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Once upon a time, there was a boy who wrote a letter to a girl after their breakup. And they never reconciled. This is her letter to him on Valentine’s Day, 2017:

Dear *Marcus,

I’ll never figure it out.

How you found my address. For now, I’ll chalk it up to strong research skills in the semi-pre-internet era. Or how the letter was timed to arrive on Valentine’s Day, 1994. Fate? Destiny? Or just a really, really, good job by Canada Post.

But given the result, it was Canada Post with the win.

Despite your tear-stained, passionate, handwritten words, I left you and I (us) in the cold. And we froze in the storm, succumbing to winter’s wrath. Granted, the winter of 1994 was unusually warm, but that’s besides the point.

I let us die. It was unpleasant. Painful. Emotional. Confusing. Very confusing. And a bit fuzzy.

Finding myself two months after surgery was a losing battle. I was bitter. Angry. Out of character.

Be grateful you escaped. The girl you met at a social on September 5, 1993 was gone. In 1994, you sent the letter to her shadow. At the time – and for months after – I was a mere sliver of my former self.

As for that letter, I could shred it. Zip- zip. Instead, it’s well travelled. It’s part of me. To remind me to never destroy anyone like I destroyed you. And I want concrete proof of the damage. And because when you love someone, you’ll forever hold a piece of them.
decemberRemember that night at the bar? May 3, 1997. You were upstairs, and we spoke. Briefly, but still, we spoke. You seemed uncomfortable. Why wouldn’t you? I shredded your heart.

“Well, I should go,” you said, and you descended the staircase.

My first instinct was to chase you. To yell above that house band’s country renditions that I wanted to start over. Because it wasn’t over for me ala The Notebook. But deep down, I knew for you – it was over. Because I killed you in 1993.

But you continued down the stairs. And you danced to a John Michael Montgomery song. With a girl in a red dress. She was my karma. I don’t know what I regret more: going to that bar or not chasing after you. Even if you shut me down, I’d know. Closure is just moving on. Moving on is complicated.

This has turned into a long babble. And maybe that’s fair. Your letter expressed how you felt that day in 1994. And this is how I feel today in 2017. Confused. Muddled. Exhausted. And words I can’t express. Because that wouldn’t be fair.

You probably don’t know about these letters. And it’s probably for the best. If we ever messaged again, our exchanges would be a rerun of super long, late night, trade-off, one-sided questions about them.

And that’s complicated.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Marcus. I hope you’re happy and loved. Even if it’s by my karma.

Always,

Tessa

********

*Name changed for privacy

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