You were always the one who knew better. The brave one. The one who was kind.
I’ll always remember how on the first day of kindergarten, I peed my pants because I was too scared to ask to go to the bathroom. And while everyone laughed and called me a baby, you stayed silent. Your mouth pressed in that thin, straight line that I learned means you’re Deciding Something Important. And how later that day during story time, when I sat surrounded by space as vast as the ocean, you waded across it and sat beside me.
I was only five, but I knew then that you were better than me. Because I would never have chosen the outcast. I wanted to be in the middle of everything, I just didn’t know how.
I never used to understand that saying about seeing the forest for the trees, but I get it now. I took you for granted. I think I spent the last eleven years trying to make up for that one day in kindergarten. Trying desperately to get everyone to like me, to show them all I was more than a shy loser. I spent so much time judging their every nuance, every glance my way, that I totally missed the best friend I will ever have, standing right there accepting me just the way I was.
Your heart is so big, sometimes I felt smothered by it. I knew I could never live up to being the girl you thought I was. I was shallow and weak. I wanted to be popular.
All you needed was me, and I thought I needed the world. You thought I was beautiful, but I needed someone else to say it. I needed to feel like I won something, I guess. I needed someone like Garrett, who could have any girl, to want me. Even if it was only for one night. Even if it meant losing you.
When you kissed me that night, it felt like everything was exactly how it was supposed to be. It felt like fate, and forever and it scared the shit out of me. I didn’t run because it was awful, I ran because it was perfect and I knew I would screw it up. And then Garrett was there, with his flask, and all his attention on me.
And the worst part is, when he kissed me, I felt nothing. He was rough and he smelled like whiskey and all he kept telling me was that I was freaking hot. And the whole time I wished that I had stayed with you. I knew I was making a mistake, but I never told him to stop. I thought maybe it would be worth it, maybe it would be the moment that changed everything for me. And it was. Just not the way I wanted.
As long as I live, I will never forget the look on your face when you found us. I can’t forget the moment after the surprise, and after the hurt, when your mouth made that straight line I’d come to love. When you decided we were done.
When you turned and left without a word, I felt like I was back in the middle of the empty ocean again, but this time no one was going to come save me.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get the courage to give you this, but I just want you to know that I know the last thing you want to do right now is read a letter from me so thank you, for reading this.
And I just want to tell you that it kills me every time I pass you in the hall and you act like you don’t know me. But I understand. I’m sorry. You deserve way better than me.
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