To whom it may concern

by Aurette

A/N: Just a crappy one shot. This is mostly me working through some problems I've had lately (guess what kind?). Of course, the ending is a lot more hopeful than I'm feeling right now. Love really sucks sometimes. Hope you like it in spite of the fact that I'm not too happy with it as a story.

I wrote him a letter. I probably shouldn't have. He made it quite clear when we broke up that he was never going to spare me another thought. Nothing personal, he said. He just couldn't cope speaking to me after our relationship was in shambles.

It wasn't fair, I said. Losing my best friend and my boyfriend in one go. It wasn't fair, I pleaded, wondering why on earth he felt the need to break things off. Now. After I had pledged that he was everything to me, the one I wanted to marry, my whole world.

It wasn't fair, he said, but he had to do it so he wouldn't spend the rest of his life in regret.

It wasn't fair, I said, to cast aside guilt and leave me feeling like I was a born fool.

So I wrote him a letter. It was very proper, with trifolds and painstakingly neat cursive. It was addressed and closed with the Miss Manners approved phrases, but the contents were anything but proper. I poured my heart out onto fancy linen paper, hoping that maybe he would understand.

I put it in an envelope, and stole my mother's sealing wax. I figured I'd go the whole eighteenth century woman scorned way. I took the pendant he gave me and pressed it in the melted wax. It was completely and utterly ridiculous, but it was cathartic.

To whom it may concern, I thought to myself as I wrote it on the envelope with my fountain pen.

It was dismal against the bright white envelope. I frowned, and set down the pen. I looked out the window, to the street in front of my house. Cars went by, and a man walking a border collie. I never would look out my front door to see him waiting there for me. I'd never answer the phone to hear his soothing, deep voice telling me he loved me. I'd never open my email account and squeal that he'd sent me another rambling email about his trials and tribulations on his monthly jaunts to Chicago to see his parents.

I'd never see him again, and the thought shook me. I lifted the envelope, and grabbed a jacket. Locking the door behind me, I left my house and started walking. He only lived a few blocks from me, all the more maddening that he wished to never see my face again.

The walk was chilly, and the trees were turning orange and red and yellow. We would spend hours walking through the neighborhoods, admiring the trees and being in love. We'd never do that again. And it was killing me inside.

The walk was longer than any other time. Even longer when I left for home after he broke it off with me. With every step, I dreaded arriving but craved it with exquisite longing. I wouldn't see him. He was probably off in Chicago, forgetting me and having a wonderful time. As if the past two years meant nothing at all. As if I had never been a part of his life. He cast me away, done with whatever he got from me. And now I didn't even warrant a passing thought.

His house, shared with his brother, sat with the two cars in the driveway. So, he was home. I took a deep breath, and strode up to the door, envelope in hand. It was quiet inside, but I didn't speculate on that. I just stared at the door, and then down at the envelope.

To whom it may concern.

That's all that he wanted to be to me. A nameless nothing that I only had to speak to when absolutely necessary. That's all I was to him.

I closed my eyes, and lifted my hand to ring the doorbell. I lingered for a moment, then opened my eyes again. The wind picked up, and before I could tighten my grasp, the envelope blew out of my hand, danced on the air, and fell into a standing puddle on the sidewalk. I let a gasp, and ran to retrieve it. But it was too late. I picked up the sodden paper, and already the words on the envelop were running together.

To whom it may concern.

I wasn't even that anymore. After all, he had no desire to concern himself with me.

The door to his house opened, but it wasn't him. It was his brother, dressed casually in jeans and a black hoodie.

"What are you doing here?" He asked. He wasn't upset. But the concern in his voice made my knees week.

"I wrote him a letter," I replied, holding up the dripping envelope. "And now I don't even get to do that. It's ruined."

He frowned, and tucked his keys back into his pocket. "I'm very sorry. I had no idea he was going to do that to you. You deserved so much more than what he gave you."

"Why?" I cried out, throwing the ruined letter to the ground. "Why did he break it off? Didn't he love me?"

His brother couldn't say anything, not really. He took my arm, and led me away from the street. "Sit down," he said, gently pushing me towards the back end of the car. I hopped up and sat over the trunk, wondering what he was about. "My brother is a jackass. I'm so very sorry. If I had known... If I had known he was going to break it off with you, I would have told you. You didn't deserve to be hurt for his selfishness."

"But why? Doesn't he tell you anything?"

He shook his head. "I have an idea, and you wouldn't like it."

I probably wouldn't. "Tell me anyway."

"He's moving away. To New York."

"I always told him I'd go with him if he moved. I would marry him on the spot."

His brother looked pained, and rubbed his arms. "I guess he lied when he said he wanted to marry you. He couldn't cope with the idea of a long distance relationship, and maybe he wanted to be a free man out there. I'm not sure."

I couldn't speak. I didn't want to.

To whom it may concern. He couldn't even tell me the truth. As lame as it was.

"Let me give you a ride home. It's getting colder, and it's on my way anyway."

I nodded, and jumped down. He unlocked the car, and we climbed in. He started the engine, and looked over at me. There was something in his eyes. Something I'd noticed before but didn't ever dwell on. I never really thought about his brother that much. Other than a fun guy to hang with at parties or a ride when my car broke down. "I'm always here to talk to. You know that."

I nodded. I rubbed my arms through the jacket, trying to get my mind off that look in his brother's eyes. A look I'd never before seen in his eyes. And only just now I realized it.

The ride was quiet, and much shorter than the walk. I unbuckled my seatbelt, and looked at his brother. "You said you're always there to talk, right?"

He nodded.

"Well, can you come over tomorrow? Mom and Dad are going to Kansas City for the weekend, and I don't think I can take being alone right now."

His smile was warm and gentle, and that look in his eyes intensified. "Of course. I get off work at three." I got out of the car, and watched as he drove away.

To whom it may concern....

I think for two years I was with the wrong brother.

I smiled then. For the first time in a month. For the first time things looked fair.