Love Letters to the World We Made (X)

Previous: IX

On this day, I am setting you free.

“If you love them, let them go,” they say. “If they return, they were always yours.” But I hope you know that you don’t have to come back to me. Our lives don’t have to be bounded by the cliche motivational quotes printed on our favorite mugs and the trendy decor of coffee shop walls. We are the only souls in the world who need to know, who need to understand, who can even hope to understand – and I hope you understand. I am setting you free. Go out into the world, and live.

I have to set you free because since you were born you clung to me like a drowning child, taking me as your safe haven, your lifesaver in a world determined to shatter your body the same way I shattered your dreams. You were born into a place in which you never belonged, eternally searching for a home that never existed, a world that was never yours to live in so you tried to make your own. You harbored your pain and suffering and with it painted your loved ones’ bodies – your own having always been marked for death, but before you left you were marking theirs for life. You bent the slight curve of your horizons until they snapped, spending the nights wandering endlessly as a visitor like the distant stars, and one day you never came back.

I don’t know where you went. To the stars, maybe. But wherever you are, I hope you’re happy – and I hope you know that you don’t have to come back for me. Until they come to claim you, until they win, until you win, this life is yours to live. I’m returning it to you now.

Sometimes, I look back at my shadow and I don’t know how this happened. I don’t know how this situation came to be, how it was that you were born – here and now and in this way. I don’t know what happened between then and tomorrow that made today so hard.

But sometimes, I think, it’s better to not know. Sometimes, it’s easier to close your eyes, stop thinking, and just live. You were the one who taught me that.

It won’t be long before the end. They lied, you say, how could they? Or they forgot me, they made a mistake. I don’t think that’s true. They made no mistake in not taking you away. They saw something in you that you never saw in yourself – something that perhaps I never saw – and for once they let you stay. For once they let you live. So don’t resign yourself to the limits of broken promises and false prophecies. There is always more to the picture, more to the painting, than can be contained by the stylish borders and empty walls.

And if that fact hurts you, I understand. I empathize, I do. I, more than anyone, have seen that your emotions, your feelings, your love is so boundless it cannot be contained, yet this lack of containment can hurt more than most people realize.

It was never enough for you to love. Someone had to meet you halfway. And I can’t.

I can’t, so I am setting you free. There is more to this world than you and me.

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