I paused. I wondered what to write. So far I had nothing, just 'Dear Michael'. What would I even say? "Relax," I told myself, "Michael isn't going to read this letter, it's for your own benefit, it's for you to get out those feelings you've been burying deep inside." I looked at the foolscap. I closed my eyes and sighed. "OK, let's get this over with," I said. I opened my eyes and started writing and didn't stop until I finished.
I don't know what you were hoping for exactly on Saturday when you came over with a movie but when you said you came so that I can apologize, I got angry. Apologize for getting sick? You broke up with me because I got sick? Yes, later on on Saturday night, you texted and explained and said I push you away every time I get sick - which is a lot because I have a faulty immune system- but what I don't get is how you feel pushed away exactly when I'm experiencing mind-blowing pain. Maybe you should explain that. Also you said that I was being ungrateful when I said that you're only here for the good times and nowhere to be found when the bad times come knocking. I wasn't being ungrateful. It does feel that way on my end. Let's take the last two weeks for instance, you've broken up with me twice in a span of two weeks - when I was sick. Yes, you do take care of me when I'm sick but really that's more of a distant memory. Do you know on Wednesday you came in and just sat there, watching movies on your laptop, not a kiss hello, not a kiss goodbye? At least that's what I remember. Maybe I should hear your side of the story, I'm sure I'm biased right now because my heart hurts. However, I'm sure that deep down, this isn't about me getting sick and you feeling pushed away. I think this is about something bigger. Something that goes all the way back to when we met. Remember those day? You were busy chasing down just about everything in a skirt until you met that one girl that got all your attention and suddenly your focus changed. Suddenly you were interested in one girl and one girl only. She occupied all your thoughts, conscious and sub-conscious. All you ever talked about was how you would make her yours. You talked of how deep down you knew she was the one. And Lord knows deep down into a year of us dating I never ceased to hear her name. That girl is Mel. Mel was on of the few friends I had made in college when we started, way back two years ago. My part in all this - I was the DUFF. Bianca and Wesley had their happily ever after, and I thought we would get to have ours too, but I guess life had other plans. I guess part of the problem was you loved her and we both knew it. And when you couldn't get her, you settled for the next obvious choice - the DUFF. I hate that day when I lied to myself that we were going to be happy, I'm a smart girl, I know better, I should have known better. We were never meant to be, you knew it, I knew it. But still every time I tried to walk away, something held me back. I see what was now. That was my blindness, Lord knows I could see through your charm. Then again Prince Charming was raised to be charming, not nice. After all, who says, "I don't want to lose you because I don't want to start all over again,"? I've heard 'I don't want to lose you because I love you', 'I don't want to lose you because I can't live without you' and all the other sugar-coated words that may or may not be meant but I have never heard 'I don't want to lose you because I don't want to stuff all over again'. And you didn't stop there. "That process is so long and boring, I don't want to do that," you continued. All those times and I never said anything. Mostly because trying to tell you something would end up with 'Do you think I'm stupid?' or 'How dumb do you think I am?' and if I was lucky you'd also throw in 'You're stupid/dumb/lazy'. Also, your issue is how I hurt you. I hurt YOU. I know no one is perfect, I'm not claiming to be, but I'd really like to know how I hurt YOU. I was the one who lost my dignity and my identity plus a few grades, but no one knew this because I never let it show. I guess all these things add up to me refusing your offer of me asking you to get back together with me as you offered I do on Saturday night when you texted to apologize for unceremoniously coming over, waiting for me to apologize to you. It shocked you when I didn't ask you to forgive me and take me back, as you suggested I do. You called that me 're-breaking' up with you. How can I break up with you when we already broke up? You broke up with me, Michael! To put it aptly, I just don't want to hurt you anymore. This is me making my selfless act like Lana did when she absorbed all that green kryptonite. Am I okay with the way things turned out? No. Of course not. I was the easy one to get to after the one you couldn't get the one you wanted even after numerous tries - some 'innocent' ones occurred even when we were dating - and that is always going to haunt me. The only thing that will haunt me more is the fact that I really did love you.
I put the pen down. I felt a tear run down my cheek. I stood, picked up the feelings letter, walked to the kitchen, picked up a jerrycan of kerosene, doused the letter with kerosene, struck a match and set the letter ablaze.
"Is this really necessary?" I asked as I looked around. I was in Dr. Meyer's living room, lying on her couch, prepping for a session. Dr. Meyer is my next door neighbour and a psychologist. Licensed psychologist. Her living room was chaotically organized, giving away that the home had some children in it. There was a pile of bedrocks in one corner and a pile of cushions in another. Some toys were neatly put away in yet another corner but there were also some scattered around randomly posing a tripping hazard. I collected my thoughts. "I don't think this is necessary, Jane," I said. Jane was Dr. Meyer's first name.
"Oh relax. I'm not going to literally pick your brain. You just look so tense and I can't have my assistant tense now, can I? Sends the wrong message to my patients. We're a team, Perry," she said.
"But I'm not your patient, Jane, besides, many other people have been dumped. Honestly, I can get over it. It'll take some time, sure but I'll get there."
"So you're okay that Michael broke up with you?"
I paused pensively. I remembered that day all too clearly. Maybe because hardly even a week had passed. On that material day, which happens to be last Wednesday, I had taken ill, and I was in a bit of a mood. Michael, charming prince that he is, came all the way to baby sit me and make sure I was as comfortable as I could get. He stayed till the evening when he headed home - and broke up with me.
Back to the present, I closed my eyes and sighed dramatically. I opened my eyes. "Yes, Jane, I am OK."
"He promised to be with you yesterday, on Valentines..."
I cut her short. "Valentines is over-rated, Jane!"
"So you're absolutely fine? Nothing you want to share with me?"
"These toys are a tripping hazard," I said, motioning to one.
"Oh those ones. My son Jay, I can never get him to put them all together, he always leaves some behind."
"Maybe you should let him trip on one, see how he likes it."
I sat upright. "Your couch is very comfortable but I'll go home now."
"Perry, wait. Why don't you try writing down how you feel."
"You mean one of those feelings letters?"
"Yes, exactly. No one ever has to read it, just get everything out..." I got lost in my thoughts as she droned on and on. A long awkward silence informed me that she had finished speaking.
"Sure thing. Have a nice evening Jane." I said as I left.
What Jane didn't know is that Michael had actually come over on Saturday, expecting an apology from me, waiting for me to ask him to take him back. I didn't, and it made me angry that he broke up with me and disappeared for around 3 days before showing up unceremoniously on my doorstep, acting like nothing happened.
I switched on the lights as I got into my house. I looked around. My living room looked like it had been hit by a tornado, and no, no kids. I sighed. "I need to arrange this place," I mused. I went into the kitchen, took a beer from the fridge, doubled back into the living room and put on season 5 of Modern Family to watch. I set myself comfortably on the bedrocks - no couch - and readied myself for a marathon of two gay dudes with a Vietnamese kid, an old dude with a trophy wife and a guy who got a wife by accidental conception but now has three kids with her. There was a foolscap on the table. I thought about what Jane had said about a feelings letter. "It's not such a bad idea," I thought to myself. I picked up the foolscap and a pen and started writing.