You once asked me what it meant to be happy and I still stand by what I said: I’m not entirely sure. However, after some careful consideration, here is what I think. Happiness is waking up late on a Sunday morning to the smell of breakfast being made and the sound of your favorite television show playing in the background. Happiness is finding an old picture while rummaging through items of a neglected desk drawer. It is jumping in bed on a Tuesday afternoon and listening to the songs that helped you fall in love during high school. Happiness isn’t bound to one singular thing or train of thought. Happiness is a multitude of choices and opportunities that come and wait for us. They wait until we decide to choose them or ignore them altogether. But that’s the point. Sometimes happiness is a choice. It’s something we are free to choose and decide for ourselves. Sometimes happiness is crying in the arms of the person you love. Happiness can begin at the end of a toxic relationship that has gone on for far too long. Happiness can be opening your heart to a stranger that you only met the night before. You say that you’ve grown numb, jaded by the pain that has accumulated throughout the years. But those feelings of excitement, those feelings of happiness and joy, they still reside inside of you, locked away while you mope around holding the key. I’ve wanted to reach out, to tell you that it will be okay for a while now. Despite these intentions, I could never find the right timing. My words became muffled under a blanket of noise, my actions were always seconds too late, overshadowed by another. But I was able to muster up enough courage to write this letter, to finally convey these words to you. I pray that you will be okay. I pray that you will find happiness. I pray that I will get to see you again.
Because quite frankly, you make me happy,
I want to honestly tell you something. It’s been a while since you’ve heard that, hasn’t it? Maybe it’s been a little too long, maybe your memory is better than my own and you remember a recent moment of sober truth that I have unfortunately forgotten. But for once, in possibly a very long time, I want to be honest, so here it goes. I was afraid- or should I say that I am still afraid. I am afraid of the idea of being honest, of laying down my feelings out in the open for the naked eye to see. I am afraid of people listening to my deepest darkest secrets, afraid that once someone knows about my pain and what keeps me awake at night, they will find me burdensome and a nuisance. In short, I am insecure in several ways but I am too afraid to admit it. I am scared to death at the idea of opening up to people because I have a constant fear that one day they will slowly fade and slip into a memory that I constantly yearn to relive. It started with one wall, then slowly four, and eventually I ended up with a kingdom that became home to unspoken thoughts and unaddressed feelings that kept piling up into the human that is writing you this letter today. I am afraid I have listened to others for so long that my words naturally lost their way when I needed them the most. I am afraid that I will continue on this road of self-ruin unless I scream and plead for help. And right now, I am begging on my knees, so if you have the time, I hope you respond.
I am weak, I am broken, I am in need of you,
You carried a darkness around with you, naturally and without any second thought. On some days it would be barely visible, a small little speck on the collar of your shirt. You walked around with a smile that covered your entire face and on those days it was genuine and sincere. We would spend hours engulfed in conversation, happily walking between the realms of imagination and the world that we’ve come to know as reality. But then, of course, there were other days. On those days the darkness became visible and draped itself across your shoulders for everyone else to see. It felt unbearable and brought with it the weight of the world. When those days came, time seemed to pass slower than before and everything seemed desolate and hopeless. Even getting out of bed felt like an impossible task. But you still managed to open your eyes and breathe. With every breathe your emotions stabilized and your limbs gained strength, but that was never enough. You felt like you were never enough and despite what everyone told you, their words could never pierce through the deafening silence. I tried to console you through various means. I tried to understand you multiple times, so that I could find the right words to say. But it seems that I forgot one crucial detail. It is okay to feel the way that you do. It is okay to entertain that darkness from time to time, as if welcoming an old friend. But do not dwell in it, do not allow it to consume you and cripple you, making it difficult to move. Every emotion that you feel is valid and real and okay. But I only hope that in the end, you will be happy.
I hope that in the end, you will choose to be happy,
Do you remember the day that we met? It was raining then, and we both had just stepped outside of the local Starbucks, waiting for the downpour to subside. Neither of us had a jacket or an umbrella to protect us from the oncoming rain. We made eye contact and laughed at our predicament before deciding to go back inside. Fifteen minutes later, the rain had stopped but we were too busy, wrapped up in a heated debate over TV shows to notice (Boy Meets Worlds is still better than Friends). I don’t like to call our first meeting a coincidence. Nor do I like to call it fate. I would like to say that it was somewhere in between, something beyond human and divine understanding. We left that day with phone numbers exchanged and a promise to meet up again. And we did. We met a few more times, in private and in the company of friends. I do admit that my feelings did not remain platonic and I would like to believe that the same can be said about you. But to be completely honest, I was afraid. I was afraid to take the next logical step in our budding relationship. During that pivotal moment, I blamed it on the past. I put blame on the invisible scars that I carried around in my heart and the walls that were constructed shortly after I received them. But with your help, I learned of ways to heal, by myself and with the help of others. With you by my side, I didn’t feel invincible, but I felt pretty damn close and maybe with a couple more years, I would have been able to take on Batman or Iron Man (without their gear of course). I know that it may be too late, but I want to apologize for not being honest with the way that I felt and only telling you now. I apologize for possibly creating a scar on your heart, labeling it with my name, and tainting our memories with a tinge of pain and regret. I am not writing this so that I may receive another chance, I am writing this so that you will understand why I did the things that I did. And even if you don’t, I want you to know that I still wish you the best.
I’m sorry and I hope this rain ends,
As the lights came on and I looked through the crowd, I saw you standing there with that silly smile on your face. After a night out on the town, I believed you to be an illusion, an image from the confines of my memory projected onto some random stranger that looked just like you. But as I blinked and straightened out my thoughts, you remained, with the smile that you wore on the day that you left. You see, they say that time is the best remedy to all wounds, whether it’s something physical like a cut from a harmless piece of paper or a deeper, emotional wound caused by a catalyst of events that leave a vacant room in our hearts. Needless to say, on the ride home that night, I continued to think of you. I saw you hopping along streetlamps like a ballerina floating along to a familiar tune on stage. At the diner, I saw you seated across from me, ordering strawberry waffles because those were your favorites and if a menu had it, you could never say no. I saw you tucking me in before I drifted off to sleep and entered a world where the line of reality and fiction became thin and barely noticeable. But I did not see you when I awoke the next morning, much to my dismay. I searched through the house, just to find a trace of you that wasn’t in the form of photographs or a box neatly placed at the foot of my bed. Maybe one day, someone will create a device that will allow the general public to relive memories over and over and over again. Maybe one day, someone will create a serum or a procedure that will allow people like me to completely erase certain memories that they are unable to forget. Perhaps one day, I will see you again, in the flesh, standing right in front of me with that silly, warm smile on your face.
When we first met, you were studying with a group of friends (or classmates) at a corner table inside of the local Starbucks. You were laughing then, a loud and obnoxious laugh, but a laugh that I slowly became used to as time went by. In the beginning, our eyes gravitated towards each other, sometimes staring for a second too long, before one of us suddenly broke eye contact. It was a game of push and pull, but an enjoyable game nonetheless. Then by some chance our orders got mixed up and just as sudden as an afternoon shower, we became friends. In a matter of months, we both filled the empty spaces that had accumulated over the years, an emptiness that always begged for more but was never satisfied with what was given. But we were enough for each other. We became the sad, acoustic love songs that we wanted to hear after a break up. We became the relaxtion of a ten day vacation after months of a grueling school year. We became the refreshing glass of cold water in the middle of a summer day. At least that’s what you felt like to me. Isn’t it strange how much space just one person can occupy in your heart? Isn’t it strange that even though two people are nothing close to lovers, they can be soulmates that trascend the tests of time? Isn’t it strange that somehow we managed to fall apart, although the red string of fate was bound so tightly around us? I know that this is coming out nowhere and maybe you still don’t want to hear from me yet, or even at all. But I hope that one day you meet your soulmate at the corner table of your local Starbucks. I hope that they’ll take your hand and promise you as close to forever as possible. I hope they keep their promise.
I hope they are nothing like me,
One night you told me that you wanted to be in the company of the best. In seconds, I phoned a handful of our closest friends and within the hour, we created a dance floor out of the mall parking lot. On some lazy weekend afternoon, you mentioned that you wanted to be alone, so I brought out the last of the cookies and cream and with it, the password to my Netflix account scribbled on a torn piece of paper. A few hours later, as I drank the last of my coffee at the Starbucks down the road, I received a phone call from you, asking me to come home. We had many moments like these, many moments that I am only able to relive through my memories. But even now, I am starting to forget what it was like to be with you. To be with someone that I considered a best friend, a family member, someone who I thought would be with me for the rest of the days of my life. Sadly, our red string of fate was cut short and like two leaves falling into a stream, we were swept away by life’s current and ended up separated from each other, washed up on opposite shores. At this point, you should only be a memory, a chapter in my life that should have been closed long ago. However, if truth be told, I think of you every now and then. You slip into my prayers as I wash up for the night and your face appears onto the shoulders of strangers that I pass by on the street. I will not lie: I miss you, terribly and without reason. I miss you. I’m unable to physically say this, so I write it in a letter, I write it in a poem that is unable to see the light of day, I write it into the characters of a short story that remains fictitious and resides in a realm, a thousand or more leagues away from reality.
I write about you and all of the things that I am still unable to say,