December 14, 2016


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Dear Julie,

How have you been? I hope the winters in NY haven’t been too harsh on you – you’ve always had cold hands and I hope you’re coping well.

It’s been awhile since we last talked. It feels strange because I can’t remember many days where we didn’t talk at all. Ever since our relationship ended, our communications have been sparse and overly polite. I’ve seen some articles about your marathon on Facebook, and I remember you telling me about your goal to run a marathon before graduation. I didn’t have the courage to click on those links, but I’m proud of you for having the discipline to train and complete the race. I remember you dragging a very reluctant me on long runs (and my first half-marathon), and despite my multiple complaints, I truly enjoyed running with you. I’m not sure when I stopped running with you, although I wish I continued – maybe it would have helped.

Myself? I’ve been doing fine. My extra-curriculars have been going well, and I’m still doing decently well in school. I’m thankful that I was able to secure a good internship in the city for next summer. You’ll be back home for good by then, though. Sometimes I wonder if this is purely coincidental, or God’s divine arrangement. Speaking of the city, it’s a peculiar feeling visiting places we used to frequent. I remember arriving in the city two Augusts ago – I was eager to start another chapter of our lives together. During the semester, we’d take turns making 5-hour bus trips to see each other. These rides were long and draining, but they were worth every single minute. These buses felt like spaceships, and I felt like an explorer making a pilgrimage between your planet and mine. We lived in different worlds, and we became different people.

Where did I go for break? I took a roadtrip to Boston for Thanksgiving, and passing by places we used to  tour was bittersweet. Some of my fondest memories include surprising you with flowers for Valentine’s, but even the most beautiful of flowers fade away. I could have sworn seeing you out of the corner of my eye, but perhaps it’s the ghosts of our pasts playing tricks on my mind. I still have photos from our trip that I haven’t edited. You’d always scold me for not uploading our photos on time, but I think it’d be out-of-place to publish them now. Yet, I can’t find the willpower to delete them either.

Why am I writing this? One of the reasons is to seek some kind of validation, but another reason of this is perhaps to address the demons that I’ve been avoiding. I’ve been drowning myself in work this past semester in an effort to distract myself from this change in reality. Work usually helps, but vestiges haunt me before I sleep every night.

Am I over you? I don’t know. Time and distance do help, as well as less social media inquisitivity. I’ve admittedly stalked your Snapchat story more than once trying to figure out what you were up to, if there’s anyone new in your life. After my friend (who mistakenly thought that we were still together) sent me a picture of you and another guy, I quickly realized that this wasn’t healthy. I’ve been tempted to delete all remnants of you from my life, but I’ve realized that you’ve been – and you will always be – a part of me regardless.

Is there anyone new in my life? Not really, to be completely honest. Part of me wants to make sure that I’m not on a rebound effect, although I’ve been tempted to compromise. As much as I seek content in being single, it feels like there’s something missing. Maybe I grew so accustomed to your presence for the past four years that I never became aware of such a feeling. I’m not sure I’d connect with anyone else like we did – it’ll take some time to meet someone else like you.

Should I have prioritized you more? There are some days when I think to myself that I should have. I admit, though, that I’ve been selfish. As I got more involved in school, our relationship took a backseat in my life. I thought it’d be irresponsible of me to leave all my other commitments behind just to see you. I think you tried your best to understand, but it hurt you nonetheless. After speaking to other people, I can see why. April was a wake-up call for me, but perhaps it was already the last call for you by then. I’m sorry for disappointing you.

These four years were one of my happiest, most frustrating and heart-wrenching moments, and I’m glad to have shared them with you. They say that everything happens for a reason, and I’m sure I’ll find that reason someday. I know I’m not alone in this process of disappointment, heartbreak and seeking closure, but for now I’m finding it difficult to get through the last part.

– James