(Editor's Note: The following letter was never sent because the author does not know the recipient's current address. Shall the recipient read this letter at Rivertrout.com, and shall she want to contact the author, she can find him at this e-mail address.)
New York City
I clearly remember when you walked out of the apartment, eyes open wide in shock, hands clasped at once, then fists banging the walls. A dry crying followed your silhouette through the narrow corridor to the elevator. I tried to talk to you; I tried to hold you back, grasping at your clothes with my knees bent, down on the floor, apologetic, sorry, unhappy.
You were outraged. Will she ever forgive me? I thought after you left, without committing to one possible answer or another. It didn't matter. You hadn't come because of me; you hadn't come to prove anything, or to demonstrate any kind of unit of spirit or soul. You hadn't come to say you loved me. You came to my place that day because you wanted to forget, you wanted to make your existence, and our relationship more palatable to your needs. You did not seek commitment: You came looking for solace for your own fears.
I'm sorry about what you saw. I loved you, and nothing could have erased that feeling, nothing could've scratched that sentiment out of my struggling heart. I felt lonely, and I sinned, I made a mistake. But I loved you, Amy. I loved you with all my strengths, with the fury of a wild lion, the hope of a white dove. I wish I could have said all this to you then. I wish you had let me.
I wondered what happened to you after that dreaded afternoon. I always thought I would see you again, one way or another: In a casual encounter, bumping into each other at the popcorn line at a movie theater, in a sudden rush onto a crowded subway train, in a car when I was crossing the street, in a bar, in a dream; if nothing else, I would see you again in a dream.
I always nurtured that soft, cozy feeling, almost a fantasy. You would come back one day to see me, and unknowingly I would feel your hand gently landing on my shoulder, like a reluctant feather fighting against the wind. And you would greet me here, at the old coffee shop, with a smile and a few words: not many, just a few words for the silence would have spoken a million words for us already.
It has been three years since you left, and every day during all those years I wondered where you were; I lived in hope, in a perennial, non-defiant state of hope. Not today. Today I will drink my coffee black for a change, let my dreams fall down to reality, and allow the bitter taste of everyday life seep into my blood and consume my body like a sprawling cancer. Let my disease become my cure.
I had always been afraid that, had I given up the hope, every day would look the same. But in the deep end of my thoughts, I realized that every day for the past three years have also looked terribly the same. And the expected comfort of reality became as cruel as the desolation of hope.
Why, Amy? Why?