Dear… is a new series of articles that Label will be posting. Throughout this series, people will share open letters addressed to anyone from boyfriends, friends, family to even pets. These open letters allow for us to explore the minds of others and their deepest thoughts. From personal journeys to self-discovery, this is a series that is worth looking out for and giving a read.
Volunteer writer, Lucie Lewis, adds to the ‘Dear…’ series with an honest, raw and beautifully written letter to her first real soulmate.
Where to begin with you?
Shall I remind you of who I am? I was that girl who was stood by herself at that job interview, terrified and out of her depth in a town miles away from home. I was the one who saw you as you walked in late, thought you looked interesting, and went to sit with you. Remember me? I had blisters and frizzy hair and a headache.
I remember you.
You were tall and charming. All smiles and jokes, with a personality that just made people trust you. Do you remember how we went into the group interview together? How we sat next to each other and corroborated the answer to a weird maths question in the interview paper?
Do you remember how you left your phone in the room after the interview and I went back in to get it for you because you didn’t want to look stupid? If I remember rightly, it was at this point I let slip I had no idea where I was. I think you started to prey on my vulnerability. Target identified.
You walked me around the park, took me to the museum, to their cafe. Remember how we talked about life, exes, and dreams over a bowl of overpriced chips until they threw us out? Remember walking around in the rain, not a care for the weather? We walked past a park and childish glee sparked within me and we ran for the slides. I remember learning there’s a reason adults shouldn’t go on children’s playgrounds when I went down the slide faster than most cars go. I remember the ache as I landed in the mud and ruined my shoes and my trousers.
I remember, with a good dose of cringing, that I used that as an opportunity to show off my bum, asking if there was mud all up my back. There was not. I knew this. Do you remember the film you took me to see? I do. Every time I see it mentioned nowadays I want to throw up. We sat in that darkened cinema screen and your fingers drummed on my knee. I couldn’t breathe. We were so close for the whole film, it was like magic. My heart and my stomach had tied themselves together and they were both doing some kind of sadistic jig. After the film, you told me you don’t use social media, but I could add you on Snapchat. To my older, sensible brain, that was red flag number one. My scared, overwhelmed brain thought that was totally normal.
We parted ways with a hug. Random, awkward, I know, but you enveloped me in your tan coat nonetheless. I walked back to where I was staying happy, for the first time in a long time. Do you remember what happened next? We talked briefly that night, didn’t we? Then I started to feel ill. The butterflies associated with seeing your name pop up on my screen started to overwhelm me. That night ended with three paramedics in my bedroom helping me remember how to breathe. The worst panic attack of my life. I’d cut our conversation short to have it.
You didn’t reply to my messages the next day. I thought you were annoyed at me for cutting you off so abruptly. I was going to explain. Do you remember ignoring me for the next two weeks? I remember wondering what I’d done wrong, then starting to get over it.
It’s almost like you sensed it.
Out of the blue, you started to message again. I was furious, but my stomach was in knots and the butterflies were medicated, but back. Then you told me the truth. Do you remember that? Do you remember admitting that the ex you’d talked about wasn’t actually your ex? Do you remember how beyond angry I was that I’d been a brief emotional affair? Do you remember how I forgave you anyway and stayed up until 3am talking to you despite all that?
I remember my messages going unanswered for the next few days, then weeks. Eventually, you did that thing where you’d start typing so I’d get a notification but not actually say anything. I confronted you about that. We ended up having another long conversation, deep into the night. The above repeated once more. Remember?
A few weeks later, I went to send you something to find out I’d been blocked. After I sent you a petty Facebook message, you unblocked me and said it had been an accident. Like an idiot, I believed you. I’d never felt a connection to another person like I felt to you. We just clicked, it felt right. I believed every word that came out of your mouth.
Remember telling me you wanted to work on yourself, stop using social media so much? I accepted that. We haven’t spoken since that night. I don’t check up on you any more. I hope you don’t check up on me.
Do you realise what you did to me? I know you didn’t owe me anything, but you lied to me, manipulated me. I don’t know if you liked the attention, the companionship, the kindness, or if you just got a kick out of playing with me. I do believe you were a soulmate of mine. I’ve never been drawn to someone like I was to you. My time with you made me untrusting, cautious. I wonder how many other girls you’ve done this to, how much you’ve put your girlfriend though. I swore I’d never let another person hurt me like you did. Joke’s on you, though.
As far as I know, you’re still in that unhappy relationship you told me all about and I’ve found a person who wouldn’t ever dream of hurting me. A person who’s been burned by someone like you before. Who know how much the scars still sting. I believe that meeting you was a lesson. There’s probably a you out there for everyone, someone to show them how darkness can be disguised behind a warm smile and a quick wit.
You’re what my mother warned me about when I was growing up. You broke my heart for the brief time I knew you, but I’m stronger for all the cracks.
Do you remember me? I remember you.