Yesterday morning, I received a package with no return address. I opened it up to find the notebook, our notebook, the one with the flowers on the cover. The one that we kept a secret, the one that we wrote back and forth in, stealthily hiding it in each other’s backpacks each school day.
I had mostly forgotten about you, buried you in the depths of my mind, with a pleasant memory occasionally resonating in my consciousness. But that was it. I had allowed you to become just a jarringly and pleasantly distorted memory.
Now, two and a half years later, the utterly beautiful words we scribbled and weird little pictures we drew take me back to 17 years old. As I read through the stale pages, I am transported back to a time when you left me broken and in love with the world you had immersed me in, a world of earth and books and trees and smoke and sloppy PB&Js and blankets with holes in them. Those pages are filled with our dreams. What used to be our dreams. They are filled with both of our gorgeous twisted little minds.
You wrote something to me on the last page:
I hope this book finds you well at college. The words of these pages are too precious for me to keep to myself. I am sorry for all I have done and all I will do.
Below this, you drew a picture of us holding hands, my hair long and yours short, standing together, watching the sunset.
I smiled. I cried.
After all this time, you still manage to grip me. And as always, I let you, even two and a half years later.
But this proves that I impacted you. I gripped you too.