I was hesitant to write this post.
As I edit this, it’s the same time you accepted my friendship 10 months ago on Facebook: 11:45 p.m.
On a weekend, remember? And then you were gone. Released me. And I sent you a private message with an apology. And I waited. And waited. And almost gave up.
This weekend I was editing, and the song “We’re Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time) just ended on my writing playlist. The first notes of “Show Me the Way” by Styx started, and for some reason you popped into my head.
And I received a notification on Facebook. After 10 months, you accepted my friendship.
Ten months after I wrote the Dear Marcus post.
It felt different though. Ten months ago when you accepted my friend request, I felt at peace. A weight was lifted. To be honest – this time, I felt terrified. Petrified. Oh, and I flew into a panic attack.
Because an hour earlier, I was about to delete that undelivered message from 10 months ago. Turf it. Archive it. Reside with the fact it died. What if?
And you sent me a message. You weren’t angry or bitter. And we messaged the entire weekend. With the time change, I didn’t get to sleep until 12:45 a.m. on Saturday.
I’ll admit, when you indicated you couldn’t remember the context of the letters you wrote after our breakup, I died a little. Granted, you’re right. It was a long time ago. However, I keep everything that has meaning. But you don’t know that I’m sentimental.
Neither of us really knew each other, did we? You don’t know that I’m nostalgic. Or that I love ’80s to classical, and country to pop. However, after this weekend, I feel I know you better than 23 years ago. Sorry if you felt badgered with all my questions. I am a reporter.
Though, I didn’t feel like a very good one. Understand, I’m used to interviewing strangers. Learning their stories. Probing and digging comes with the territory. But with you – I didn’t want to overstep my boundaries. Or ask anything insulting, rude or super personal. I guess that explains my slow replies.
The messages stopped once the work week hit. My last question went unanswered, but it’s okay. And if we never message again, I’ll understand. For awhile, I felt like that excited 17-year-old. Then I remembered it wasn’t 1993. It’s complicated now, isn’t it?
But as we messaged, there wasn’t an indication you read the Dear Marcus post. Throughout our conversations, you never asked, “By the way are you Tessa? Am I Marcus?” Because the answer is yes, and the explanation is awkward.
I’d love to think you were surfing the net and stumbled on it by accident. Or maybe a co-worker found it on Reddit, and was like, “Marcus, give this a read. This girl actually dumped her boyfriend in the hospital. What monster does that?”
So here’s a rare realistic moment.
Hard for the girl who still leaves cookies out for Santa, believes in underpass wishes and that good always prevails. This post will be like that 10-month old message in your inbox. And it’ll never reach you. Like those UnsentLetters on Reddit.
It’s been 23 years. Our lives are very different. We’ve both changed. It’s inevitable. We’ve both had our tragedies and triumphs, and suffered bumps and bruises. Thank you for not letting them harden you, because you weren’t a bitter person. Thank you for not despising me when you have every right. For being forgiving and gracious for what life has given you. And for your motivational spirit. Actually, that hasn’t changed.
These are rare qualities.
So hang onto them, Trooper.
*Name changed for privacy