The letter I will never send

Dear G.,

It’s been 7 years since I last saw you and I miss you more and more every single day. It’s amazing how time just flies by. It seems like yesterday, that I heard your voice saying goodbye and then having my heart broken, really broken, for the first time in my life.

A lot has happened since you left. I spent a year after I lost you locked in my room. My mum made me go to school every morning, but I rarely got there. Most often than not, I’d stop in the park, with a book, trying to get my mind off of you. I wrote you tons of letters I knew you’d never read. I was staring at the only photo I had of you, the one I stole from your brother. It was a photo of you and your new girlfriend, embraced, smiling – the epitome of happiness and love. I know it’s crazy, but I still can’t get wrap my head around the idea of never getting to see you again. I spend an entire year praying that you’d somehow come back. I started dreaming about you and then I refused to get out of bed. It was the only way I got to see you and talk to you again. That’s how I ended up living on sleeping pills (well, if you can call that living). That night when my mum rushed me to the hospital was the last time I saw you in my dreams. It was the second time I lost you and it only pushed me further into my sadness. People kept saying I needed to “let go” and “move on” and “live my life”. But how could I do that, without you around? Eventually, I had to get out of my room. So I did. Every night, I would go out to the V. Club. I started smoking. I started drinking. Oh, G., you would have been so ashamed of me if you saw me! So disappointed. When I turned 18 I went looking for you. I looked everywhere. I thought I would find you in Paris and I spent two weeks there, lurking around, exploring every corner of the city. When I got tired, I used to sit down in some park, watch the sky and wonder if you did the same, during those years of living in Paris. Sometimes, I thought I could smell your perfume and I’d walk around, following it. Needless to say, I never found you. Not in Paris, not in Berlin, not in London, not in Vienna, not anywhere. I even went to Prague and I saw S. It was on my birthday and he baked me a cake. A small chocolate cake, with one candle, that I had to blow. I wished you were there, G.

I’m better now. At least, I think so. I went ahead and did what people told me to do. I got a job, I went to the uni, I graduated, I got a boyfriend. A simple, normal life. Except it wasn’t either simple, nor normal. Your image was with me wherever I went, whatever I did. You were my secret. I couldn’t tell anyone about it, because they would try to take you away from me, to “cure” me, as one of the doctors put it. So I did the only thing I knew how to do. I left. I left our hometown, G. I left behind our memories, our special places, I left your mum and your brothers. I left my parents, my job, my friends and my boyfriend. I moved to London. I know you’ve never been here, but, funny enough, I feel closer to you here than anywhere else. I walk around the streets, with your photo in my wallet and I keep telling myself how much you’d love that little coffee shop or that beautiful park. I keep picturing us here, together. You, with your beautiful eyes and your gorgeous smile. It’s weird, but you haven’t grown old in my memories. You’re still the 23 yrs old boy you were when I last saw you. I will soon be older than you were then.

I will be 24 soon, G. It will be my 7th birthday without you. The 7th time I blow a single candle in a little chocolate cake and say the same words – I wish you weren’t dead. I wish I could go back in time and save you. I wish your murderers had never been born. I wish I didn’t have to live in a world without you.

I love you, G.

 

S.

I’m not a monster. I just look like one.

The most disturbing thing happened yesterday. It was 3,45 and I was waiting for the 187 bus, on Park Parade. In the bus stop, there were some children in school uniforms, about 4 or 5 of them, with two women. None of the children looked alike and they didn’t resemble the women, either, so I’m assuming they were the nannies and the children were on some sort of play date. Anyway, as I was impatiently waiting for the bus, the children were playing and laughing around. One of them, a little boy, who seemed to be about 6 or 7, was standing aside, just looking at them. He was not participating in the game, he was not smiling and, overall, he seemed utterly unhappy. At some point, the other children started calling him a monster. I’m not sure how that started, as I wasn’t paying much attention. That word, ‘monster’, however, got me focused on the little group. The two women were talking about going to the shopping center over the week-end, while the children kept on calling the little boy ‘monster’. He just stood there and let them finish. When they got bored of it, they went back to their game. He noticed I was looking and shrugged. “I’m not a monster”, he said to me. “I just look like one”

I swear that right then, right there, my heart broke a little. What kind of world do we live in, if a 6 year old thinks he looks like a monster? He wasn’t one of those adorable little boys you see in magazines (for some reason, they don’t seem to actually exist in the real world), but he was handsome. Tall, with a nice hair and pretty blue eyes, drowned in sadness. And I’m just standing there, looking at him, unable to form a sentence. I have all these thoughts racing through my head, there are so many things I could say, yet I’m speechless. Then a bus came and the group left and eventually, the 187 came, late as usual. So I get home, I cook supper, I chat with my friends, I read a book, I take a shower and get into bed. And while I do all these, I can’t get that little boy out of my head. “I’m not a monster, I just look like one”. The guilt of not having said anything is huge. I wish I would’ve hugged him and told him he was beautiful and that he should never allow anybody to tell him otherwise. I really hope someone does it for me. I hope he has a great mum, who will teach him he’s an amazing little boy, worthy of all the love one can get. I hope he will grow up to realize there are no monsters, but the ones we create ourselves, and they have nothing to do with how we look.

Little boy, wherever you are, I love you!

SB