My Dear June,

I'm really glad to know you're feeling better. Has it been cold up there? It's been bloody freezing here, I've had a bucket of water by the front door for a fortnight now, for the car windscreen in the mornings. Sam escaped again yesterday. I swear I could spend a lifetime working on that bloody fence, sometimes I think that it'd be easier to just replace it all with great sheets of corrugated iron that go three feet below the ground and six above it. She's still getting bigger too, she can stand up with her paws on my belt now, you'll be amazed! I can hardly wait for you to come home again, I'm missing you. Although, one thing I'm not missing is shaving, I got past the itchy stage last week and it's looking pretty impressive, enough to make you squirm if you saw, I'm sure. Same goes for the sorry state of the house, sorry. It'll be fine by the time you see it, though!

That's about all that's happening here, afraid to say. Not much to tell you, as usual. Work is OK, same old same old. I'm just trying to keep busy, not mope around too much. A bit of moping around would sound like a welcome change to you, though, I bet. This is just the thing, you always have so many things going on, it makes me feel dull as dog shit when I sit down to write about the last two weeks! But no worries really.

There is one thing, though. I have to tell you I've spent a while thinking and worrying about what you said at the end of your last letter. To be honest, right now I'm glad that you don't have a phone up on the mountain, because this is the kind of thing that I really couldn't talk about on the spot, I need the time to really think about what I'm saying so I don't just blabber on and on (but I'll probably do that now anyway). Maybe this is the reason why nobody seems to properly talk about love and death and other really important stuff, because it's too difficult to put into words what you really think about that kind of thing when there's somebody looking straight at you. This is probably also the reason why most of what I think people think about love is just what I've heard in the movies. So yes, I'm sorry, but I think that writing this down is the only proper way to get at what I want to tell you. The truth is that I don't feel like I could honestly tell you that I love you too, not now anyway, because I've never liked the word and never really felt like I understood what it's supposed to mean. I mean Jesus, I don't even like saying it to my own mother, but I do say it, because she says she loves me and I couldn't bear to let her down by saying nothing back. So I guess when I tell her I love her, all I'm really saying is, "I don't want to hurt your feelings", which is something in itself, maybe. And it's the same here with you, but with her I've been saying it since I could talk so I can hardly stop now, but with you I want to make a clean start.

So here's the thing, and I hope you're not getting me wrong here and tearing up this letter already before you're done reading it, but the problem isn't that I don't love you, but it's that I honestly don't know what it would mean to tell you that I do love you, and I don't want to just suck it up and pretend like I do. It sounds bloody pathetic to put it this way, but I know for sure that I like you, a lot. More than anyone else I know, more than Mum and more than all my friends rolled together, I can pretty much say that for sure. But where does like end and love begin? Is love just a very strong liking, or something else completely? Is it something about it being an enduring like, the kind of feeling that will not and can not disappear? I honestly want to know what you think about this.

I can tell you what I think about you, though. I feel like you've become an essential part of my life, like you tie all the different pieces of it together to make it something much bigger and better. I feel like you're the reason why I want to treat everyone better, to stop drinking so much, to get my bloody leg sorted out, to see the good in people and to do something useful with my life. You make me want to be do those things, and I don't know if it's because I want to impress you or deserve you or something else I don't understand at all, but it's real nonetheless. When you're gone like this I lose all that stuff, it's like my pilot light has gone out. When we're together it's like a tether is cut off my mind, and suddenly ideas come so quickly and in droves, and every emotion is more immediate, like a screen is lifted away and I can feel everything in detail instead of just stumbling in and out of a few well-worn old moods. You make me feel more interesting, I find that nowadays when you're gone I don't have much to say to anyone at all. You're irreplaceable to me. This is all making me sound like a pretty sad bastard, but it's the truth. I try to hide it, but I get jealous when you talk about your male friends. Does this all describe what you would call love? I hope so, because the idea that I have the same impact on you as you do on me would make me happier than almost anything right now.

Another thing is that you somehow seem to lift away my fear of having nothing to say. With pretty much everyone else I just run out of steam in conversation after half an hour or so (and everyone seems to know it), but not with you. But then on the other hand, to be completely honest, I'm sometimes glad that you go away so often, because I'm deathly afraid that that could disappear, and we'd run out of things to say. I would hate more than anything to become one of those couples that just sits in silence because they're bored of each other. Right now I feel like it would not be possible to become bored of someone like you, but perhaps it's best to play it safe. I really hope this all doesn't hurt you to read, but I've been holding these things in and now seems like the only time to tell you.

I think that if love is real, and not just a word we've all made up for some reason, then it can't always be forever, so I'm definitely not giving you any guarantees in that department. People can change so much in time (like Dad, I must have told you about that, from last November?). I can't know how I'll think of you in the future, but I hope that it's no different from now, because that could only mean that something really, truly awful has happened to one of us somewhere along the way. I don't think I would die for you, and I'd be able to live without you, but it'd be a pretty sorry existence, I'm sure of that. This is just so we can be clear. I don't think that my feelings about you are supernatural or that you're heaven-sent, I know that I'm just extremely lucky to have met you and not buggered it up the first time we talked. I don't think that we're the only ones on Earth for each other. However, I smile widest when you're smiling, I worry when you frown, and I try to remember every word you say. I still get nervous when I'm waiting for you to arrive. I never feel lonelier than when you're walking away from me, and I keep my eyes on you until you're completely out of sight. I would really like to say that I love you, if it would make you happy, but I don't know what love is right now.

Everyone has their own idea of what love means, which is why I don't like the word, this is the main point here I guess. I think everybody probably has their own slightly different ideas of what a table is too, but I think you'll know what I mean when I say that there's so much force in ideas like love and death and justice and whatnot that it's risky to bring them up at all, unless we're in such a routine with them that we don't think about what they really mean at all (like Mum and me). There are hundreds of wishy-washy ideas floating around them so it's hard to really put a finger on them. So here I'm just trying to give you the raw facts, and you can make up your own mind about what they mean for me and you. And please tell me what it is.

Sorry this letter turned out to be so long,
Please write back soon,
Yours truly,

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