is no denying that I feel played, led on. A part of me regrets the last few months. A part of me wishes we had never gone down the road we did. A part of me wishes I didn’t have to sift through these anxious, angry, frustrated, disappointed thoughts I have now.

You said we should part ways because you were afraid of hurting me so bad that I’d rue the day I ever set eyes on you. Ironic, then, that a part of me does.

I would like nothing more than to spend even just an hour in your presence. That’s all I really wanted. And if you couldn’t give me that, I suppose letting me go, letting you go, was for the best. If I can’t get an hour of your quality time, how can I expect anything more?

I suppose, then, we did the right thing. I only wish you hadn’t said some of the things you did. I only wish I didn’t have your sweet whispers and promises to replay in my head every night before going to sleep, as I desperately try to figure out what I did wrong. Because, if you said you wanted to see me, you would have made it happen. Since you didn’t, then you must have not felt as strongly as you led on.

That, my dear, is what you’ve left me with.

Feelings of inadequacy. I do thank you, however, for showing me what I need to do now. I need to find my own self-worth inside myself, and learn to never rely on someone else for something like that. I plan to avoid how I feel right now in the future. I’ve indentified MY problem; it’s time I fix it.

I wish you the very, very best.

Sincerely,

Stephanie