*NOTE* This is a prompt for the #500WordsEveryDay Challenge: Write a note to a loved one after a difficult and lingering conflict. My writing is a work of fictional prose, this is not a letter written from me, nor are any of the events/people real.
A Note To A Loved One:
I probably walked out too early, and you probably stayed too late. You have always had a tendency to make it a night out with our problems, when you should have gone home after one drink. This isn’t a critique baby. It’s just a reminder that it takes two to have a yelling match, and it certainly wasn’t the wall screaming back at me. We both know that already and this isn’t about your mistakes. This time, it’s about mine. So for once, I’ll be real. For once, I’m going to give you a windowed view into the thoughts I’ve never had the guts to program into words. Here’s all that I never said:
I’d never seen anyone like you before the first time we met. You spoke softly but your face lit up every wall of that dimly lit coffee shop. My lips miraculously spread into a smile when I’d forgotten how. Your hazelnut cappuccino had left a thin foam mustache on your upper lip. You didn’t notice at first, you were talking excitedly about your Politics class. It’s always amazed me how many emotions you send across your face. Embarrassment. Relief. Awkwardness. Passion. They fly across you like fresh telegraphs of Morse code, one after another. I couldn’t wait to decode all of them.
We fought for the first time under the stress of our separate lives. We hadn’t become one person yet. Outside your apartment, under the glow of a streetlamp, our frustration elevated to anger. Having never been so mad at one another, we hadn’t yet learned what combination of adjectives and nouns were the most effective at bringing tears to the other’s eyes. I suppose every couple reaches that phase. I hope we can get out of it.
I demanded that you give up your ambitions so I could follow mine. To Texas, to North Dakota, back to New England. We live in a house that you hate. Quaint village, neutral colors, simple potted plants in the windowsills; it’s everything you once mocked and I held you captive here. What a boring life I’ve forced you to lead. I ripped you from the thrilling life of the city, and while I regret what I did, you won’t dare let me forget it.
My father believed there was nothing more sinful than a thief. A liar has stolen the honesty, an adulterer has stolen the promise of faithfulness; it all comes back to thievery. I’m the thief in this relationship. The worst part is that I’ve only just realized it now, after 8 years of marriage. You let me take from you everything you had to offer and more. Your savings, your car, our chance at making a family—all to build a business. I have been consumed by greed and selfishness. But no more.
Here’s all that I never said, so that we may start anew. We will take a deep breath in. Hold it in our lungs for a moment. Push the air back out our noses. Relax our shoulders. Together we will be one person again, but this time equal parts.
Your Loved One