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Dear *Joshua,

I loved you.

Maybe we were too young to understand what true love entailed. Too young to understand a relationship isn’t cuddling one moment and having a massive pointless argument the next.

It started off lovely, didn’t it? Ah, grade seven. You started to walk me to skating lessons. Twice a week. Then one day, halfway to the rink, on a freezing afternoon – surely with frozen toes and frostbitten skin – you asked me out.

My first real boyfriend. Come on, *Eric, you know we weren’t legit. But I digress.

powerAs pre-teens, we weren’t ready for a so-called commitment. The silent treatment. Breaking up, getting back together. Just like a soap opera. We were like Kim and Shane, without the English accent. Whatever you can argue about in grades seven and eight, we found it. And it eventually ended *Tesshua.

We resorted to friendship. Where we excelled. That should’ve been a clue.

But the summer entering grade ten, you changed. You morphed from an AC/DC, Metallica t-shirt clad kid into a preppy young man. You matured. I learned you wanted more than friendship, and the feeling was mutual.

Finally, we had real conversations. We discussed events, issues and our feelings. We rarely argu … okay, we disagreed. But we worked through them.

And we were nauseating. I kept track of our monthly anniversaries in my school agenda. We bought each other little gifts and passed cutesy notes. And we made our friends ill with our PDA.

We were in love. We were going to last. Forever. A dangerous word when you’re young. We barely understood ourselves, let alone each other.

Then, the arguments started. Again. But this was different. I was angry. You were angry. My skating career tanked. Your hockey career sank. We were both bitter. We were starved for attention. We fell into the familiar habit of breaking up, making up, repeat. It was familiar. Failing was not.
to-the-night
Then came the finale of the saga.

Graduation night. You were “letting me go.” No, don’t sugar it up with “But it wasn’t our graduation night.” I went home in tears. Bawling. You went to the graduation celebration. Happy. Without me. I felt our three-year off-and-on relationship meant nothing.

You walked away without looking back. You slayed my soul. You smashed my heart. You broke me.

Maybe you loved me, but you lied about why you were “letting me go.”

Two months after you released me, a hormone-driven, teenage, fairy Godfather granted your wish. And – poof – your virginity vanished in one weekend. Like the string of strangers you slept with.

At first, I was upset. I shed a few tears. But no outburst. No tyrannosaurs screams. When you date someone from grade seven to eleven, you understand them. I knew your actions were out of character. You’re impulsive, but you’re not an idiot. And you have a terrible conscience. I knew you’d forever carry the guilt of that weekend. Not because it wasn’t me. But because it wasn’t what you expected.

Years later, we restored our friendship. But we never talked about what happened that weekend. Probably for the best. And then I moved away, and you lived happily ever after.

Not in the real world.

I’m sorry about your divorce. Don’t roll your eyes. I am. *Regina didn’t know me, but she didn’t want me around you. I’m sure she had her reasons.

I know about *Gillian. Some advice. You’re an Aries. She’s a Sagittarius. Do not screw this up. Everyone deserves happiness, and I don’t believe life’s been fair to you in that area. And she deserves to be part of your happiness.

Joshua, I don’t regret our relationship. We built loads of memories. How can you have regrets about something that makes you smile?

We just weren’t meant to last. Like Joey Jeremiah and Caitlin Ryan from Degrassi.

Remember watching “School’s Out”? The wedding scene at the end. A broken up Joey and Caitlin dance. He ponders if they would’ve made it, and then he states, “We had some good times.”

And you and I? We had some great times.

Always,

Tessa

*Names changed for privacy

P.S. Stop looking for your Vuarnet t-shirt.

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