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I still remember the day that you walked up to me and told me goodbye, as purely and untainted as if it was only yesterday. I still remember because, even after six years, the pain in my heart is still fresh, a constant reminder of what exactly has left my life.
The last thing that I want is to ask such an incredible person the most basic of questions, but I feel entitled to- how are you? How is the relentless world of Boston treating you, always such a reserved and quiet person? How are you enduring the viable, often frightening realm of journalism? To be honest, I laughed when I heard from Lillian- yes; the two of us still keep in touch- that you had begun writing editorials for a highly competitive newspaper; for such a reserved person, you always were just so incredibly opinionated. As I still live in Doylestown, a world away from Boston, I don’t have access to your paper, but that hasn’t kept me from looking. I want to read the words that your love and mind has gone into, let part of you, when we’ve been apart for so long, reach me at last.
I had always loved watching you write; you had that habit of running your hands through your unnavigable mess of black hair and then letting it fall into your face. I loved your hair; loved the way you would push it back gently with one delicate hand, giving me the chance to catch a glimpse of your beautiful face. Your eyes, too, would come alive in a way that they didn’t for anything else except for when you penned your thoughts. Did you know that even after fourteen years of knowing you, when we separated, I still didn’t know whether your eyes were green or blue? They were a kaleidoscope- a beautiful, captivating kaleidoscope. Sophie, you just became so absorbed, so passionate, and I wanted you to feel that way about me, not just your best friend.
Because Sophie, I never told you this, but I love you. I have loved you since that day in the courtyard of the apartment, when we were three years old and you asked me if I wanted to be part of your “Theatrical Production!”, along with sixteen of your dolls. I loved you throughout falls on the playground, failing grades, illness, injury, death, change, constantly broken relationships, and, of course, your mother’s illnesses. Did you know that that was when I loved you the most? Because, during those two years, I could see just how much you loved another person, how much you cared for them and would go to the end of the earth to ensure your safety. Your love for others made me love you, Sophie, and that never changed.
And now we come to the reason why I have chosen to write this letter now, after twenty years of knowing you and feeling this love in my heart. Sophie, the day after your mother’s funeral, when you walked to me and whispered, through tears, that you and your father were moving to Boston in order to be nearer your relatives, I didn’t want to nod and say that I was fine with the decision. I didn’t want to tell you that we would keep in touch, visit each other, be best friends forever when I knew ultimately that we would fall out of touch as we have done.
I wanted to cry with you, because your mother was like a mother to me, too. I wanted to cry with you because you are the one person who I have felt constant love for my entire life, and at that point I was losing you without you ever really having been mine.
I wanted to break down right then and there and tell you that I loved you, that you were the reason why my heart beat and why I rose each morning to a life that I was grateful to have, grateful because it was a life where you existed. I wanted to sing out every memory that I have of you, singing to the world that I know everything about you and you are the one thing in the world that I want.
I wanted to kiss you, hold you in my arms and take away every inch of sadness etched into your beautiful face.
I wanted to be in love with you, and you with me.
But mostly, I wanted you to know how I feel so that my years of waiting for you to know my love can end.
Because when I wrote this letter, I didn’t want to have to address it, “Dear Sophie.”
I wanted to be able to address it Dear Angel.