I didn't think I'd be writing another letter so soon, but here I am.
I've been away for two weeks. I thought at first the vacation would be enough to clear my head. Experiencing a different location, spending time with my cousins, having activities during the day to distract me... I figured it would help me distance myself from what I was feeling. I'd actually hoped that it would relieve me of my feelings, and somehow I'd realize that I'd just been confused. But the distance did nothing but make me miss you. Talking to you in the brief moments when we both were up, able to work around the time difference... it made me miss you more. So I forced even more distance by telling you I was losing a wifi connection for a few days. I lied again, something that leaves me with so much guilt. But, I can't even apologize for it without revealing too much.
Anyways, nothing helped.
I kept thinking about you and how the trip would be more fun with you there. I would pass things that reminded me of you, things I thought you'd enjoy, things I knew you wouldn't. I found things I thought to bring back for you as a souvenir. Even just scrolling through social media, I found things I wanted to send you and then my heart would sink when I realized I couldn't send them yet because I was faking a poor connection. You've taken up space in my mind the entire trip.
When I did start talking to you again, you were so relieved to hear from me and I was so happy to be talking to you. I thought I was ok enough to start a conversation, and I was at first. But we got on some touchy subjects, and, again, found ourselves being very open and honest with one another. We exchanged a million "I miss you"s, "I love you"s, a few "I need you"s. We talked about how we wanted one another to be happy, and we discussed how important we were to one another. I faked being very very drunk as a way to say things without REALLY saying them. You bought it of course. Another lie. I'm just racking up the lies, huh?
But your words made things worse than before.
How am I supposed to feel when you say things like:
"I live to see your beautiful smile. To be encapsulated in your presence. To hold you when your times are rough. And assure you that everything is ok"
"I need you to be right beside me when I cross the finish line... You are cemented in my dreams"
How do I even react to that?
I know what my heart did when I read it; it jumped into my throat. It swelled so hard that I had to take a second to really breathe. I had to think about what to say back, genuinely terrified that if I was too honest or too reckless with phrasing, how I really feel about you might appear between the lines of text. Even typing "I love you" is sort of difficult because I know the meaning behind what I'm saying. My saving grace is that since it's a text conversation, you can't hear it the way I hear it. That's why I'm scared to say it out loud honestly, because what if you hear what I truly mean by it? Lying is easy for me, masking the truth is simple... but with you, it's completely different. I'm literally terrified for you to find the truth in me right now.
Because aside from missing you, being away and having the conversations we have makes me realize how scared I am to lose you. I've tasted what that felt like... gotten very close because of stupid mistakes. It brings me to a crumpled heap on the floor whenever I think about losing you. There is no fighting the oceans that drip from my eyes or the pain in my chest that feels sharp and ache-y at the same time. I can't lose you without breaking. Which makes this so hard because if you knew the truth, that's what might happen. We've talked about another friend who you had feelings for while still in your current relationship, and we talked about how she kind of felt the same way.
You don't talk to her anymore. You admitted to me that you distance yourself from her to protect yourself, so regardless of how you miss her and miss having her in your life, you keep her at a distance. I can't risk that with us. I won't put that on you. I know how you miss her and how it does hurt you to have to cut her off like that. And I know from what you've said how much you care about me and our friendship. It would hurt you to have to make that choice. I can't make you make that choice.
I don't want you to feel like you have to distance yourself. I've always said that if you ever needed to take steps back, I'd understand. I'd accept it because I care about you and your happiness. I care about protecting your happiness.
You and ___ is something you may never find again, and I'd do anything I could to protect that.
I say it in every letter, but I feel like I have to:
You can never read these letters. You can never know the truth about how I feel, the truth about how I see you. You can never know about the ache in my chest that happens when I realize you're tied to someone else. You can't ever know, and I hate myself for having to lie to you, but I can't risk confusing you or hurting you in any way. I can't threaten your happiness, even a little bit. I only ever want to help protect and cultivate it.
You said when we were talking that you'd rather get cut trying to put me together than to leave me hurting on my own. The sentiment is so sweet... but you have no idea how deeply cut I am right now and how my heart bleeds every time I think about it. I know it's worth it to keep the smile on your face and joy in your life. It hurts in a way that's hard to explain, but it IS worth it.
As frequently as I type it to you, the words don't seem like enough anymore. But I love you. And even though you'll never know what I really mean by that, it's one of the most truthful things. And because I do, I'll always take care of you and your heart. I promise.