The View from Here

December 11, 2007
By
Happily ever after? Maybe. To some, I guess. I’ve thought about so many different ways to write this. But every way sounds stupid, so I’ll just come out and tell you everything. Well, almost.

Do you remember that girl you used to like back in high school? You never cared too much what she thought: about you, about life, about anything. She was the girl that sat in the back of your English class, answering as few questions as possible to get by. I can’t believe I just said “that” instead of “who”. Oh, man, Mrs. McGee would have a heart attack if she found out, right? Come to think of it, I’m supposed to be meeting her for dinner in about an hour. Old bat always complains we eat the same thing for dinner; never what she wants, she tells me.

Things have changed a lot over five years. I’ve noticed. You probably thought I wouldn’t, but I did. You’re dating that cheerleader I used to write mean notes about in my diary. I can’t remember her name, probably because I always referred to her as “the slut.” But hey, fine by me. You couldn’t wait up for me forever, right? I wish you could be here with me, but at the same time I know how much you wouldn’t fit in here; knowing you, you’d probably be harassing every gatekeeper and record-holder this place has got. And we both know the world would be a mess without them, so I suppose it’s better this way.

You wear a smile on your face every day to work, but I’m probably the only person who knows you’re faking it. Life’s not as kind as high school, huh? Not as fun as college? Certainly not. World’s full of jerk-offs and cynics. I’ve been staring at the world’s specks for five years, and all it does is remind me of the log once stuck in my own eye. Still makes me sad, seeing you. I never used to believe in sad endings. Even if the journey towards the end was painful, I always thought things ended well. I mean, as much of a cruel old hag the witch was, Snow White still got the last laugh, right? C’mon, everybody knows stories have happy endings. Something to the effect of: and they lived happily ever after, made love as often as they could, raised 2.5 kids, had lots of useless junk, struggled through average-paying jobs only to remember they had a killer 401k plan, and retired on a yacht somewhere, playing golf and sun tanning until their dying days. I know, cheesy. Pretty naïve, huh?

But this letter is for you. It’s not meant for anyone else. I hope you understand how much you mean to me. And seriously, stop worrying about me; it’s not as bad as you think. Sure, there are times I doubt and question why I’m here—or how I made it, for that matter—but you’re not ready to visit yet. As a matter of fact, as much as I miss you, I’m not ready to see you again face to face. So keep smiling; I happen to like your teeth. You always had nice teeth. And give my Mom and Dad a hug; God knows they could use one. Oh, and thanks for the flowers, by the way; lilacs are my favorite.

I know this is a letter you’ll never get to read, but it’s one I had to write. I want you to know I can still feel you, and I still love you. It’s hard to believe one drunk driver can change everything. Five years. Just a blink.

Time really does fly when you’re dead.





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