Letter to a stranger – happy new year

Dear stranger,

First of all, happy new year. I didn’t send an email or message for Christmas this year. I preferred not to get in touch. We both know how bad it is for our sanity when we are a part of the other.

Today I made a list of all the reasons why I never loved you. I wished everything I came up with were true, but you know well that it isn’t. I miss you so much. I miss the way we were and the way we never were. Maybe it is all just a huge pile of turds.

I loved your eyes

I loved your hands

I loved your voice

I loved your words

I loved your smile

I loved your c*ck (a lot)

I loved your humour

I loved the way you touched me

I loved your vulnerability

I loved your creativity

I loved your thoughts

I loved that you saw me in the dark

I loved me when you loved me.

I loved everything about you. Every moment we shared; every tear we cried; every heart-felt laughter. I even loved the sounds you made – all of them.

If I were a drama queen, I would tell you that I don’t want to live without you. I knew love; I tasted it in your arms and on your skin. I would beg you to come back to me.

But here is the truth: I know that you are happier without me. And I know that you love her. You deserve to be happy. I am glad that you are. And I don’t want you to be back. I couldn’t handle it. It would probably kill me.

If I were able to let you go, I would find my own happiness too.

You are probably wondering why I am still attached to you after all these months. I can only guess; I guess it is because you were the first person to love everything about me. You didn’t try to change me or my moods. The nagging voice inside my brain says it is because you didn’t care at all. Maybe it is true.

I still like the memories we made. I still like you even if you hurt me like no one before.

I miss your hugs. I miss the way you took care of me. I miss who I was with you. Wish you were here. I am a little obsessed with our past right now. I am looking back at the time when I was less alone and lonely. Must be the time of the year, I don’t know. Everyone is looking forward to the change of the new year. Everyone is making plans for the future. But the year cannot change us if we are not ready to change. I don’t make sense at all. I feel silly admitting all these things. Every healthy woman would drop you and move on. But you were my breath, and some days I think back to that time when you told me how to breathe… You left a void nobody can ever fill, no matter how hard they try. Could it be that I am addicted to the way I felt with you? Could it be that I miss how I felt, not who made me feel that way? Am I giving you too much credit? Will I ever be able to take back my life?

I hope you think of me with a fond smile once in a while. I wish I left a small trace inside of you. Something good.

Forever not yours,

Sweetie

Find a Little Love in me 1-20

1

I tried to forget him. I tried to find a way to live without the man of my dreams. But I couldn’t. Sam was in every memory; in every breath I took; in every word I wrote. My life went on. It had to. Although he had left me over a petty argument. My bed was empty without him. My life was empty without him. I needed something to fill that all-consuming void. Something. Anything. But I had no idea what that was supposed to be. He had left and he had taken me with him. Who was I without him?


2

Every morning, I got up, showered, had a cup of coffee and headed to my car. I got in, took a chewing gum out of the glove box, fastened my seatbelt and pulled out onto the street. My morning were dull. Ever since he had left me, there was no spontaneous lovemaking in the shower, no American pancakes filling my home with their sweet scent, no kiss that made me get out of the house too late. Every morning became efficient in their routine. No move was unnecessary. This boring way of life kept me from dealing with the pain of having lost him.


3

At work, I wore my brave face. I joked with the colleagues, and smiled with the parents who left their toddlers at our facility. My private life wasn’t allowed at my work place. Here too, I followed the routines that had set in. I peeled fruit and arranged it in bite-sized portions on plastic plates. I smeared bread with cheese and filled glasses with water. After breakfast, I cleaned sticky mouths and hands, and I changed diapers. All the while, I smiled and pretended to be happy. Singing, dancing, entertaining, and repeating everything again and again. It was the glue that kept me together.


4

My only weakness was naptime. Sitting in the bedroom, waiting for the children to find some rest, I too had time to think. I had time to miss him. I had time to count the days since he was gone. The even breath of the toddlers indicated that they were asleep. I exhaled, took my phone, and began to a scroll on my screen. On a site, I had recently met an interesting man. He liked to talk about movies and music. He liked books and apparently, he was working as a writer. I found him oddly fascinating, but Matt was no real distraction from Sam and my broken heart.


5

I had a private message and it made me smile. Matt asked about meeting me for coffee or a drink some day. He said he had tickets for a concert and if I wanted to join him, he would be happy. I didn’t reply to the message. I was not looking for someone else. I was happily licking my wounds. On the other hand, he had tickets to see Matthew Ryan and I had wanted to see him live for a long while. I didn’t know what to do and how to react. And I didn’t have time to deal with it right away. Saved by a crying baby.


6

But every workday has to end and mine did too. Walking to the parking lot, I thought back to that message and the invitation to the gig. Maybe I should step out of my comfort zone and do it. Just going with the flow and enjoy myself. I was not expecting to fall in love, but at least there was a possibility to have a nice evening with a man I enjoyed talking with. I didn’t have anything to lose. Apart from my broken heart.
“Pick me up at 7? I’ll text you the address” Before I could reconsider, I hit sent and drove home.


7

I was hungry. The fridge was full, but I couldn’t find anything I wanted to eat. And so I kept opening and closing the fridge for a while, realizing every time that there was nothing new inside. I plopped down on the couch with a load of laundry to fold and watched reruns of “Murder, she wrote”. The show reminded me of my grandfather. He used to watch things like that all the time. With the TV on and mindlessly folding pants and shirts, I felt thoughtless. My mind was blank. It was new, but not unwanted. It made room for something else.


8

It made room for hope. For the first time in a while, Sam didn’t dominate my thoughts. I didn’t relive this or that situation while folding this or that shirt. Was I freeing myself from the shadow of my ex lover? We had spent three years together. Was I ready to let him go? Maybe my heart had moved on, and my head hadn’t? If I had friends I cared about enough, I would have reached out and asked for advice. But I kept every one away from me. I didn’t allow anyone to get too close to me. And that was why he had left me.


9

The sun was setting and it became dark in my home and in my heart. I turned on the lights, but there was some darkness that kept looming above me. I had these moments of abject loneliness, of hopelessness. Often, they came without a warning, and before I could even react, I was reduced to a bawling mess. There was this dark cloud that kept me company. A dark veil wrapped itself around my thoughts, choking every attempt of happiness. I turned off the lights, made sure that my door and windows were locked, and headed to the bedroom. On top of my already miserable state, Matt didn’t get in touch. He hadn’t picked me up to see Matthew Ryan.


10

I shed my clothes, they felt restrictive and suffocating, and got into bed. I grabbed my pillow – the one I had since early childhood and that comforted me with its smell, and inhaled. Why did everyone abandon me? Why didn’t I deserve some love? It took all the strength I thought I didn’t have to keep from sending a needy message to Sam. I didn’t want to be that girl. I was better than that. But I was lonely. Naked. Raw.
*ding*
“Hey are you okay? You didn’t share any music with me today ”
He was right. After having been stood up, I hadn’t gotten in touch. Was I supposed to act as if I didn’t care?


11

“Sorry Matt. I had a bad day” I texted him. It was the first time I even considered lowering my guards with him. Everything had been shallow until now.
“Wanna talk about it?”
Did I? Was I the kind of girl who poured her entire emotional baggage onto someone else? But I was in distress and I had nothing to lose.
“I’ve been left not that long ago. Some days it is really hard. I don’t know who I am without him. And I don’t remember who I was before him. It’s messed up.” I hit send and groaned. I didn’t expect and answer. But it came.


12

“You will be okay. The woman I know doesn’t need a man to tell her how to feel and who to be. Wanna meet for a drink tomorrow?” His text made me cry, and I was glad he couldn’t see me.
“I am sorry that I am such a mess,” I apologised.
“You are human and we are made of emotions.” I smiled. I didn’t deserve anyone this kind.
“I will try and catch some sleep now. Thank you for being there.” I ignored his invitation for a drink. I was in no shape to make such a decision.
“Sleep Shelly. I will be here tomorrow.”


13

I woke up and assessed my state of being. The heaviness from the day before was gone, only residual melancholia scraped at the edge of my thoughts. I took my phone and sent out a message before I began with my usual routine.
“Thank you for having been there. For now, I am better.” I didn’t wait for a reply. I got in the shower, shaved my legs and pubic area – just for me, and washed my body. Already I felt more desirable. I took time to straighten my hair and find something nice to wear. I always did that when I didn’t feel all too well.


14

Work was over too soon. I had fun that day. The colleagues had complimented my hair, which lightened my mood. The kids weren’t any trouble that day, and even my boss had nothing but nice things to say. I didn’t think about Sam. But Matt was a constant in my thoughts now. His kindness, and his willingness to be there at my worst – it meant something to me. I had a fuzzy feeling inside. And whenever he was on my mind, I smiled.
“Still up for that drink? I will be at the Club tonight.” Confident and satisfied with myself, I got home to make the best of me.


15

As I sat there nursing my beer, I didn’t wonder why he hadn’t replied to my message. My mood was too good. I smiled and I flirted, but the longer I sat in that bar alone, the more I wished I wasn’t there. I started to feel uncomfortable. All eyes were on me. Or at least it felt that way. Matt had stood me up. All talk, no action. I grabbed my tote bag and threw some money on the counter. It was a heavy tip, but I didn’t care, I felt tired. I just wanted to go home, and forget about this evening. Matt was just like him. I was too stupid.


16

I wrote several messages but I sent none. They all sounded petty and childish. I wanted to act like an adult. We weren’t a couple. There had been no promises. Matt had asked me out twice. I should have waited for his affirmation. I groaned and threw my heels in the closet. In the bathroom, I rubbed my face with a washcloth until the mask came off. My face was red and swollen. I felt raw and swollen on the inside too. Just to punish myself, I opened old chat logs of Sam and me. He had been charming in the beginning. Until everything had become about sex.


17

For Sam, I had become a slut. I had sent nude pictures in various positions. He had asked to show myself like this and like that. Once in a while, he sent something back. It had felt good to take these naked pictures. To see myself as a sensual being. It had changed me. But the knowledgeable that he still had those pictures made me uncomfortable. I wanted to text him and ask him to delete my pictures. But who was I to believe that he had kept them? I was sure he had moved on, and that he had found a new woman to manipulate. Anger rose in me. Why didn’t he say something?


18

“stupid,” I pushed out through clenched teeth. I didn’t believe in regrets. Was Sam making me regret our time together? I chose to believe that I had changed in our three years together. I wanted to believe that I was more of a woman now than I had been before. I was stronger. And I was weaker. Most of all, I was alone. Before him, I had had friends. Now that he was gone, I only had myself. And I didn’t like my own company a whole lot. I raided the fridge to stuff my face. No need to look pretty for anyone anymore.


19

Matt didn’t get in touch. He didn’t apologise for standing me up. There was silence on all channels. I messaged him a couple of times, but even after telling him that I was worried, he stayed silent. It worried me even more. In the meantime, I tried to distract myself with cleaning my home. While doing so, I realised that I didn’t have any hobbies. I didn’t have any friends. I didn’t know what to do with myself when I was on my own. I didn’t want to go out and meet new people. I wanted to be on my own. But I didn’t want to feel this lonely and alone


20

I realised that Sam had put me here. I tried not to think about him and mentioning his name, but it was the truth. Sam had wanted me all for himself. I dressed the way he wanted. I ate what he ordered me to eat. I felt what he made me feel. He had been my guide. My light. He had made me who I was. But he was not here anymore. He had moved on as soon as he had made sure that I was broken beyond repair. “No one will ever love you like I do.” Sam had repeated those words again and again.


To be continued

Letter to a stranger

Dear stranger,

You have not always been a stranger in my life. You used to be a part of it. Of me. You could still be a part of it (of me) if you wanted to be. My arms are still open. As it is, you became a stranger. When we pass each other on an open road, we lower our heads and wish we could turn back time, but there are no visible signs that we were once lovers. Sinners. Nobody knows our secret. 

You’ve been gone for six months now. Things happened, life moved on and I let go of you and of the feelings I felt for you. But once in a while, like this weekend, the feelings come back. And I wonder. Do you ever wonder? What could have been? What would have been? Do you sometimes wish to not lower your head when our paths cross but to acknowledge what we had and who we were? I guess you don’t. I guess these are silly thoughts of a woman who cannot let go. I should though. And I know it. But as much as I hated what we were, I loved it too. And I would do it all again. In a heartbeat and without regrets. A year is a long time. I changed during the year we spent together. I became a woman who was able to see her qualities. I accepted myself for who I was. Because you told me how beautiful I am and you told me how beautiful my mind is. With you gone, that affirmation is gone too. And I am invisible to my own eyes again. I know, it shouldn’t be this way, but it is. It is my truth. If only I could reach you again. If only I could touch you again. But it will not happen. And I will keep wondering if your thoughts drift to me before you fall asleep, and if you compose messages for me that you never send. 

There are no words that are meaningful enough to tell you how much you mean to me and how much you meant to me. And while I write these words, I keep thinking that I am not in love. I am not in love. I am just in need. I am in need of the person who seemed to be a soul mate to me. I miss the understanding and the way that nothing was complicated between us, unless we let the world complicate it. I miss your gentle voice in my ear and the way you said my name. The voice is fading. I should have kept a record of it. But I didn’t. I don’t have anything physical that reminds me of our time. No evidence at all. Just the memories in my head. And I am afraid that they will change from what really was into what I wished it would have been. 

The door is still wide open. The hole you left gaping wide is waiting for your presence to fill it again. And I am afraid that the hole will get bigger and bigger until I vanish inside of it. And I will be gone. It was easy to cope with your loss, at first. I was strong and too many things were changing in my life, I didn’t have the time to let my emotions rule me. But now that I fell and walked back into the dark, I am reminded of how much you are missed. I shouldn’t miss you. I shouldn’t write to you when I am not well. I should show you how well I am and how much success I have now. Fuck it. You saw me at my best and at my worst and you handled it well. Or I like to pretend that you did. I mean, there are reasons why you left when you did. I am sure that I drove you away. I sucked the light out of you and was too demanding. The novelty of me had worn off too. And, you couldn’t deal with the fact that I understood. I saw you for who you were and my arms and my heart were still open for you. I wasn’t scared or appalled. No, I was there. And I will always be there for you. Whenever you choose to come back, I will be there.

Ah dear stranger. Wouldn’t it be nice to not be strangers anymore? Wouldn’t it be nice to be lovers again? Two lovers in the morning sun. Overwhelmed with lust. And connecting on every possible level. The romantic in me tries to resurface. The realist wants me to say goodbye with this letter. 

One last goodbye. But the memories… They are too meaningful to forget. Too important to hide in a closet. They are everything.

We will meet again, Sweetie. Ja? Say my name and I will be yours again.

Goodbye stranger.

Your almost-lover

Once

​Once, dreams brought solace to the struggling mind

Now it just deepens the sorrow, destroying hopes with nightmares.

Nights used to be an escape

But the loneliness is amplified by the silence that surrounds the jaded soul.

one more time

​Empty vessel in my skin
You close the door
And I am not here
Trapped within.

There is no way out of this cage
Nothing left to chose
Yet everything left to lose
Blank page.

Call for my mind
But don’t hurt me again
I can’t bear the pain
Please, don’t leave me behind.

With you gone
I turn to the riverman
To give a helping hand
To take me away at dawn.

And the river understands the silent words
It remembers where you are
And that we will always remain close, never far
We became sherds.

Cut bleeding on this broken love
Our dreams became nightmares
Lovesongs pushed down the steepest stairs
Why couldn’t we rise above?

What happened to all those rhymes you whispered at night?
Your voice belongs to another one
Your light became another one’s sun
And I keep searching for you, far and wide.

Our year wasn’t wasted
But I can’t find the words to say
Please stay
Your lips were the sweetest I have ever tasted.

I cower in the corner of my mind
Wishing myself into your arms
Where there is no one inflicting never healing harms
Please come back – I am there; easy to find.