Dear Charlie,

March 26, 2010
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You’re going to have to hold my hand through the pain, because it’s a long way down. You’ll have to tell me that it wasn’t my fault he was better at dying than living. There’s a reason I thought it would be better to write to you rather than anyone else. Please, you have to teach me to let go; you’re the best teacher even though you were the last one to learn the lesson. I looked existentialism and bland happenstance in the eyes today, and I got scared because we all need a reason to live, and when you’re looking at nothing that can be the scariest thing of all. But know that through the past year I’ve felt what you felt. I’ve watched you grown with each new word; each new letter sent. Aunt Helen’s grave didn’t go unvisited, or unadorned in my mind; and does it surprise you that I find it more endearing than shameful that you thought it was your fault? It’s a terrible thing, feeling like something uncontrollable was your fault; but it’s about as useful to feel that way as using a fire escape when you’re trying to dodge a tidal wave, in the words of the great Shane Koyzcan. But as useless as it is we fall victim to humility everyday, and there’s not much we have in the way of a remedy, but believe me, I heard you. The secrets we shared were as simple as the rundown of shop class, but believe me, they were important. I hope that I was enough for you. There were times I wanted to run away and track you down and find you and embrace you without an end in sight, and there were others I didn’t want to go to the mailbox because I was afraid of what I would find. But there were never any times I wanted you gone, and there were never any letters I didn’t want to respond to. You said everything better than I ever could, and I’m sure you still do even though I never have met you and am not even truly sure who you are. I’m sorry it took me this long to respond; because even though you didn’t want me to, I needed to. I trust you. I see myself in you. This is why you have to take my hand and help me keep my balance. You are as unconventionally beautiful as anyone; I wish every man could see his beloved the way you see Sam. And I know you didn’t watch Michael die, but you still carry that loss with you every day and maybe you could help me not have to carry a loss with me. The crosses we bear no longer have to be a burden because of those times we felt infinite, and finally realized we were more than any teenager believes themselves to be. You are the only one whose honesty is actually the truth. And you didn’t think you were talking to anyone but a soundboard, but you went out on a limb and I am the roots who answered. You are the one I want to thank for giving my tree life. I may be the roots, but you are the water that nourished everything through the drought. It is because of you, only you that we no longer have to be wallflowers; but rather the trees that dance in the sun. Our hearts are infinite because we know how to open them up, and even though you are not here, I feel the sweet sincere presence of your own hand, telling me that it’s okay to let go.

Love Always,
Your Friend





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QuirkStar said...
Oct. 15, 2013 at 7:57 pm
This was amazing. I love The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It is such a good read. This letter back to Charlie was so realistic and said everything I would say and more.
 
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