Letter of Disappointment
I barely remember what your face looks like. The way your eyes crinkled when you smiled behind glasses. The way you would use your hands when you tried to emphasis a point. The way you looked in that ridiculous skirt during the last show we did together. But no matter how much I try, I can not forget the way your laugh was contagious: thick and huffy like a deep horn. It’s been almost three years since we have spoken, or laid eyes on each other.
You were my first theatre director and despite the age difference we became close quickly. There was something about our internal chemistry. Not that there was a physical attraction, but an emotional connection. I never wanted to be anything other than special to you.
You were the most brilliant man I had ever known. We would stay up for hours talking about things I never knew existed. Theology, philosophy, psychology, literature, religion. You were articulate and fascinating, something I had never encountered in such a small town. I blamed it on the fact that you were home schooled, and never gave your own intelligence and wit any of the credit.
To be honest, I am surprised I never fell “in love” with you. I suppose I have my inability of vulnerability as a teenager to thank for that. You were never anything more to me than a “great friend” but with a special intensity. That is why I originally declared you my favorite and too this day feel awkward whenever I refer to anyone else with that title. We both know who it belongs too.
“You,” you once told me, “are the third to my whole.” The Hindu religion having the belief that ever soul was split into three beings, and you were convinced we belonged to the same.
I have never found another person who looked at me the way you did. Not even the man I am currently involved with, the man I refer to as “the love of my life.” The day when we sat in your room with your brothers and you said shyly out of the corner of your mouth that you thought I was the ultimate catch, that one great thing, I never felt so much pride. I was honored and pleased and insanely intimidated at the thought of you having me held on such a high pedestal. I was desperate not to fall from such a great height. You were the only person I’ve felt comfortable with, even when you were placing me on that pedestal. Maybe I selfishly loved being that girl for you.
I suppose you have your reasons for hating me, even though I may never understand why. I broke many hearts in your family but I never thought hurting them would hurt you. You were always the one to tell me I was too good for your brothers. How quickly you changed your mind.
I have no idea what I would say if I ever found myself face to face with you. I shamefully admit that I find myself looking for you in crowds back home. Even though I know where you now work I can not drag myself into the store in fear of the awkward encounter. Even with my vivid imagination I have difficulty imagining what I would say to you, what you would have to say to me.
I think the only thing I would be able to say is, I miss you. You have always been on my mind. I have always, and will always appreciate the years we were friends because you helped me. You kept me from falling off the trail I was paving for myself into my mothers past. You encouraged my ambition and made me believe I was better than I was. I don’t regret listening to you analyze your future and past, to be a priest or not to be a priest. I would tell you that you meant more to me than you will ever know, and more than your family would ever be able to understand.
And then I would look you in the eyes, aged behind the same glasses and tell you “you are a fool”. You are a fool because you let your family drag you down. You let your brother, who you can not stand and warned me to stay away from, corrupt you, and your mother manipulate you. You let them pull you away from our connection, our friendship, something you once described as indestructible, sacred, important.
And I would tell you I am disappointed in you. In how you have let all of your talent and intensity and wit go to waste. And I would confess that I am disappointed in myself. Because when you walked away I let you. And in your absense I have become someone I know you would no longer be proud of.
And then I would quietly turn, and walk away.