We first met on November 26th 1997. I was home for my first holiday during my first semester away at college. I was 17 years old. I, timidly, reached out for you that first night. From that first touch, I knew you were trouble. I knew I was a goner. At first, it was sweet and easy. You introduced me to your other friends. What a spectacular "devil-may-care" group of people! Oh, I was in love! Addicted to that head rush! That tingle!
However, not long after those heady first days of new love, I began to have this nagging suspicion that you just weren't all beach days and camel rides. There was something bewilderingly sinister behind your smokey smile. My friends tried to warn me! "This is bad for you." "It's going to KILL you." "Stay away!"; they cried. So I did. I stayed away. Or at least that's what they thought. But, in reality, I was still seeing you. Stolen moments behind the pizza place when I worked at the neighborhood Hallmark store. An embrace during a "walk" around Pennypack park. It was scandalous! I fell deeper and deeper into your grasp.
I knew better, then. I've always known that being with you was not a positive life choice. But I was so tangled up with you that nothing could stop me. I even invited you too my wedding! There are pictures of me cavorting around with you on the dance floor! I've lied to my husband to be with you. My family, my friends, my students! I've behaved shamefully.
I did stop seeing you...for awhile. Do you remember? I had to leave. You see, I had found myself expecting a child. A son. And suddenly my love for him obliterated the love I had for you. Being with you wasn't good for him either. When I was with you I couldn't even breathe. You were literally breaking my heart. A heart that was now beating for two. So, I packed up and left. Did you miss me during that time? Did you feel sadness? Longing? I did.
That, the latest of my many breakup attempts, failed after 14 months. Over a year I managed to thrive without you. But, I ran into some of our mutual friends. They helped bring us together again and, just like in the beginning, I was hooked.
My darling. My companion. My relief. The time has come for me to leave for good. I'm sorry. I'd like to think that you'd miss me. It was 14 years together. I've grown from an unsure teenager to a determined woman. I've changed. You haven't. I have to start thinking of me. Take care of me. Oh, I'll never forget you. How could I? All those happy times. Seems like you were there for almost all of my happy moments. I know you think that I'll never get over you. I admit that it will be hard. Painful and full of anxiety. But believe me, I can do it. I know it's in me.
You are here with me. Right now. Right next to me, in fact. A storm is brewing and I know we must go inside soon. I am here with you now. In the morning...I'll be gone. Please don't try to find me.
My dearest. My love. My Marlboro menthol lights Man. Goodbye.
Your girl, Kathleen