Dear Double D,
This is draft 478. The rest of the edits are locked somewhere in the far recesses of my mind. Probably. I can’t tell anymore. There’s a new feeling that drowns out everything else in my head and my heart now. I am happy.
The other day when you texted me about your new life – your new job, your fitness routine, your kids – I was genuinely happy for you. I did think that you were trying too hard to validate yourself but I decided to stop being judgemental. I was 2 parts shocked and 1/2 parts amused to learn that you named your kids what you said we should name ours. Your child’s favourite bedtime story is the one about me kidnapping a goat? I wouldn’t know what to make of that even if I tried. So I let it go. I like when you sound happy. I’ve never really wanted anything for you but the true joy of living. Everyone deserves it, right? This is not a lesson I learnt from you. But that doesn’t mean our relationship didn’t teach me anything.
When we would meet in secret, the wine tasted better, the night smelt better, our stolen kisses were more delicious. There used to be a thrill that comes from doing something no one else was aware of, like we were creating our own world. I was young and naive and believed in magic. You’d be pleased to hear that the love of magic is still there. The excitement of creating things together, even if it’s castles on passing clouds, it is alive within me. I have to thank you for showing me that love, like anything of beauty, shouldn’t be hidden. If it is, we’re juggling fake trinkets that look like love but aren’t really.
Because it was “our little secret”, there was no one I could talk to about it. Princess Pea knew, but then she has a great instinct about me. You wrote poems for me and played the piano on nights when I needed to calm down. You are and have always been gifted. You know how to speak to the heart and yet I learnt that as all consuming as love is, your friends and family are there for you and want to share in your life. Isolating them, as easy as it is, is a decision you will regret. I wouldn’t have learnt this if it weren’t for you.
I was never really angry that there was another woman. Or was I the other woman? We never really had that talk. You cut off all ties when it got too much for you. I never bothered trying. By then, you had taught me what it is to be strong and self respecting. I was confused for a few weeks and then instead of waiting and waiting, I started running. I started writing. I backpacked across Europe. Is there such a thing as reverse heartbreak? Maybe it’s just you who has this effect on people. When you called and said “Don’t go”, I realised you had genuinely loved me. I’m sorry you didn’t like that I moved on. It’s been over 7 years and when your best friend still teases me about how I made up the whole relationship in my head, I smile. I feel sorry for him. It’s not easy to live in deception. Not when you are someone’s best.
The “other” tried to talk to me when she found out that you married without her knowledge. You were still dating her and I never really got the chance to thank you for letting go of me so early into our wild affair. We did things that I heard you tell the youth from our church was not something “the Lord” approved of. I learnt that I never wanted there to be a day where I had to face up to my own double standards. The trick was to be true to yourself. It was how things were with you that helped me realise what I wanted to do out of life and how I wanted my relationships to be. You’ve helped me in ways that I hadn’t suspected I needed. But oh did I need it.
I know my friends say I’m crazy for not hating you and for still thinking of you fondly. But I just can’t bring myself to be consummed with a feeling of self pity. I suppose I learnt then that life happens, people make mistakes, they hurt you. I learnt the best lesson of all from you – how to fully let go.
Dear Double D,