A letter.

I knew a girl once. Shock blond hair and devil may care attitude. She gave it to me straight, no matter how much I might not have liked it. I learned a lot about life from this girl, things I wouldn't realize until I got much older. We got lost in separate lives somewhere along the line, and it was okay. We did some living and found each other again, but we were both different, polar opposites of our younger selves. And we kicked about notions of finishing old business, about the serious rings and the silly things. But, as life is want to do, things fell off, and it was okay. After awhile.

And now here I sit, far too tired to possibly be thinking straight, yet having what the drinking man likes to call a Moment Of Clarity in a frame of reference to her. She's not who I fell in love with. Why? I asked her, said she did not know. Most likely she doesn't, but it's there, buried somewhere under layers of hurt and the stench of places I never saw her in. Places not unfamiliar, however, to those caked with the mud of growing up. My point is, I wasn't there. And I innocently mistook a girl with the same face to be her. What has happened here? What could possibly take something so alive and quiet it into the person that is before me? Oh God, what I must have missed in her life. And I can't say I wish I had been there for it. You must have seen the face of hell and shined it's boots some days, girl. I don't envy you your roads. But what in His realm could have broken you so?I will earn a slap for it, but I knew you when you were a child of God. What you are now is not what you were then. And what you are now is not what you claim. The intent is there, but it's misplaced.

And what of our falling out? Hah. Here I am, finally able to swallow my pride and be straightforward, but I'm still risking it all just to get my last word in before you close the door on me. Enough exposition, to the fray:

I feel like this new you lied to me. I think that you believed that I was more serious than you about the engagement. And because you cared, you didn't wish to hurt me. So you kept things from me. And softened the blows of that which you could not hide. I have no anger for what you did. I cannot safely say that I wouldn't have done the same. I am disappointed that we didn't have a better understanding of each other. And I'd love to put in 'like we used to' here. But we didn't even understand each other then, just two wild eyed fighters who needed a kindred shoulder to lean on in private. And then off to the winds again just as quickly. The you I fell in love with, the you that you romanticize as still being, is still there. And I don't feel bad about telling you that there were many nights shortly after my loss to him that I drank in her honor, a comrade lost to the fates.

I'm not here to tell you how to live your life. In fact, even after all of the above romanticizing, I realize my reasons for this are still purely selfish. I don't understand what it is that made you want to protect me. All these months later, I realize that's what broke me. Not that you chose him. But that you, of all people, someone whose very spirit I admired and was attractive to me, had been put on the shelf like a porcelain doll of days past, for show. She did not exist in any form that I knew her. And the person I had mistook as her was who made the choice. My life was in shambles and I guess I was reaching out to those I knew to be strong. But she was not there. And against the bar rail I heard her laugh, still felt her wild kiss through the fuzzy vision and blurry music. It didn't make sense to me that something so alive could be pushed inside and held in place.

It's not right to hold old images of people like that. It's a silly, childish, overly romantic way to view people. These things I know. But imagine my sense of tragedy when I come to find through my verbal stumbling that this woman I knew is on a shelf she no longer can reach. This is why I write to you. I ask that you take my shoulder again like I took yours years ago. If you really want her back, if you want youself back as I do, then know that I will help as best I can.

No hurt. No worries. No regrets. Friends know of no such things. Love ignores such ugliness. Comrades forgive unconditionally.