Letter To A Friend
Life here on earth hasn’t changed much since last we spoke. How stupid of me to write a letter to someone who would never receive it, I thought, and even now, as I scribble on this paper.
Do you remember that sunny summer afternoon when we were young and sitting on the back stairs where we lived by the beach? I turned to you and said, “Treasure these moments, for they may never come again.” Then I kissed your sunburned lips for a long time. Still, to this day, this moment, I do not know what made me say that. Never did we think in a million years that they wouldn’t. We kept on living till one of us didn’t. I’ve agonized with guilt over the years thinking I somehow caused what happened by speaking such a thing. You would tell me that I didn’t. That such things happen and we should go on as best we can. How desperately I need to hear you say that and shriek and laugh with joy as I rain down kisses on your anxious mouth and to hold your body and touch your pretty face. You always let me catch you when I chased you and wanted to tickle you until you couldn’t stand it. You loved this spot near the water, the coral rock we sat on where I first kissed you and where I asked you to marry me. I’m here now, writing this letter. It destroys and renews me at the same time, to come. But I do.
Our babies are so much like you and have babies of their own now. I see you in all of them. I don’t know, I’m not sure if I’ve done a good job with the girls but they’re beautiful and happy and they miss you. I brought pictures. I wish you could see them. Maybe you can. They are the only reason I stayed. I promised you I would. I wanted to go with you but I knew you would make me return. Sometimes at night I swear I feel you breathing on my neck, your heart beating against my back. I dreamt of slow dancing with you in the moonlight till the sun came up. I never told you this but, I needed you far more than you needed me. You probably already knew that.
The moments have seemed to slow in their passing, accompanied only by the thunder of silence. It’s okay though, there’s no sound I want to hear other than your voice. Maybe I’m slipping away from this life. If I am then it means I’m getting closer to you and I’m okay with that. The doctor says I don’t have long so I wanted to let you know and to ask you to wait here for me like you did the night I asked you to marry me, when I was two hours late. Friends always wait for friends, you said. I never told you the truth about that. I was worried you would come to your senses and never want to marry me. I was so nervous. I lost the ring and it took me and half the city to find it. Actually it was old Mrs. Murphy’s poodle who found it on the side of the road in front of her house. Classic. I left it on the roof of the car when I took my jacket off. I was always in such a hurry to get to you. I still am.
You told me once that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved and if you truly love then you can never lose. You were right. You were always right.
Joni’s husband Mikey is here to help me to the car so I’ll close this letter. He’s a nice boy, you’d like him. He reminds me a lot of me when I was young, maybe a little smarter. I’ll see you soon.
All my love,