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BY Kat

09/01 Direct Link
Letters to my lover who I will leave soon

30 days. We've seen enough movies to make us believe that people leave their lover because they don't love them anymore, or they found someone new. This isn't that kind of leaving. I have come to a decision, love, and it's not because of anything negative. I will write you every day this month to try and explain why I'm doing this. I'm not asking that you understand. I'm not asking for anything. If I fail to explain, as I'm wont to do, maybe soon.
09/02 Direct Link
29 days. I know you'll be fine without me. Thing is, I can never be fine without you. It's difficult. It's somehow...I need you more than you need me. And I'm not saying this to point out a flaw or an excess. It is what it is. I have made up my mind about going away by month-end. I wanted to leave a proper goodbye because I know you'd want one. You'd be asking questions and if I I'm still here I'd just be dodging them. Allow me this last act of cowardice. I don't have answers yet.
09/03 Direct Link
28 days. You often talked about a past lover who left you without telling you why. And how you've spent a long time thinking something was wrong with you or that you must've done such a terrible thing and they never told you, and how you wish they did. I've seen you grow out of that belief over the years we've been together. You've learned that it's not always something bad--the reason why people leave people. Most of the time it's in the guise of a hurtful situation, but over time you'd understand how it was for something healing.
09/04 Direct Link
27 days. You're asleep while I'm writing this. There's no hair covering your face, and I miss it. When you had it cut short last week I got sad. A selfish thing. I had wanted to leave behind a certain version of you. The long-haired girl who can throw her hair into a top knot in 3 seconds. When I wake up I'm greeted with warm breathing through a curtain of hair. A beautiful face framed with long hair. Nowadays you have a certain skip of lightness, you like your new hair. I need time to drink this in.
09/05 Direct Link
26 days. I dreamt that I had a birdhouse/bird feeder that I positioned on a garden table. An ex was visiting and she decided to mount the birdhouse high up a tree alongside a pinwheel I also had placed near the table. She said it's better for the birds, they wouldn't have to fly low, you know? Inside I was thinking, yeah good idea but they could reach it on the table anyways? I didn't say it out loud and only half-agreed. I wanted to bring it back down to how it was, not high up, but still useful.
09/06 Direct Link
25 days. We haven't been talking like before, these past couple of months. Busy? That's never been a reason for us to not do anything, in general. We still do the usual romantic stuff, but they have now feel strange, a routine. I make you coffee and toast before I leave for work, trusting that you'd be up in half an hour. Late at night before you sleep, you lay out my work things in order after my daily messy projects in the studio. These are the little "I love yous" we have. I'm thinking I want something new, unknown.
09/07 Direct Link
24 days. Don't get me wrong, love. I want something new more especially for you. I know if I tell you these in person, you would respond with a shrug and an empty expression. And that would hurt me more. Here I am trying to say goodbye and there you are looking like you've been waiting for me to say so for the longest time. You can say it, I'm selfish and a coward, and I may be judging you without talking and confirming a lot of things. You can say it, I'm afraid this won't hurt you. That's it.
09/08 Direct Link
24 days. If I'm protecting myself, forgive me. If I say I'm doing this for you, I'm sure you'd say you don't need that from me. What you need is honesty, bravery, vulnerability. I wish I'd done this in a day. I can imagine you laughing at me for prolonging this for myself. You are on a plane right now and minutes ago you called to say you miss me. You don't know I'm packing my things. You don't know it's all going to be over soon. I said I miss you back. I almost meant it. I'm empty now.
09/09 Direct Link
23 days. Please try and see it from my point of view. I'm purging. I need strength, too. Would you believe I understand now? It's difficult for the one leaving, too. A different kind of difficult. You wouldn't be there anymore if I need advice about how to go on with this, how to deal with this decision. Funny. I remember going to you for advice about everything. I don't always follow them, you'd say. Why do you keep asking and disregarding me, you'd ask. I'd say, because whatever you say, it has weight. Not always evident but it's there.
09/10 Direct Link
21 days. It would be easier if I hated you. But I don't and I can't find a reason to. I've tried and looked, yes. I seem so petty, I know. I lied, I don't think you'd take all this in stride. Of course, you would feel something. Maybe confusion. Or it can be that you've felt this coming and you were just choosing to be quiet. I don't know with you sometimes, and that's one thing I love about you. You keep some cards close. You don't give all, just enough. You're strong in the ways that I'm not.
09/11 Direct Link
20 days. Somebody at work called me fat again. An insult veiled in a random lunch table conversation. If you were there, you would talk to me with your eyes, tell me to ignore it, it's nothing. I would listen to you and shut up and move on. I don't have your patience, your open mind, your compassion. So what I do, because you're not there, is I accost the person and ask him not to do it again. There are hurts we need to stop whether they're intentional or not. You taught me to do everything with kindness. Noted.
09/12 Direct Link
19 days. More than anything, what I need to learn is live life on my own, without anyone's help. Can you believe I depended my decision on whether to feel hurt or not on someone else's opinion? For years I thought this was okay. But I have to know when to stand up for myself and when to step aside. You have protected me enough, love. I'm not putting this on you. There was one birthday party when I heard a friend talk shit about me behind my back. You defended me. I thought that was what love is about.
09/13 Direct Link
18 days. Today we were at a wedding. You wore a simple blue dress, your favorite. In the car, you had on repeat a song you discovered last week. I love how you fixate on something. It used to grate on me, how you like repetition. But now it's something I can zone out. Is that a bad thing? At the reception we sat on opposite heads of a long table and I could barely hear your voice above the cacophony. I know though that you're talking about that song. I steal glances at you and feel gut-wrenching sadness.
09/14 Direct Link
17 days. Sadness about not anymore being able to navigate your quirks. Sadness about knowing that behind the repetitions are nuances. Sadness about not being the person you'd call when it starts raining. Sadness about not having you to share an anchovy pizza with. Sadness about giving this all up, for what? Sadness about the uncertainty of my decision, if I change my mind, my heart, will you accept me again? Sadness about the seeming finality of this view, me across the room from you, barely hearing your voice, knowing I'm not the one to lay beside you every night.
09/15 Direct Link
16 days. Remember when you asked me: "Why lover? With an 'er', like it's a job, an obligation?" And I just chuckled. You have these questions sometimes that I know not to engage because we'd end up arguing oftentimes. "Never mind," you said, "it's a stupid question." But then you added, "Funny thing is, it's not a job for me! It's something I want to do!" "Isn't that what a job is supposed to be?" I ask. Your face lit up and I felt a tenderness for you. "I don't have a replacement word yet so I'll stop questioning it."
09/16 Direct Link
15 days. You're on the subject again today. We talked about Never Let Me Go and about how there are people called "carers" in it. It's both a job and something they want to do. And I feel a kind of tiredness in talking to you about the semantics and details of words, situations, people's choices. Sometimes I want you to stop and talk about us? Not about what this word means and why? But looking back, I guess I used it as a sort of shield perhaps. I was invisible sometimes. I didn't want you to see me, too.
09/17 Direct Link
14 days. It's because of this unspoken thing, I suppose, why you find ways to talk about us by talking about other topics. Like this lover thing. Do you think I'm going about this the way one would go about a job? Do you feel me distancing myself? Do you think I'm listing off To-Dos in my head and ticking them off at the end of the day? Does it hurt you to be treated as a deliverable? You would be right about a lot of things. This is how I'd like you to feel nowadays. You'd understand someday.
09/18 Direct Link
13 days. Happy birthday, my love. Have I been successful in pretending to not care about today? You kissed me good night without saying a word. I could hear you sniffing under the covers. I felt you stir when I got up. Something inside me is celebrating, as if I've won a game I've long been losing. You were hoping I would pull out a late-night birthday thing, were you? When I got back in bed you were already lightly snoring. How can I make you understand? I'm making it appear like I don't care, because I goddamn care?
09/19 Direct Link
12 days. Like nothing happened. We go about our routine today like yesterday wasn't a thing. I know you know something's up. But you're not asking. I feel like I'm causing you sadness, but you're hiding it, and it's less than two weeks before I go. I wish I can tell you so we can have a proper goodbye. Instead I'm doing this secret thing, and watching you do your usual things. I'm almost out of words. By month-end you'd have this stack of letters by the foot of the bed. And God I wish I can go now.
09/20 Direct Link
11 days. Happy 10th anniversary, love of my life. In case you're wondering why I'm in a hurry to leave us, I want you to know I don't have an answer for that, too, yet. All I know is I want what's best for you. You rang me 30-plus times this morning. No text message. Strange. It's 4 p.m. and I'm quite curious what's in store for me at home. Will you finally lash out? Do you have a dinner thing prepared? Would you ask first where I was this morning? Are you thinking about me at all?
09/21 Direct Link
10 days. You laugh like a little girl, all light and pink, fluffy and sweet. If I'm made to list the things about you that I'd miss the most, this would be on the topmost part of the list, the first 10 items there, I'd say. But this isn't saying it's quantfiable, what you and I had, no. I'm struggling to go on with this stupid, stupid decision, because every day I am reminded why I've stayed in the first place. We go through it, and we overcome and transcend whatever problem we have. I'm stumped this time, though. Panicking.
09/22 Direct Link
9 days. I'm sorry for not giving you a chance to talk this over. I'm sorry you're going to wake up one day without me by your side and instead of a cheery good morning note, what you'd get is a stack of notes telling you why I had to leave for good. I'm sorry I didn't celebrate your birthday. I'm sorry for the not-so-good memories I left. I'm sorry I believe in you so much that you'll get over this sooner than you expect. I'm sorry if I think this can hurt you. Sorry if it's audacious.
09/23 Direct Link
8 days. I can imagine you questioning my apologies. You've always been one to say, do not apologize for who you are. Be sure to not do anything that can harm someone and you don't have to apologize ever again. I'm saying sorry to myself most of all. I'm sorry because I won't get to know you better, I'm sorry because I'm throwing away a chance to have a happy life. Because I am happy with you. That was never a question, please know that. You deserve the world. A person who's brave, honest, and giving. Someone who's not me.
09/24 Direct Link
7 days. This new haircut's really messing with me. You seem a lot happier these days. At dinner, I caught you staring at me with that mischievous stare of yours. Asked you what was up and you just shrugged. You'd be fine without me, yes? I feel like we're in a movie and it's about to end. Realizations are being made but also new discoveries are surfacing. I'm racing against time trying to get to know this new you. I'm falling in love all over again. I don't want to leave. But I have to. End scene. Fade to black.
09/25 Direct Link
27 days. You're asleep while I'm writing this. There's no hair covering your face, and I miss it. When you had it cut short last week I got sad. A selfish thing. I had wanted to leave behind a certain version of you. The long-haired girl who can throw her hair into a top knot in 3 seconds. When I wake up I'm greeted with warm breathing through a curtain of hair. A beautiful face framed with long hair. Nowadays you have a certain skip of lightness, you like your new hair. I need time to drink this in.
09/26 Direct Link
5 days. Rewrote that note from a few weeks back to reiterate and stress, and also ask: Who will you be after this? Who is this person you're becoming and why am I not staying put to see for myself? Is this how it is, really? You decide to leave someone, and it's for reasons you think are right, but then the universe messes with your head and gives you reasons to stay? I watched you sleep again this morning. The sound of rain goes well with the slight snore you have, it's my favorite sound right now. I'm terrified.
09/27 Direct Link
4 days. In the leftmost cupboard I've left treasures for you. I filled it with some of your favorite foodstuff and yes, your favorite Sagada coffee is there. Loads. Remember that one weekend we spent there and you wouldn't wear a jacket because you were in one of your "I'm okay with the cold" episodes? And you were trying hard not to let me notice you were shivering? I love how you are when you put your mind to something. I trust that you won't break if you put your mind to it. You're the bravest person I know, love.
09/28 Direct Link
3 days. I'll miss this bed. The smell of sleep on you. Do you know what? My fondest memories of you are mostly in the mornings. Your yawn, your elbow on my face when you stretch, your gentle good morning nudge, your dreams, your sleeptalking, the few times you've woken up ahead of me, your proud prance when you've successfully prepared breakfast, the blanket wrapped around your waist, your smile when you see me watching you. Dear love, in a few days I'll be on a bus, a plane, a train, a boat. I don't know if I should go.
09/29 Direct Link
2 days. Let me jump to 10 years from today and imagine the two of us meeting again. You hate imagining the future, I know. I guess this is why you're not showing signs of worry or confusion about my recent inactions. You have not seen life without this, us. You live in the present while I long for a future, a new one, without you. I don't mean for that to sound harsh. Because after that future, what I imagine is a farther future wherein I see you again and we still have love for each other. Try again?
09/30 Direct Link
Today I will hold you for the last time. I will not be arrogant to assume that you will be crushed by this. What I'm sure of is that you will read these letters and do your best to understand me even if I'm not asking that of you. You will get off the bed, make coffee, and go to work. You will think of me sometimes, and with love. You will be fine and you will be not. You're a star I didn't know how to handle. Too beautiful. And someday you will understand that we both needed this.