Today is a two for one!
Write a “Dear John” letter, breaking up with your high-school sweetheart who’s in the army.
I haven’t known where my letters might find you for what feels like forever. I kept writing them every day, expecting a reply, but one never came. For a long time, I kept us alive with memories. I could remember the last time your face was close to mine. What it felt like to feel your cheek brush mine. How I tasted the mixture of your tears with mine when you kissed me good-bye for the last time. But my memories only work now in flashes rimmed in bittersweet regret. I don’t remember what it felt like to ‘belong’ to you. To sit close to you at football games and have your arm wrap around me because it was the most natural thing in the world. I don’t remember what it felt like to have you to call at night, even though you had just dropped me off at my door. I don’t remember your phone number.
I guess sometimes, distance just makes the heart grow…distant.
I used to wish that you would show up at my door, in your uniform, and carry me off like in An Officer and a Gentleman. You know how I love that movie! But, you never came, and that wish has dried up with the tears I can’t afford to shed for you anymore. I missed you for so long, John. I would say I felt sorry for this letter, but I can’t find it within me to forgive you for never returning all of mine. If I hadn’t seen your mother now and then at the drug store, I would assume you had passed on…met with some untimely death while fighting for our country. But she has some of what I never received: letters from you. And I sat, day after day, waiting for the mailman, afraid, thinking if I wasn’t waiting for him, he wouldn’t show and I would miss the opportunity to touch a piece of paper your hands had held. Until I forgot one day. You know what happened? He came anyway, John. And still, there was no letter from you. I suppose that is when I first started to think I could live without a letter. I could live without hearing from you. But weeks turned into months…and I learned to live without hearing from you until it turned into learning how to live without you at all.
Shame on you, John! You didn’t even try to call! I could scream at you, I used to be so mad. After everything we went through to be together…my father was just starting to accept us. I suppose that is neither here, nor there. I suppose we are all beings swayed by time and circumstance. And so, I’m not mad anymore. I smile politely at your mother when she comes in. Sometimes I even bag her items at the checkout line. She curtly nods, and besides me asking her if she was receiving letters from you one time, we only talk about the weather. Never, never you.
Wherever you are, I hope you are happy. I hope you have all that you set out to achieve. If you ever come back to our small little town, smile and nod, but please…don’t turn us into a Nicholas Sparks novel and try to sweep me off my feet to get me back. Let us remember each other as we were. In tarnished, high school memories that fade into the backgrounds of our minds, leaving room for the memories with people who remain in our lives, as they should. I have fallen in love again and plan to marry him, making memories that burn brightly and never fade.
Wishing you all the happiness and peace you can find,
You’re the high school sweetheart from the above prompt. Write your reply to the breakup note.
Dear Abby, my love…
I don’t know what happened….I got your letter and immediately called my mother telling her that she better find out where all my letters went. She said she has never seen them. I know I sent them to your house…just…knowing how my mom felt about us…how your dad felt about us…I thought she might have been taking them. It wouldn’t be hard with the mailboxes out at the road like that. Would she even do that? I hate to think that of my mom, but…Is it possible your dad is intercepting them? Please tell me that this is not the end…I can’t believe you would move on without trying to find out what happened to my letters. I swear I have written you back. Every single time, I have written you back. Tell me I’m not too late. God, please, please don’t let this letter get lost. I love you. All of our memories are burned into permanence in my brain. Remember the day on the lake? Everyone was swimming, eating, and having a good time. I know your dad kind of ruined that when he showed up and drug you back home, but didn’t we have a good time before that? Remember how I went to your house that night to talk to him, even though you didn’t think it would work? I told him, Abby, that I loved you. Nothing he could do would make me change my mind, not my leaving for boot camp…nothing. Remember how he started acting different after that? We were ok, weren’t we? Late nights at the movies…and occasionally sneaking out to just sit under the stars and dream about our future? Things were good. So good.
There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you. Tell me you believe I wrote you, that I still want to be with you. Being away from you, in the army, is hell on earth…you were my little bit of heaven, Abby. The only thing that kept me going some days. I watched my best friend here die…in my arms Abby…and all I could think of was making it through this and getting back to you. Please. I tried to call, but the line says it’s disconnected. Did you get a new number? I still remember your number…
I guess, since you haven’t gotten my letters, you don’t know that I’m coming home on leave. They said they probably won’t send me back…my service is almost up. We can be together, Abby. I’m not giving up.
I’m coming to get you and I will sweep you off your feet. I don’t care about who you think you love right now. I know you love me and you’ve loved me long before he was ever around. I’ll fight for you and you’ll know. You’ll know how much I love you.
Please, God, let her get this. Abby, please don’t do anything you can’t take back until I get there. I have to see you. I’ll be there soon. Please wait. It’s all I’m asking…just wait for me.