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Another US

Another Us


Chapter 1


I wondered what went through your head the first time you saw me. Did you think that I would be important in your life? Or did you just see me as a tourist passerby in your life?


The first time we talked you were shy, you kept asking how long I would be in that house with the red ceiling? Now I wonder if you had always been afraid of losing me as if you somehow sensed that I would be gone, just a part of your story, once upon a time.


Day after day we met and day after day we opened up, we talked about our dreams and our hopes and failures, we ran and biked around the neighborhood drenched in happiness, trying to take it all in.


Now I wonder if you would see me again? Would you still remember that, remember how happy we were, how naive we were, holding to the promise of forever, we believed that we would never lose each other somehow sharing our hopes and dreams would bond us forever, never forgetting each other?


I still wonder what happened, what went wrong, were we not strong enough to fight for us? Or had we been destined to break since the beginning, Were we on a path that led to destruction, or could we have somehow stopped, changed the ending of our story?


To tell you the truth, I’ve never believed in destiny, I always thought that meeting a stranger was nothing special.


It wasn’t till the day that I first saw you, I knew, my life would never be the same. I had always joked that I had seen you before because the first time we ever talked I felt like you could already understand me like you already knew me,


I thought this is the kind of guy I want to have a million conversations with, this is the guy I want to talk to every day, through the rain, and through the sun I wanted you to be part of my life.


I wonder if you felt the same way, that no matter what happened we’d still be best friends, no matter how dark the world would get, you’d still be there, taking my pain away.


It’s funny how years later my world fell into darkness and you weren’t there, you weren’t there, I couldn’t talk to you, I couldn’t hold on to your hand as you wiped my tears away because in a couple of years you went from being my everything to being a stranger.


The promises we had made felt like promises of strangers of different people, they certainly weren’t our promises because you and I don’t even know each other anymore.


Forever, friendship everything felt part of a movie, a part that we had played once and just forgotten about as time went by.

The countless memories we shared were shredded before our eyes, one more memory we had of each other, one more lost star trying to find its way.


The day I saw you again, you looked like a stranger of course you were the same boy, but this time you looked older, you looked different maybe unrecognizable, that was until I saw your eyes.


Those hazel eyes with golden flecks inside them, those eyes that had always made my heart skip a beat, eyes that would light up every time you saw me and then when you smiled I kept thinking that you were the same, You would run and hug me, we would be in each other's arms and we would feel safe.


But when I opened my eyes you were gone and I realized that I would only see you in my dreams. For the first night in months since we lost each other I cried, I cried for you, and I cried for me, for us.


Day after day I kept closing my eyes, trying to imagine how you would look? Wondering if you still wore that baseball cap and your red sweatpants? Wondering if you still liked to sing and play guitar? Or if I had also taken that away from you.


I remembered you always loved that guitar. You would always carry it wherever you were, strumming different notes on it, while you strummed the guitar I always lay completely silent, afraid to break your concentration, break your peace.


I remember looking forward to going back from school, to see you, to talk about everything with you, or to talk about nothing at all, even silence was comfortable with you. 


People always try to fill the silence with unnecessary words, but you and I, we were always comfortable with each other's company even when we laid in silence, we never tried to fill it, we were comfortable when we didn’t speak because we knew what we were thinking.


You and I understood each other, we sensed when something was wrong, I could see you were sad when your eyes turned dark brown instead of the beautiful hazel they always were.


You could sense I was sad or unhappy when I changed the subject, afraid of speaking but somehow when you looked at me I felt safe, for the first time in my life I didn’t want to run away from my feelings. I wanted to stay here with you.


The first time we ever fought, was like someone taking a knife into my heart and stabbing it because somehow I was stupid enough to believe that you would never hurt me. 


Remember how we shouted, how we ran away from each other and how you cried and I just left you there, and you kept saying you were sorry, how you never meant to hurt me, that you were still the same person, my best friend.


You kept begging for forgiveness and I left you there crying your eyes out, begging me to understand. But I told you that you weren’t my best friend that you meant nothing to me, I couldn’t trust you anymore because just like everyone else you had disappointed me.


You chased after me, and I ran farther away from you, I didn’t want to look back because I could still see tears coming out of your eyes. That was the first time I was afraid of losing you.


I accepted your apology because I couldn’t imagine myself living in a world, you wouldn’t be a part of. Why did you do it? Why did you hurt me? Did you want me to hate you so when I left Sleepy Hollow, You wouldn’t miss me.


Why did you do it, Ryan? I keep trying to come up with answers, of why you would deliberately hurt me, but every time I  hit a wall.

Maybe if I see you again I can ask you? Ask you if I ever meant anything to you?



When you promised the second time that you wouldn’t hurt me, I wanted to believe you, I wanted us to go back to who we were. The next time I saw you we both pretended that we were fine.


You kept trying to win back my trust, and I kept pretending that I was fine, I had forgiven you but you knew I would never forget it.


Maybe that’s why you tried extra hard to please me. Always asking for my help, always going to the places I wanted to go. You wanted to deserve my forgiveness because somehow you knew you had already lost me. We still enjoyed each other’s company and somehow kept trying to believe in that promise of forever.


Chapter 2


I remember one summer afternoon as we sat on the dirt of an empty old terrain and you told me that you were moving away, and somehow at that moment I wanted it to be a lie, 


I wanted it so badly to be a lie because as I stood looking at that empty old terrain I realized that Sleepy Hollow was my home because you were there and you had my heart. 


Then you just laughed and said it was a joke, that you would never abandon me, never leave me, you and me we were forever.


That day was when we made the promise, the promise I wish so badly we hadn't made, maybe if we hadn’t made that promise we wouldn’t be so hurt now, we wouldn’t have broken each other’s hearts in fear of breaking it.


If forever hadn’t existed between you and me, maybe I could have left without feeling like I had destroyed you, broken you.


Leaving you wasn’t my choice, When I left it broke me too. The fear of losing you was real because I somehow knew that when I left, things would never be the same, I knew that if I were to leave I would lose you.


The thing is I didn’t know how to say goodbye, maybe I just didn’t want to say goodbye because it felt so final.


 How could I say goodbye to the only person who ever knew me at all, How could I say goodbye to you Ryan? Without feeling like the world was going to end, burn up in flames.


Maybe that’s why we held on so tight, we kept hoping that things would be the same. After everything had broken we kept trying to put it back together.


Not saying goodbye meant there was still a possibility that we’d see each other again, talk to each other, be the same people we once were.


So when I left, I felt horrible. I felt like I had abandoned you, broken our promise, I wonder what went through your head when you knew that I was already gone.


I wonder if you always regretted, that we never talked about how we felt, what we meant to each other. Did you hope to find a note explaining why I left? Or did you just go on through life pretending that you didn’t miss me at all?


Pretending that you weren’t hurt, when I left, I kept thinking about what would have happened? If I had stayed, Would you still be mine? Or would our story have the same ending?


The first time we talked since I had left, I noticed how your voice cracked at the edges, how you still talked, talked to me as we once had, but everything was different I couldn't see your face, 


I couldn’t tell what you were thinking, because all I could do was hear your voice, and hope that you were missing me. I wanted you to be happy without me, I wanted to pretend, I didn’t miss you. I wanted to pretend, that hearing your voice didn’t hurt.


Day after day I kept waiting for another call from you, day after day I came home from school hoping I would somehow receive a sign from the universe, telling me, you still missed me. 


In the night I would lay in bed thinking, if you were somehow looking up at the same starry night sky, wishing that just like the night sky, never-changing wherever it was, we would stay the same.


I kept believing that wherever life took us, we would still look up at the sky, searching for each other’s face, wondering what happened to us.


Weeks came and weeks went by and I never got another call from you, I kept pretending, that I wasn’t waiting for you to come back, I kept thinking if you had forgotten me? If someone had entered your life and you didn’t have time for me anymore.


Guys kept trying to get my attention, but I was still hung up on you, wondering what would have happened if we said goodbye? If we would have held each other, or if we would have cried, If the feelings would have come out, or if we would have pretended for the safety of our hearts.


If goodbye was the closure, we needed to stop feeling like things could have been different between us. We could have contacted each other, but we decided to move on with our life, to close the chapter, and start a new one.


But, tell me this Ryan? Did we close the chapter or did we keep hoping that the chapter would still be open every time we came back to it?


Where we as afraid of letting go, as we were of holding on. Letting go meant that we could stick with those old memories we had of each other, we would never be able to make new memories.


Holding on meant that we would get to make new memories, even if they were memories of fights and how hurt we were but holding on also meant the possibility that I would keep on talking to you, that you weren’t so far away.


In the end, what did we choose? Did we choose something in between? Did we decide to hold on, only to let go at the end? Did we accept our destined fate? The fact that we just weren’t meant to be together. 


Or did everything explode, this time and we were too hurt to pick up the pieces, or maybe this time we just wanted to hate each other because it was easier than loving each other.





Chapter 3


Sometimes the smallest decisions can change our life forever, that’s how it felt when I stopped talking to you like somehow, making that choice, would change my life forever.


Everything in my life was still the same, yet everything was different, I didn’t wait for your phone call anymore, I didn’t wait for you to come back into my life, I kept walking the same road, watching you walk farther and farther away from me.


Every day something amazing happened in my life, I knew I couldn’t talk to you about it, I could still imagine your face, but day after day I was starting to forget the tiny details, your one crooked tooth, the way your laugh sounded, but I never could forget those damn eyes, you were still everywhere, yet nowhere to be found.


Every time someone said your name out loud, I felt like the air had stopped coming to my lungs, and I couldn’t breathe, I always choke when someone talked about you, or when someone talked about Sleepy Hollow.


I hadn’t been to Sleepy Hollow in so long, I couldn’t even bring myself to talk about Sleepy Hollow, because I would always end up talking about you, and I would remember how happy I was, how much I missed you.


Tears coming out of my eyes, every time I asked myself what if Ryan? What if? What if? I kept thinking what if I went there? Would I see you, Were we strangers? Did you still think about us? Or was I the only one,  pretending, I didn’t miss you.


Every day, I kept trying to move on, I didn’t have your phone number, I didn’t have a picture of you or a note, I didn’t have something physical to hold on.


All I could hold on to was a string of memories you had left me with, not a single picture of the days we spent together, Maybe if we had a picture of how happy we were, it would have felt more real.


I keep talking about losing you Ryan, when I don’t even know if you were ever mine to hold on too, did we belong to each other, or was I just another someone in your life. 


I still tried to imagine you, I still prayed you were happy, I still kept seeing you, only this time instead of feeling sad, I started immersing myself in reading books, doing homework, meeting new people, anything to keep me from remembering you.


Even though I tried to forget you, I could never do it, I was still thinking about you, when I was flirting with other guys, I was still thinking about you when I laid awake at night, alone in the darkness.


I kept thinking how unfair it was that you were so far away, you were a stranger someone I met and someone, that wasn’t a part of my life anymore, yet my brain was still hell-bent on, never forgetting you.


For the first time in years, I wish I had never met you, I wish you hadn’t been such an important part in my life, I didn’t want those memories of you, I didn’t want to remember my time in Sleepy Hollow, I  wanted it all to be gone.


Did you want it all to be gone? Was it better that way? If everything was gone, if we never met each other? Would it have made a difference? Or would we have met either way?


I couldn’t move on because I was still reminded of you? Somehow you kept creeping into my head, you kept being the ghost of my past, that kept chasing me, I wanted to cave in to that ghost, speak to you again.


You still, showed up in my dreams, even when I wasn’t thinking of you, you still somehow managed to appear in my dreams, yet every time I woke up you were gone, I used to long for those long nights, just to see you, even in my dreams, it just felt like it was enough.


Through the bad days, I tried to picture talking to you, I tried to picture your smile, even when I knew that I would only see you in my dreams and my head.


I debated with myself, checking you out on social media, wondering what you had become? If you still had the same dreams, and if you were still the same?


I always decided against it, what would I do with myself if I knew that you had moved on, that you didn’t think of me. What would I do? If you were happier with someone else? Was I being selfish Ryan?, wishing that you were happy with someone else when I just wanted you to be happy with me. Miss me the way I missed you.


Every day that I had a dream of you? I wondered if you dreamt about me too. I once read a quote in a book, saying that when you dream of someone, they are dreaming of you too? I wonder if that’s true? If I showed up in your dreams, as you showed up in mine.


If your thoughts still drift to me, when you lay awake at night? I still wonder about that, I wonder if you have the urge to talk to me? But decide against it when you think it’s better to move on.


Let go of the past, when I didn’t think of you in weeks, and then months, I felt like I was finally moving on, closing the book, starting a new one.


Yet, when a friend from Sleepy Hollow invited me to her birthday party, and I decided to go, I don’t know if I was hoping to see you there, or not see you at all, anyway I still went, Sleepy Hollow was still the same, it still looked the same as when I had lived there only now, I felt like a tourist instead of a local.


Maybe I was never a local on Sleepy Hollow, after all, I had only lived there for a year, even if it felt like a lifetime it had only been a year, I had only been part of your life for a year, yet it still felt like so much more than a year.



Chapter 4


When I arrived at the party I kept searching for you, hoping you’d magically appear, like an angel falling from grace, but you never appeared, I felt stupid for hoping, I’d get to see you again.


The next day we decided to visit our old house in Sleepy Hollow. This is it, I told myself this is me moving on, looking at the house and not feeling anything, but when I looked 3 houses down and I saw your house.


I stood there paralyzed, taking it all in, your house wasn’t your house anymore, you had moved I didn’t know you had moved, my house it wasn’t my house anymore, the neighborhood was still the same, but the houses had different families living in them.


But that didn’t stop my brain from flooding with memories of that year, I was transported back to our time together, and for the first time I admitted to myself that I hadn’t moved on, I still missed you.


I wanted to grab the phone right then and there to tell you if we could meet, hang out, I just had your house phone number, and I assumed it was different, I thought this is a sign from the universe to talk to him again.


So, that’s why I made it my mission to get your phone number. I needed to talk to you again, I couldn’t go on with my life, without talking to you again, without seeing you again.


For the first time in my life, I felt hopeful like we had finally gotten a second chance to fix everything, every mistake we had ever made, maybe this time we’d finally confess how we felt.


After I got your phone number I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if you would remember me? I didn’t know if talking to you again would change how I felt.


When I texted you, and you answered it felt so weird, reading your words, but not looking at you when we talked it still felt rushed like we were just answering because once upon a time we had known each other.


Our conversations were trivial, we used to talk about things that weren’t important but every day we kept the conversation going, but this time our conversations felt like words of strangers.


Through it all we tried, we stopped texting and then we kept coming back, we kept being there yet, we weren’t there at all. Both of us had changed, things had happened in our life, but we still saw the idea of us.


Maybe we were more in love with the idea of us Ryan? Then we were in love with each other, maybe we kept fabricating ideas, of how everything was supposed to be that we lost sight of the big picture.


We lost sight of who we were, of what made us fall for each other, we kept seeing the darkness in each other’s soul, everything wrong, in a sense we stopped seeing everything that was good. I wish I could tell you that talking to you was still the best, I wish I could tell you that everything was still the same, that I felt the same way.


Now I wonder if I was only missing the idea of you, or maybe I was just missing our friendship, talking to someone who truly knew me at all and understood me. Did you miss talking to me, Ryan? Did you miss me at all? 


Did our feelings disappear when we distanced ourselves? Or did they grow stronger with time? Is that why we kept coming back to each other? because we couldn’t get enough. 


Every time you’d disappear I wondered if it was too painful to talk to me when you couldn’t look into my eyes, I still wonder if I should have only held on to the old memories of you and I. If somehow getting back in touch with you was a mistake.


You were still Ryan, yet your words felt more grown-up, your voice had changed, even the pictures I saw of you, you looked different. You know the feeling when you see yourself in a mirror and you can’t recognize yourself, but instead, you see a stranger. That’s the way I felt when I saw your picture.


Like I was looking through a kaleidoscope that kept changing with every turn and somehow wouldn’t go back to the way it was before.  


In the pictures you looked happy, I wondered if you were truly happy? Or if it was just a picture, a snapshot frozen in time trying to capture a moment, showing the tiniest hint of someone else’s happiness.


 I’ve always loved the magic of photography, of knowing that we can hold on to the past, remembering how truly happy we were for a second before everything changed.


When we look at a photo of the past, we are immediately transported back to that time in our life, we immediately remember everything, with just that one photo we become time travelers.


I wondered if you looked at photos of me, and pretended I was still the same girl, the girl you had met and fallen for. I wondered if you thought highly of me Ryan? Or never thought of me at all. Did you think that I had changed, become someone else?


They say that one of the greatest tragedies in life is outgrowing friends. I guess it's because we think that the friends we make are the friends we grow up with. We believe our friends are going to be forever ours.


The truth is we always forget that when we grow up we start liking different things, we start becoming different people, we lose the child in us and start pretending that we are already adults, and need help from no one. We believe that carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders makes us stronger.


When our friends try to talk to us again, we realize it wasn’t the same as before, now we like different things and we have grown distant and apart from them and someday we realize we don’t miss them anymore as much as we should, and it is in that moment when we know we have outgrown them.


Chapter 5


I wonder if it happened to us that we outgrow each other? Did distance break us? Was it written in the stars that our story would end this way, or was it all just a matter of choices?


Choices we couldn’t control, choices we couldn’t make, Did we have a say, Ryan, at anything at all? Or was everything that could have been just an illusion, something we made up to keep holding on, hanging on to a small possibility of hope we’d never forget each other.


What do you think about destiny Ryan, will I ever get to see you again one more time, will our paths cross again? Or will we never get to see each other? 


Did it tear you apart? Knowing there might be the possibility you’d never get to see me again, Did you feel empty knowing one day we’d stop coming back to each other.


Just like the friends we outgrow, friends we always pretend we still want to hang out with, but we always seem to forget to make plans with them, and one day they just stop asking altogether, knowing that we have somehow forgotten them, become a second priority.


Was I a second priority to you Ryan? Or was I never a priority to you at all? Did you want to pick the phone up, and talk to me, or was everything just too painful this time.


There were times I tried to let you go, every day I’d wake up and think to myself you don’t want me in your life, but here I was trying to make an effort to stay in it. 


Now I wonder if you did want me there and just pretend you didn’t, it's kind of funny how we became so good at pretending that we didn’t care. Was everything a lie Ryan? Or even for a short time what we felt was the truth.


Had the lines been blurred so much we couldn’t even distinguish between the truth anymore, things that were real, and things that had been once upon a time real.


I wish I could say that everything was real, but there are sometimes when I think, that if things hadn’t been real, then I wouldn’t have trouble forgetting you, I wouldn’t keep thinking how you made me feel. 


One of the best things of falling for someone and probably the most dangerous thing of all is that when we look into their eyes we see them as perfection when in reality they are as broken as we are.


Our vision is so clouded because we start seeing only the idea of the person, we don’t see beneath it, we don’t see their struggles or their fears, we only see what we want to see, only the goodness. Is it unfair Ryan? To see someone that way, Is it unfair to believe that they will never hurt you or betray you?


We never fully give our heart to someone because we know they aren’t perfect, we know one day they’ll hurt us or disappoint us, and we will see them with different eyes, maybe this time we’ll stop seeing them as ideas and start looking at them as people.


The thing is  I knew you were going to disappoint me and hurt me, yet I kept trying to be in your life because I still believed I was making a difference in it. 


Did I make a difference in your life? Did knowing me somehow make you happier or did it make you sadder? I used to think it's only worth it to remember the happy things in life, but sometimes we must remember the bad to appreciate the good.


One of my favorite Dr. Seuss quote says “Don’t cry because it's over smile because it happened” We tend to always forget the good, I remember when I stopped talking to you Ryan all I saw were your faults, all I saw were your mistakes our fights, I never saw our happiness because I was too focused on losing you, on missing you.


When in reality the truth is  I was really happy with you Ryan, in your company you showed me beauty in the simple things in life, for that I can only be grateful.


You taught me a million things and you made me feel things I never thought I’d feel, and I’d guess I'd like to thank you for that even if it was a lie, I truly felt happy for just a few seconds.


Did I make you happy Ryan? Were some days better with my company, or Did I not make you happy at all. Did it make any difference at all, that you met me?


Somehow you came into my life, when I needed a little bit of hope, to get through another day, all my life I’d always thought,  I’d get to live each day like a passerby, never truly fitting anywhere.


But when I met you, Ryan, you showed me I belonged, I belonged in other people’s lives, I belonged next to you. Somehow through all our differences we fitted perfectly and brought the best in each other.


With us the good outweighed the bad, always, the sun came out more often when we were together, it hardly rained. Do you remember that? Do you remember hardly waiting to see each other? Do you remember when you would shout at the top of your lungs my name, You’d call Melissa, Melissa, Melissa. 


Always with a smile that could light up the world, I still miss that smile, the way your mouth curled up, perfectly the way, it made me believe you were smiling just for me. 


Did you imagine I was only smiling for you? Or was I the only crazy one, enough to believe, somebody would smile just for me.


Chapter 6


I wonder if you still remember when we fixed your bike together, I’d give anything to relive that day, Maybe I’d give anything because it was the best day I ever spent with you. It still hurts remembering, but I’ll do my best to not cry, when I tell you, that was the day you stole my heart forever. 


It was the summer of 2014, I had just gotten the news, my grandma was sick, really sick, incurable, I remember at that moment I wanted to run away, run away from everything.


But then when I looked out of my window, I saw you smiling, and suddenly I didn’t feel so sad anymore, I forgot for a second, my world was completely crumbling.  


I forgot, how in a couple of years I would lose her, I forgot to run away, I didn’t talk to you about that, I just wanted to enjoy that day with you, without worrying about her. We all need days where we don’t worry about anything at all and just enjoy ourselves.


Maybe that’s why I wasted all my birthday wishes on an opportunity to be able to relive that day. It was the only day I lived in the now, a day where I didn’t live always waiting for the future to come, always thinking of the constant what-ifs in my head.


I guess I only have you to thank for that, making me forget about the what-ifs, made me happier, maybe it’s the secret to happiness. We are always afraid to say what we feel, only thinking we have time, so much time in our hands, maybe if we had lived each day like that, we would have saved ourselves, a lot of heartache, lots of fights. 

 

But life isn’t like that Ryan we always get something we didn’t bargain for. I always say life is a gamble, we always believe that all our tremors and struggles are part of our life, and when we see someone that we believe has everything in life.


We instantly become jealous, we believe life has given them everything they wanted, there is a saying we always want the opposite of what we have. 


If we have curly hair we want straight hair, but we never stop to think about what would happen if we had straight hair.


We are never truly happy with what we get, maybe it's what makes us ambitious, always chasing after what we can’t have, always believing that life hates us. 


But I always say we get to do with our lives whatever we want, and sometimes we forget to appreciate the things we have because we are always thinking of the things we don’t have.


What would you do if today was your last day Ryan? Would you do everything you were ever afraid of? Would you stop thinking about what would happen tomorrow and just act in the moment, just like that day. 


Without a care in the world, or would you believe life stopped for you, Would you believe that if you had stopped wasting your days in trivial things you’d have accomplished so much more in your life. I wonder if we are truly ever happy? Or if we are always searching for more. I can truly say that for me forgetting about all, that was wrong in the world and even acting a bit selfish, made me happy.


Before the worries took over, and everything fell apart and broke I was happy for at least that one year, for at least that day.


Did you know she died? I never told you that how I wanted to forget, with your voice you would make me forget, But you were a stranger now, I couldn’t even talk to you. 


 I couldn’t tell you that when I lost her, everything would have been so much easier, if I had told you, If I had told you that I was watching my world crumble, slowly, slowly.


Drift apart from me, I’d wonder what you say? I’d wonder if you’d still see me as a stranger, even if I bared my soul to you, even if I’d confess what you meant to me.


What would you say, Ryan? Would it have been worth it to stop pretending just for a day, that everything wasn’t broken, to have one truthful conversation, with you, maybe one truthful conversation, would be enough, instead of talking every day about nothing, nothing that meant to us?



 I still wonder if all of these things would have changed anything at all? Life throws you a million things and sometimes we don’t know what will happen, we never know when we are going to die, or when we are going to lose someone. 


We never know if someone that meant everything to us, will always mean that much to us. Or if different things in our life, made everything change. We are always changing, but sometimes we forget that people always change.


I remember that even when I was little, change would always freak me out. I'd have this nightmare where I was stuck in a museum, every painting was beautiful, there was light in the museum, everything was happy, but suddenly the lights went out, everything was dark.


and I stand there alone in the museum, the paintings start getting darker, everything is changing and all I can do is stand there, not being able to do anything, not being able to change everything back to the way it was.


I’m scared to death because I try to run and I can’t, I stand paralyzed as I keep watching everything change, I start screaming, but no one hears me, no one sees me. The whole world is changing around me and I can’t wake up.


Change makes you lose control because you realize that anything can happen, everything can change and nothing goes back to the way it once was, there is no possibility of things staying the same, and sometimes we are not prepared when change occurs.


Chapter 7


I will never be prepared to lose someone, the truth is I never got the saying time heals all wounds because it just reminds me that people expect us to be fine after a couple of years. 


They expect us to stop missing people and holding on, but what they don’t get is time never heals all wounds, time only makes us miss people more, remind us of what we are missing.


Usually, with time our feelings for someone else are stronger, and missing them is always harder because somehow you know that even if a million years would pass, you’d still miss them, you’d still believe it was only yesterday when you lost them.


Each day it would get harder knowing you’d never see them again, knowing they weren’t a part of your life anymore. Could you forget me, Ryan, if a million years would pass, Would you still remember me? Or have you forgotten about everything?


I wonder what would have happened with us if feelings hadn’t intervened if we just kept on believing in only our friendship. I’d wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t fallen for you.


Would you still be my best friend? Or would I have fallen for you either way? The truth is sometimes I miss our friendship, it felt so real, so true, like a movie, one of those damn rom coms that makes anyone believe that we all are worthy of finding love.


In romcoms, there is always a happy ending through all the complications, through all the turmoil and heartbreak there is always mending of the heart.


There is always falling in love again, there is never letting go. I wish our friendship would have had a happy ending, even if our love story didn’t have one I’d still wish you’d be in my life, even as a friend.


You and I as strangers are so painful that you aren’t even dead and I don’t talk to you, it’s so painful how the story ended, the credits rolled and it was over.


No second part, no second chance, no happy ending. Just tears and pain. Everyone expects a happy ending but sometimes in life, we just don’t get what we want. The lost ones never come back, or if they come back, they come back only to leave again.


I wonder if you came back just to leave again. Maybe it would have been better if you hadn’t come back, then maybe we wouldn’t have lost each other twice, broken each other twice.


Maybe just once was enough to take our breath away, once was enough, to know my life would never be the same without you. Losing you was painful enough once, but losing you twice destroyed me.


I guess it's because I still cling to a little bit of hope, knowing if you come back you would stay, knowing if you kept coming back enough times, you’d one day stay, you wouldn’t run.


I guess that’s the problem Ryan we run when things get too hard, we run when we have to expose ourselves to share our feelings. But we never stop to look at what we left behind.


Do we always assume everything is fine Ryan? , the two times I saw you cry destroyed me Ryan, the pain in your eyes, the fact I couldn’t run to comfort you, because I didn’t know how the fact that I was so mad you’d hurt me wouldn’t let me see your pain. 


When you cried I ran it was easier to run, than to confront you it was easier to pretend that I was fine when I knew I wasn’t. The other time you cried it was because another kid had been teasing your little brother, and you decided to be a hero, to save him.


You were always pretending you were a hero, always bulletproof, but when the fight got out of a hand and you cried because you had hurt him I realized you were crying because you knew you were capable of hurting people.


You were capable of making someone cry, I wonder if I ever made you cry? Was I capable of making you cry? People always say we hurt the ones we love. Is that true, did we hurt each other because we loved?


For the first time, I realized you were just like any other guy and you were going to hurt me. I prayed my heart would stop beating every time I’d see you, I prayed I wouldn’t smile when I saw you. I’d wonder if I’d see you now and my heart would still remember to beat.


You always made my heart go crazy, Did I make your heartbeat like crazy? Did you see forever in my eyes? Or only limited time, a countdown, 


If you ask me I’d say I didn’t see forever in your eyes, I only saw hope that forever might exist, something that wasn’t so far out of reach. Everything was easy between us then, why couldn’t it have stayed that way forever? Why did we have to end everything with mixed signals and pain?


Chapter 8

I always thought no matter what happened things would be easy with us, everything would be somehow fine if we tried to make it last.

I guess we were in for a surprise when things never fixed themselves, was it somehow our fault? things wouldn’t go back, could we not see behind the pain, was everything so broken? 


Were you going to be a stranger forever, would I see you again in Sleepy Hollow, or would I never see you again? not in a million years, only through my dreams and memories, only through an image.


Looking at pictures of you was so painful, that’s why one day I decided to erase everything, every single trace of you. I couldn’t wake up with amnesia, the closest thing I could ever do to forget you were erasing every physical evidence that bound us together, everything that reminded us, we were once something.


When you talked to me and told me you had moved to San Diego, and kept insisting that I had known you were moving away, I felt so betrayed you never told me, you’d always tell me everything, but somehow you forgot to say you were moving away.


I wonder if you felt that way like I had somehow betrayed you when you didn’t know I left Sleepy Hollow. I wonder if not telling me you were leaving? was a taste of my own medicine. 


If I could go back to that day Ryan, I would, I would say goodbye to you, but it’s not fair you weren’t there when I moved away, maybe I should have left you a note, but I knew if I left a note I would confess how I felt, how leaving my heart in Sleepy Hollow destroyed me. I left half of my soul half of life in Sleepy Hollow.


I was only a zombie in New York, regretting not saying goodbye to you, maybe that’s why I had to open up the book again, talk to you again, so I wouldn’t feel like a villain.


I cried when I left because I knew I was also capable of hurting the people I loved, I felt your pain that day. I know now what is truly to regret something, it haunts you every day, and you can never escape, what if?


Do you have any regrets? Any last truthful things you’d wish, you had said to me before I was gone. Why didn’t you tell me you were moving away? Why didn’t you tell me anything at all?


I remember when I had to stay after school a couple of days, and you told me you had missed me. Why couldn’t you have said you still missed me, even if I was gone. Why couldn’t you have said you still wanted me? Was this time hard because of the distance?


Do you remember how much fun we had the day of my birthday, everyone kept telling me you had a surprise for me. I wonder if that was the day you’d tell me you liked me? Did you want something real? Do you regret thinking you’d have so much time or had you known always I would be gone, and that’s why you decided to never tell me how you felt?


I always thought we were more than friends, we had a deeper connection, maybe we couldn’t label what we had, there were no words to express how we felt, maybe that’s why we didn’t say anything. You and me we were forever right?


No words just forever, we’d be forever in each other’s lives, nothing could separate us, nothing would come between us. 


When I was with you time would always stop. We would spend a million hours together not thinking about anything at all but each other, and our moms would come looking for us at night, we always lost track of time. Do you remember that? How we couldn’t stand to be separated from each other.


You’d always cancel your football lessons to spend more time with me, and I would always say goodbye as I prepared myself to go to the ballet, but even if I saw you every day it still wasn’t enough, I still wanted to see you.


When you looked at me I felt like the most special person in the world, knowing I was worthy enough that you would stare deep into my eyes, just one stare from you made my stomach go crazy with butterflies. Just one smile from you was enough to get me through a lifetime of bad days.


Is that how love is supposed to feel? Was what we had love, Ryan? When we almost held hands, electricity coursed through my body, and your eyes sparkled so much. I believe that whoever is with you is truly lucky, they’ll get to hold your hand, share you with the world, hug you, lay in your chest, and kiss you.


I never got to do those things, but I wish I could say that I know you more than all those girls, I knew the real you, the darkness and the light. Do I know you more than all those other girls? 


Or am I only fooling myself, believing that I knew you, knowing you shared everything with me? More than you could ever share with those girls.


Did they know that you were terrified of getting back on that bike after the accident? Did they know that? Or was that something you only shared with me.


I shared everything with you because I trusted you to see my light and my darkness, I was never afraid of you, I always felt safe, I never wanted to leave your side, Ryan, I still don’t want to. 

Chapter 9

 

But I had to, I had to leave your side, even if you were the only person who ever knew me at all. Was I the only person who ever knew you at all? Or did I get to know the same things as you like other people? 


There will always be things that will remind me of the time we shared. A list of songs I can’t listen to because you are just a house of memories this time. Is there a list of songs you can’t listen to because they remind you of me.


 When you sent me pictures of your trip, I felt like you still wanted to be in my life, you still wanted to share a part of your life with me.

 

Did the pictures you sent remind you of me, and everything we ever went through, how we would still smile because it was easier to explain the pain we felt, now that we were apart. Maybe apart forever.


It only lasted for a month, but it felt like a second how fast you had come back and how fast you had gone away. Everything was so quick, how you reappeared, and then quickly disappeared into complete oblivion. 


Still, I waited each day, waiting to move on but at the same time wanting to hold on to you, with all the broken pieces of my heart, you were the only one I still wanted, the only one I thought of.


That’s the first time I thought we weren’t meant to be together, we weren't meant to get a happy ending. When there was a time you never came back, I guess I was so accustomed to letting you go, by now this time it didn’t hurt so much, as I thought it would.


Suddenly it seemed like I was finally moving on, talking to other guys, not thinking about you at all, going out, and hanging out with friends. It felt like I had finally stopped missing you.


I had finally accepted that whatever had happened, was over and no matter how much I wanted you, or how much I wanted to still be a part of your life, we wouldn’t get a future together.


Just when I was starting to move on, just when I was finally starting to let you go, you texted me again, you came back. I wonder if the first time we texted you had already moved on? I wonder if it was unfair that we came back each time the other one was trying to move on.


Like somehow we couldn’t let each other go, even if we tried we would always go back, back to believing one day everything would be perfect everything would be fine.


When you came back this time I thought I was stronger, I thought I could ignore you, but then I always knew my heart would always have a weak spot for you. We started laughing like old times, talking about everything we did, everything we wanted out of life. For the first time in years, you didn’t feel so far away.


You never told me if you had moved on? You never asked me if I had moved on, but still talking to you meant we had still shared something special, our friendship still lived in each other's hearts. Maybe it would be that way forever.


I wonder how long it took you to move on? Was it even hard to let me go? Or was it easy, like closing a book and opening a new one?


Talking with you felt like old times like time hasn't changed a thing. For the first time, I thought I had you back. You talked about your hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Wanting to be an actor.


I talked about my dreams, we were finally back to friends, we had finally moved on from being dreadful strangers to friends.


I remember even then I knew you would be gone talking to you, was only a dream, a dream that only lasted for so long until we opened our eyes and everything was gone. 


I was hoping I’d be wrong, that this time you had come to stay, but still nothing ever good lasts that long Ryan.  I’d wonder if you knew somehow you’d be gone again? Or if this time you wanted to stay. When we would talk at night, until the sun came up, somehow reminded of everything we had lost when we stopped talking. Did you still want to leave? Was it better that way? 


Were our feelings even real? Or were they just part of a spark, we have now lost. Remember when we used to walk around the neighborhood and suddenly we would stop in the middle of the street and stare at the sky, we would watch how the clouds left a white trail on top of the sky. We always used to say it looked like a shooting star. 


Were we shooting stars, stars that would only come back once in a million years and give people so much hope? You were always my shooting star Ryan, I wish I could be yours. 


The thing about shooting stars is they give you unconditional hope, there is just something about looking at a shooting star, that makes you believe everything will be fine, no matter how broken you are. 


Maybe that’s why people wait all their life to wish upon a shooting star, one speck of hope sometimes is all we need to realize nothing is gone completely forever. 


It's quite like love, people wait for it all their life, just waiting for that glimmer of hope, yet when they realize that sometimes just like the shooting star it never comes, but I guess it's the hope that someday will see it again, that makes us wish for it.


Or how about when we hear footsteps and somehow we can’t know exactly what will happen, who will leave or who will hold on, I guess that’s the truly scary thing about footsteps you never know what will happen, who’s they are, what awaits you.


Every time I would go back to the memories we had shared, they were like footsteps, a constant reminder banging in my head, the only thing I now knew where the face of those footsteps. 


You are still everywhere just like those footsteps, always in my mind, always in my thoughts, but somehow just like the footsteps I don’t see you, I can only hear you. 


I wonder if this time I would want to see you, or if you're somehow better as a memory, an idea, a sound. I wonder if the memories we shared bang in your head never letting you free.


I wonder if someone would discover a way to erase our memories. I wonder if I would want that, forget you completely when I’m still accustomed to thinking of you, even when you are gone, even when you are so far away. 


Would you want that? to forget me to have your memory wiped out of everything we shared, everything we dreamed of. Or would you prefer the footsteps and the memories a reminder of me? 


To tell you the truth I still don’t know if it's better to die a little remembering you than to forget you, erase everything, every single thing that links us to each other. 


The memories of everything that happened before we were strangers, everything we wish we said to each other before it was too late before everything fell apart.


Would you erase me if you could? Or would you hold on to those memories, even if they were painful? 


I’d still don’t know what I’d do. Maybe life would be so much easier if I never met you if I didn’t know you, but I can’t erase the fact that I did know you, the good the bad and the worst, I knew all of you.


Before life got in the way of everything, I knew you like the palm of my hand, Maybe I still know you, who knows? Have you changed all that much? Or are you the same boy, the same boy in Sleepy Hollow with eyes full of hope, with a bright smile. 


Do you still smile Ryan? Or have you stopped smiling since I left? Maybe it’s easier to smile than to share with others the pain we feel, how we aren’t okay.

The thing is I’m not okay maybe all my life I didn’t have anything to lose, that's why I always kept people at arm's length because I always knew that they’d be gone. 


But somehow you broke through my tough exterior, and for the first time in my life, I wasn’t afraid of losing you. I just thought I’d never lose you, Ryan, I kept believing we had so much time, so much time in our hands, to make up our minds, that we could afford the luxury of taking things slowly.


If I would have known that I could lose you maybe I’d tell you how much you meant to me, how happy I was with you, if I would have known that love could break, I’d face rejection only to have one more second with you. 


The truth is all that is left is heartbreak, one more reason why I should have never met you and held your hand, got lost in your eyes. Maybe I’d have appreciated you more if I knew we were never meant to be forever. 


It's funny how the thought that keeps me awake is the fact that maybe we were never meant to be together at all, maybe you and I were meant to fall for someone else. Do you think about that? How maybe we were never meant to be at all.


Maybe everything was just an idea, an idea we fabricated ourselves, maybe everything was fantasy and nothing like love. 


Maybe all it was, was finding out that we didn’t want to lose each other, we couldn’t lose our friendship. Or maybe we did fall for each other Ryan. Maybe against all odds, we did find each other, and fall expecting a different ending. 


We expected to rebuild everything to be who we once were, but maybe we had changed too much to go back, maybe we held on to each other so tightly that we ended up hurting more.


Why couldn’t I let you go? Why couldn’t I move on like so many times in my life, Why did I keep waiting for you, expecting you to come back? Why couldn’t I close the book, you’d probably ask. 


I couldn’t close our story because we deserved a happy ending, we never got one, we never got to talk about our feelings, or how hurt we were. 


I never asked if you’d miss me if I’d be gone? I never questioned how hurt you’d be, how one choice could change my whole life forever, how one choice could change your life forever. 


Now I know I should have because you meant everything to me, the truth is I protect myself from ever feeling something for you, even if you were all I thought about. I couldn’t let myself feel when I knew you’d be gone when I knew I’d lose my best friend because I was selfish. My feelings were a small price to pay for our friendship.


Through it all I want you to know I tried to make it work, we both did, I guess the truth is that we didn’t get our happy ending. 


Or maybe we did get an ending, we finally closed the book, for good this time, even if it wasn’t the ending we wish we could have I still believe it's happy. 


You may wonder why I believe it's a happy ending if I lost you and never saw you again if we are strangers now instead of lovers. 


Our happy ending was finally letting go, letting go of everything we wish we could be, letting go, and never looking back, closing the door, and opening a new one. 


There comes a time when one must choose Ryan and realize that sometimes we must be strong, we must let go and awake a heart that needs to be loved, even if it hurts, we must close the door. 


I’m letting you go Ryan, maybe not forever, maybe not permanently but for now, I’m letting you go. I guess all that’s left to say now is I wish there could have been another us. 


With that said I stash the last letter into the mailbox, who knows what he’ll think when he gets them, who knows if he’ll even read them. 


All I know today is that letting go of him was the right choice, of course, I will miss him, but day by day I’ll stop thinking about him, and one day I’ll wake up and won’t think about him at all. 


Epilogue


This time when I came back to Sleepy hollow I realized that we can never go back to the same place and see everything as it once was. 


We can never fall in love again and expect everything to be the same as it was before. The truth is that every time we experience something we learn from it. 


Every time we fall in love, we get to open our hearts again to someone new. In a sense, we will always get a second chance to relieve our one of a kind summer, our perfect Christmas, and our first-party again and again, and as time goes by we can remember everything as the first time or the last.