The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Dear X,

I remember the time I took the bus to get to your house because I was too young to drive and there was no way my parents were going to take me to see a girl. We sat and watched a movie.  You were the first girl I ever exchanged love notes with.  What would kids think of our archaic form of text messaging?  What would they say about the pages and pages we passed to each other when we saw each other in class?  I don’t really know, but the point is that those notes meant a lot to me.  You were the first girl I said, “I love you,” to.  I only wish that I would have known how to say it better.  Some things were so awkward as a teenager.  But coming back to the movie, I wish I would have had the courage to kiss you.  You did so much to acknowledge the things you thought I would want.  You took out your piercings and toned back a bit on your punk.  You should have been my first kiss.  I was such an incredibly naive middle school boy.

Years later we had a chance to cross paths again at a high school dance.  I found one of your friends immensely attractive and loved the way we would dance so close.  She told me you were there hoping I would ask you to dance.  I saw you in the dark and thought you were overweight and didn’t want to.  My stupidity for thinking such a thing cannot be overstated.  If I could, I would go back and smack myself for those shallow thoughts.

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Dear X,

You were my princess.  You were my world for the amazing limited time that we had together.  You were my first kiss.  I’ll never forget the way that that kiss didn’t end until hours later.  Your smile always lit up my world.  The only thing that I would have done differently is to try to find a way to get to you, make you mine, and never let you go.

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Dear X,

You were my best friend after high school.  Our friendship was something amazing and wonderful.  The time we shared together, the smiley face notes you would write to me – You ere a sweetheart to me from the beginning and I have never thought of you as something else.  It wasn’t until I got back from Hawaii that you told me that you had seen me as something more than a friend.  I wonder what it was that caused your view to change.  Was it standing at the podium, saying things that lifted your spirit?  Was it an air of confidence that I otherwise lacked?  Was it the fact that I was leaving and you most likely wouldn’t see me for two years?  I will never know, for by the time I came home, you were engaged to somebody else and I wasn’t about to try to break that up.  I’ve wanted so long to say these words to you directly.  Our friendship isn’t what it was.  It’s difficult, if not impossible, for a man and a woman to have that kind of friendship with someone outside of their marriage once another person has taken the role of companion and protector.

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Dear X,

I tried to put into words the feelings I have toward you that doing so again is difficult.  You’ll never know the way I felt that our friendship was somewhat one-sided.  You’ll never know the neglect I felt when I tried to give you so much of myself, but never being able to figure out how to earn the one thing I wanted more than anything.  You’ll never know how hung up on you I was, and how there are probably a lot of other girls that I might have had something with if I hadn’t been clinging to hope that you would come around to see me the way I saw you.

I remember the countless times I could have kissed you but I didn’t.  I didn’t want to take something I wasn’t sure you were willing to give.  The time we drove up to the power station and looked out over the valley. I walked up behind you and wrapped my arms around your waist and you put your arms over mine—the time I came over to your house and you fell asleep in my arms.  I still remember the way you would twitch in your sleep.  The feel of your body against mine with your hair tickling my face.  The time I was walking out the door and you took my hand in a state of semi consciousness and told me you loved me—another time I was about to leave and we were standing face to face and you had that look in your eyes.  I hate myself for walking away.

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Dear X,

You were the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I can’t completely blame you for the way things went down.  You asked me not to become attached, but it was too late.  A piece of my heart was already yours and there was no way I could ever take it back.  That’s the thing about giving your heart to someone.  Even when they give it back, it will never be the same as it was before.  It is forever changed. “Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?  But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”  Since you are gone from my life, I have lost any desire to pursue a romantic relationship.

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These are only the highlights on a dating life that have left scars on my heart. I need to make sense of my own heart before I could ever hope to try to give it to somebody else.  Every one has their baggage, this is some of mine.

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