This letter is for you. I write it with you in mind. But you will never read these lines. Because I am aware that I am easing my conscience by writing all this down to make me feel better, to give me relief. So, this letter is for me.
It would be unfair to put this on you, too. It's too late to apologize to you. I broke us up and I hurt you. So much.
It's not a redemption, it's not an apology, but all I can say is that I didn't mean to. I never meant to hurt you, I didn’t. And I know that doesn't matter because I hurt you and even if it wasn't intentional, I still have to take responsibility for that. I didn't do the things I did because of you, but I didn't let them be for your sake either.
Before you left, you asked me what was real. You asked me if I ever really loved you. Of course, I did. You were my first love. You must know that. You were the first person I showed myself to in that way. When we met, I was so in love with you that my heart raced like mad when I saw you and yet I could only relax with you nearby. You listened to me, you laughed with me, and I loved you so much. I thought, this is the person I want to grow old with.
What has happened? What has changed? We have changed. We've grown older and life has left its mark on us. It's not that I stopped loving you. You mustn't think that. You were my first love and something in me will always love you.
But our life together became, well, boring. We became monotonous and I became unhappy. I didn't feel like you were listening to me anymore. Even though you were there, it was as if you were far away. We no longer laughed. My former irrepressible love for you is, well, I don't know. It hasn't faded, but it has become something mundane. It is no longer exciting. It's just there, like my love for my parents. Constant, but not breathtaking.
You asked me how it started. You asked me why them of all people. It sounds almost silly now, but it was because they were there.
Sadly, my great affair was nothing exciting. It was a flare-up of excitement of joyful living. But it was more the aspect of the forbidden than anything else. I can't describe to you why I did it. It is simply beyond description. I was bored with our life, with you, with us and most of all with myself. They were there and they wanted me. They weren’t even particularly handsome or attractive, but they were in the right place at the right time.
And that's how it started. We met and at first it was exciting and spectacular. The forbidden, the outrageousness of what I was doing. It all gave me such a high. I knew it was stupid. I knew it would hurt you and it wouldn't make me any happier either. I knew it wouldn't bring me anything but a brief moment of happiness, but what can I say. I enjoyed that moment. And afterwards, I hated myself for it.
I'm sorry. I am truly sorry. I hurt the person who gave me so much. You loved me sincerely for so long and even if you can't believe that anymore, I loved you sincerely too. All that I have done. The first affair, the subsequent lovers, the lies, all that had nothing to do with you. I know that's hard to understand. But it had nothing to do with you. I did all that for me, and yes, I did it without regard for you.
I still love you and that will not change. But I will not send this letter. I won't ask for your forgiveness because I know you can't give it to me and you shouldn't have to. I broke us with my selfish need for validation and excitement. I hurt you, lied to you and the sad thing is I didn't even get happy with it. I only hurt myself. I made us miserable. And I'm sorry. It's too late for this, but I have to say it here.
I'm sorry, but I'm not asking for forgiveness. Please be happy again, please forget me.
Written by India Wittmershaus.
Cover photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya.