Dear J,

We crossed paths under somewhat unusual circumstances. I just happened to be the one there when you were about to crumble, and I caught you and listened to you and, without realising it at the time, saved you for a while. I wasn't expecting you to come into my life and so when you asked if we could stay in touch, I'll admit I was wary. But we talked more and gradually got to know one another better, and you shared yourself with me and I can now see that I was privileged that you felt comfortable enough to do this - that you trusted me enough.

This was just over a year ago and I wish I could turn the clock back and tell you how much and how quickly I came to care about you. My feelings towards you were strong from the start and yet I didn't express this. I was confused - I had no idea I could have such intense feelings towards someone I'd not met in person. You were going through such a difficult and horrible time and now I hate that I didn't just open up to you the way you were opening up to me. I wonder if anything would be different had I told you at the very beginning that I'd fallen in love with you.

We did finally see one another in person, on three occasions. The first time, thinking back to it, was lovely. You're lovely. I was lucky enough to spend three days with you. It wasn't all perfect, but considering everything you were going through, that's not surprising. I regret a lot of things about that first meeting, though. I replay it over and over and think of what I should have said and done differently.

I should have:
- kissed you (your lips / face / body)
- slept beside you
- held you tightly all night
- told you that you're absolutely wonderful
- told you I loved you
- stayed with you, instead of getting on that train.

I didn't do any of these things.

The second time, everything was going wrong and you were falling apart. I drove five hours to check up on you as I was worried but you barely registered my presence when you opened the door. I was so scared when I saw you. I regret so many things about that second meeting. My brain tells me that depression isn't a rational illness and that I did all that I could considering the circumstances, but my heart says I should have done more.

I should have:
- laid down next to you and just held you
- told you I loved you
- promised you I wouldn't leave you
- not left you.

This time, I did:
- kiss you
- make love to you.

But you were so unresponsive even after this and it was like there was a massive barrier between us that try as I might I couldn't break down. I wanted to show you in a tangible way just how much I cared for you, but I know I left it too late. You were too far gone. I wonder if I'd done some things earlier, when you were better, could I have made a difference?

The third time, I came to say goodbye. You tried to put me off, telling me you weren't in a good way, but I didn't listen to you. I'm sorry about that because I know it was selfish of me. I was just desperate to see you again and I suppose part of me thought that I'd be able to help you, even though I should have learnt from the second meeting that there was nothing I could do.

The third time:
- I told you I loved you.

I'd planned on the whole journey to yours that I was finally going to say it, but once I got to you I kept putting it off because I was nervous. You weren't overjoyed to see me and I felt like perhaps I'd made a mistake in coming, in forcing my way into your life when you didn't want me there. Eventually, I whispered those three insignificant but significant words to you at night, in the dark, as we were about to sleep (a gap between us that felt a mile wide). You didn't respond. The next day, I left.

Now, I'm on the other side of the world to you. Different continent, different culture, different time zone. You feel very far away. The life I had there feels very far away. I should be moving on to my next step. New job, new home, new friends. But I can't stop thinking of you.

I promised myself that despite the distance I wouldn't give up on you. That I'd be there if and when you needed me. It never occurred to me that perhaps you wouldn't want that. We used to talk all the time. Our entire relationship was built on talking. But you've told me that you don't have anything more to say. You've gone silent, when words are all that we have to connect us.

I know I can't force you to talk. I know I should respect your wishes and give you space, if that's what you want. I know you probably feel like there's nothing I can do for you any more / from here.

- I think you're wonderful
- I miss you
- I love you.

The thought of you hurting is almost unbearable. I know you're probably alone. You were always vague on the subject of your family and it's a subject that causes you pain. You have friends, but they're scattered across the world and as far as I'm aware there's no one nearby you can turn to.

I feel incredibly guilty and like I abandoned you, even though from the start we both knew I'd be leaving eventually. There are so many things I'm sorry for.

- I'm sorry things are going so badly for you
- I'm sorry I can't do anything practical to help
- I'm sorry you're alone
- I'm sorry for all of the things I should have done earlier
- I'm sorry I couldn't save you this time.

J, not a day goes by when I don't think of you. I don't know if you ever think of me now, or if you even consider me a friend any more. But I'm still here.

Thank you for coming into my life. I've not told anyone about you, but to me you're one of the most important people in the world. I am always thinking of you. I'll always be on your side. I hope that some day we can have one of those long conversations again, like we used to.

I care about you. You are loved.

Please, look after yourself.

You deserve nothing but good things.

travellingthrough travellingthrough
Aug 16, 2014