February 15, 2014
I think I loved you the moment I saw you.
At least, as much as an eight-year-old's fancy can. God only knows why. You were the shortest, skinniest, tiniest person in class, even more so than Victoria Willis, who was the smallest girl. And aside from Jenny Craigan, I was the tallest member of the fourth grade.
It must have been the fine, wispy reddish-blonde hair that stuck straight up off your head. Maybe the uncountable freckles that exploded across your face like sesame seeds crowding the top of a hamburger bun.
But no. It had to have been that show-stopping grin you'd bare when you were excited or extremely happy. It exposed all your teeth, but most noticeable were your incisors, which had grown in especially pointed. I thought your little fangs were adorable, and though I teased you about them, I became irate when anyone else did.
Time passed, as it so inevitably does, and as we grew in age, you grew in height. Every March that came around, along with both of our birthdays, you would rib and remind me that I owed you respect since you were my elder. I always retorted that it was only twenty days difference.
Of course, I secretly adored that you were older than me.
Then came puberty, and later, high school. The braces went on; several years later they came off. Your hair darkened to a dirty blonde, but it still maintained an unruliness that was quite endearing. You grew into the tallest person in our class; a rangy, muscled beanpole. As well as the class clown. At that point, it was common knowledge that I had a crazy crush on Joshua Pulowski, which of course you teased me relentlessly for as you shook your head over my poor taste. And every time, my traitorous little heart thumped for you. Oh, I still liked Pulowski. But I liked you, too. Clearly my mind didn't consider this cheating; merely... A division of my heart into fractions! (Yes, fractions. That's taken straight from a seventh-grade diary entry of mine. I facepalm at the remembrance.)
Then there was Meagan. Your eighth-grade girlfriend. I hated her guts. When she stomped on your heart and left you for your best friend, I felt sorry for you, but I also wanted to scream, "I told you so".
And your fan club. As fickle fate loves to play her games, you became popular overnight. Especially with girls. Apparently, it was shocking to me that they wanted to discover the mysterious hint of soul behind those playful caramel eyes as much as I did. I hated that, too. And for a while, I thought I hated you. I wouldn't speak to you outside of our assigned seats next to each other in English and history class, and ignored the paper wads you threw at my back in the science lab. We didn't pass notes in study hall anymore.
I still grudgingly shared my contraband pretzels with you in Mrs. Seidel's class, though. I never could hate you completely.
In ninth grade, my parents took me out of the academy to be homeschooled. And that was the end of... well, everything I hadn't already killed with my rotten attitude. In spite of my previously rude treatment, you still scribbled your name on every single page of my memory scrapbook, in that messy, unreadable scrawl distinctive only to you.
I still saw you around town, at different places, or hanging with the same people, but it was never the same. One year for a state competition, my best friend asked you if you would consider competing in a category with me, to which you replied you didn't participate in those things - because of me.
I had continued to like you, but you only carried memories of how horribly I'd treated you.
And I didn't know you well enough anymore to apologize.
There were times, those few times we actually were in the vicinity, when I'd try to redeem myself; prove to you I'd changed. Sometimes I'd think you noticed. Other times, I knew the reality was, probably not.
At one point I even wondered if my stolen glances were reciprocated. Then came Elizabeth. The other woman. It didn't last very long, and I hoped you hadn't come away from that experience too tainted.
Our senior year, you were dating Jordan Streight. I actually really liked her. She was beautiful, easy-going, popular, funny - a perfect match for you. I still ached a little, but you were so happy with her, and she complemented you so well. We graduated, you broke up - mutually, since she was going away to college while you stayed in town. You may be surprised by this, but I felt regret that that had to end. She was good for you. At some point, my silly crush and weird obsession turned from a selfish desire to be with you, to only wanting the best for you, even if it meant you had to be with someone else.
Even after you and Jordan separated, I realized we were past the point of no return, and didn't have any sudden hopes that you would culminate an interest in me. But I still found you interesting. Still curious about your faint aura of seriousness, the part that no one saw.
Now you're dating someone new. I don't know her name; I just heard from a friend that you're happy.
That's great. I'm happy for you. Once, I would have even said I was happy because you're happy. But no. I'm as happy for you as I would be upon hearing that another friend found love.
My happiness doesn't depend on yours anymore. My love has matured. The blossom is in full flower, and in the last stages of bloom; well on its way to death. This is my last letter. I don't know anything about your personal life as of the past couple years, aside from that you're seriously dating a girl, and you know what? I'm okay with that. I'd rather not pry into what isn't, and really never was, my business.
I'm sorry for the regrettable actions of my past, but I finally realize that I can't change them. Truthfully, you're far past knowing me well enough to care. My destiny and yours have converged, and separated, and that time is past.
Thank you for the memories.
I held a jewel in my fingers
And went to sleep.
The day was warm, and winds were prosy;
I said: "'T will keep."
I woke and chid my honest fingers, -
The gem was gone;
And now an amethyst remembrance
Is all I own.