Precious Gift by D.I. Jolly
I have something for you, something I didn’t realise I had taken from you, or … maybe you gave it to me, I can’t tell. I’m going to give you your life back. How, you ask, by taking myself out of it. Somewhere on this road we’ve been walking you got lost and neither of us noticed. I know this might seem cruel and I know you will probably hate me. Maybe just at first or maybe forever, but that’s ok. I can handle that. The really bad news is that I can’t just give your life back, you also have to be willing to take it back. The only thing I know is that, I don’t love you anymore. If I’m honest I’m not sure that I ever did, and I think you know that on some level. I think… I think that’s why you changed so much over our time together. You’ve been trying to turn yourself into the person I could love and in so doing just stopped being you.
I do also want to say that I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t realise it sooner, I’m sorry there isn’t a better or different way to handle this problem. I’m sorry that after everything you’ve done and put yourself through for me, in the end, you’re still the one who’s getting hurt. And finally, I’m sorry that I’m not doing this in person. To continue down the path of brutal honesty it’s not because I’m not strong enough but because I don’t think you would have been. Which is one of the things that’s changed since we first met. I hope, actually that by pointing that out you’ll realise that it’s true and it’ll help to encourage you to go back to living your life in a way that is better for you.
I know your friends miss you, because, I miss you. The you that I met those years ago. We might not have ever been made for each other but we used to be much closer then than we are now. Do not look for me, do not try and contact me, don’t call my family my friends. Give up on me and forget about us, go, please, and focus on yourself. There is a better version of you out there and a better match for you. Really for the last year all we’ve done is waste each other’s time and I think we both deserve better than that.
Richard turned the letter over in his hands a few times as his mind began fighting the truth in front of him, the small ring box in his pocket suddenly feeling like it weighed a ton, and pulled him to the ground. After a few long moments he blinked the tears out of his eyes and read the letter again, waiting for the joke to end, for the big reveal, for his girlfriend to jump out of one of the boxes and yell surprise. But it never happened, and eventually he had to admit to himself that she wasn’t his girlfriend, but his ex. Slowly he picked himself up off the floor and tried to start his day. His morning shower lasted longer than usual and he dropped his first mug filled with coffee, which made him jump and yell, which made him start crying. But, he pulled himself together and cleaned up the mess and tried again. He spent a long time deciding whether or not he was going to go to his friends Christmas party as planned and in the end decided he needed to. He knew he would be the life and soul-destroyer of the party but that if they were his friends it would be alright. It wasn’t a big party and maybe he needed to do something for himself. To get back to a version of himself that people could recognise again. Perhaps that started by being a little selfish, or maybe it was asking for help, he couldn’t tell. When he arrived he just handed his host the letter and stood waiting for their reaction and when they wrapped their arms around him he started to cry, again. But it felt different to the first few times, at home alone it was a hopeless cry, this felt more like a release, and let go cry, and as he let go a small voice in the back of his mind started to think very quietly that maybe, just maybe, the letter was right about him, and that she had given him his life back.