|By Kimberly Fernandes, Qatar [ Published Date: September 9, 2007 ]|
I choose to call this a dead letter because I've decided its faith even before it has taken shape. Since I chose to bare my heart here, I am sure I will never hand this to you.
Perhaps someday way into the future, when we're both old and gray, I'll tell you about this. And we'll look back at our childishness and laugh - not entirely mirthless chuckles, but ones with a definite attempt at lightheartedness, while all the while, we'll think inside about how our worlds would have been if things had turned out differently. These laughs will almost be sighs of relief - perhaps because we will have known all along.
This is a pretty significant time for both of us - university and all that. Until mine began last week, I hadn't fully realized just how busy life gets. There doesn't seem to be the time to do anything at all, not even read a novel or two for leisure, like I used to do before. I have stacks lying everywhere in my room, and in the normal course of events I would have devoured all of them within a week or two. Now, with all the homework and tests and assignments (even classes just seem to suck the energy out of you), those two weeks look like they'll be two years.
But despite all of this, I think of you often, several times a day. I wonder what you're doing and how your university is going. I wonder who you meet and who you study with. I wonder what you do in your free time and (I must shamefacedly admit) whether you think of me as often as I think of you. De jure, we are just "friends", but de facto, I cannot quite find a term that would adequately describe the relationship between us.
I do not like-like you. There is none of that giddy lightheadedness that usually accompanies an adolescent crush. But I connect with you. There's something in you that can see through me. I apologize for this crude use of the language, but there's no better way I can put it. You know what I'm saying and why I'm saying it. While I cannot claim that you know me inside out - or vice versa - you understand my nature. And excuse me for my faults. I, on the other hand, struggle to understand your nature and hence have had no time to reflect on what your faults are. The most I can surmise about you, with certainty, is that I've never been able to talk to another person this way before and feel so fully understood.
Perhaps it is because you 'know' me, in the true sense of the word, that I think I like you. I've read countless trashy romances about finding Mr. Perfect, and sometimes a fleeting thought passes through my mind that you're him. And then I think of the various reasons it will not work out. I use these reasons in an attempt to nip my feelings for you in the bud. But, believe me, when we talk I feel satisfied like never before. This is truly good conversation.
I've gotten so close to you that I'd like to think you're mine. I wonder if you think the same way too. And then I gently remind myself that I shouldn't be fooled into believing anything crossing my mind that smells of hope and promise. But there are - to use a terribly clichéd phrase - literally a million things left unsaid between us. I will never know if you like me or not. For sure, you won't tell me even if you do.
I don't mean to point an accusatory finger over you. It's just that I've thought about how at-ease I feel with you, and I've spent quite a lot of time pondering over that. I wonder about us. If there even is an us, on second thoughts. Maybe I'm just mistaking something for something else. But I'd read somewhere that a girl and a boy can never truly be just "friends". At some point of time one will fall for the other, whether it's at the same time, for years or just for a second.
I do not know if this is that fleeting point of time. I think of everything that's going great between us, and how easy it is to talk to you. I think of what would happen if I told you I liked you. I can almost see how strained things will get, how everything built up will come crashing down without a moment's hesitation. And this is why I write this letter. Maybe, as I said, some day I'll look back and laugh. But I'll never forget how comfortable it feels to be so completely understood, and a tiny part of me will always love you for that.
Kimberly Fernandes, Qatar