My Dear Teacher

Dear Mr,

I was once in love with you. It’s been such a long time… I still remember how happy you made me feel. I always looked forward to your classes, even though we didn’t talk much and I never had the chance to get to know you better. I felt instantly attracted to you, the fact that you were at least 17 years older than me didn’t matter at all. I loved you as much as a teenager’s heart can love someone.

It’s crazy how much I still miss you. I know you don’t feel the same way, I know I won’t see you again, but I think at least you deserve to know that somebody was once madly in love with you.

That’s all. Take care.

Always yours,

Once a student, age 18


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10 March 2014


I Love You Too

Dear Granddad,

Whenever I think of you, all I can remember is that awful moment on the hill, on what would be one of the last summers I saw you. I was a petulant, angered teen and just wanted to have my own way all of the time. You were a man in less than perfect health (no one could have known the sudden circumstances of your death) who just wanted to enjoy a life that hadn’t always been pleasant. You told me, despite my repulsive mood, that you would do anything you could for me - cut your own arm off even. I walked away because I’ve never handled emotional situations well.

I probably didn’t even talk to you much for the rest of the holiday. Or the years. Just when we all came together in summer.

I can’t even remember the last words we spoke or even where they happened. It was such a long time from that day to your death hundreds of miles from us.

But I wish I would have told you how much you meant to me too. I love you. I’ve never been the same without you and I wish I would have talked to you more and found out more about your history.

I remember how kinds you were, how funny and loving and I think the world feels the loss of you as much as I do.

Please know I’m sorry and I’d do anything to have you back or change the way I treated you.

Love,
Tessa, age 20


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7 March 2014


You Make me Uncomfortable

Dear You,

You make me uncomfortable.

I don’t know if you this, I don’t know if you’re aware, or if you can’t tell because you’re uncomfortable too, or if you just haven’t noticed yet, but you make me so incredibly uncomfortable. This is because I’ll never be able to tell you who you are to me. Acquaintances at best, and I love to imagine all the beautiful things that must go through your head, all the beautiful things i’ll never get to know.

I don’t know if I love you, but I do know that I want to be around you all the time. I want to know you, I want to know why you are who you are, and what makes you happy so that I can learn how to make you happy.

I don’t know why I want you to be happy, but I know that it’s my fault for never having the courage to see if I love you, to see if I can help you. It’s my fault for never having enough courage to tell you that I want to explore you more than anything in the world and I’ll never get to.

Love or not love,
Me, age 17


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5 March 2014


Changing my Stripes

To those with a disability,

I regret the day I did not speak up when I saw him ridicule people with disabilities. It is a day I struggle with often in my conscious. I have grown up knowing, caring for, and loving people with disabilities but my voice remained silent as he continued his act of ignorance. I chose not to act out of fear, fear of being singled out and ridiculed myself, rather than acting out of love.

It was someone stronger than me, a surprising someone, who spoke up as ally for those that were not even present. A confrontation I was too scared to make but relieved to witness. And yet, I am left with embarrassment. and shame Not speaking up is like being a part of it, as if I condoned his hurtful behavior or, even worse, chose to ridicule others myself. I think of the kids I watched my mother teach and tutor, these wonderful human beings who deserved more than silence from me that day. The kids whose unique qualities and strengths humble me as I think of how they shined through their struggles and triumphs. What they deserved was someone who was willing to be different, to speak up and open up to being vulnerable so that strength could stream out. They deserved an ally, not a coward.

I wish I could go back and be that ally. I am sorry I was not.

Working to be an ally, age 32


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27 February 2014


I Need to Be Brave

My love,

There have been more than one occasion when my family members made racist comments in your presence. Each time, I froze and felt like I was on fire. I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid of insulting or angering my family, while both of us were insulted and angered. After the moment passed so many things rushed through my head about what I wish I would have said. “You racist bastards! You’ll never be half the person he is!” “My latino husband has treated me better than all of your boyfriends combined!” That was the anger screaming in my head. What I really wish I would have said is “That is racist, ignorant and offensive” and I wish I would have walked out. But I was weak.

I like to think if it were to happen today I would react differently. I want to be brave and strong for you because you always have been for me. If the roles were reversed, you would never speak to your family again if they insulted me like that. And that is what I will remember. You deserve me to stand up for you and not let their ignorance be ok.
Be patient with me. This awareness of our differences, even after six years, is newer to me than to you. I will do what I can to defend your honor because you deserve it more than most men I know.

I love you and I’m sorry I didn’t say anything. But I’m saying it now.

Me, age 24


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24 February 2014


To my beloved Emmijane

E,

No matter what your friends have told you or led you to believe, my love for you is neither a mid-life crisis or an infatuation.

I love you!

It’s been over a thousand days, and I still miss you.

I’ve tried dating other women, but I just can’t get you out of my head and my heart.

If you ever come to realize how much I love you, then the door is open and I’d would be happy to try again.

Otherwise, I foresee myself living the rest of my days alone until they play the old George Jones song titled “He Stopped Loving Her Today” at my wake.

A, age 58


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14 February 2014


I need to consider myself a lucky one…

Dear Matt,

I need to consider myself a lucky one…

I have experienced a true love. A soulmate. The kind of love that runs so deep you wonder years later if it has somehow become apart of your blood. Moving thru your body as the very essence of life itself… a love that provides the oxygen you need to live even if it is now no longer present. The slightest memory of a time we shared now brings on a grimace of pain. A shortness of breath and a deep sigh of regret.

I have many regrets. You are my biggest. I thought I was being so clever by not “settling early”… instead I have now lost the biggest love of my life. I never even allowed myself to enjoy it fully. Cut off in the earliest of stages with the best intentions of those who imposed the severing of our hearts. My heart breaks again to remember that last night spent under the stars… full of stars and tears. A love so young yet so deep and true. You were my world and my future. Now almost 10 years later… you are married, have opened a successful restaurant, and I probably never cross your mind.

I need to move on and let you go. Even writing those words brings tears to my eyes and I lose my breath. I tried to erase you but you still haunt me. Your kind eyes. Your gentle spirit. Your undying love in spite of my terrible coldness. God you loved me. How could I have been so foolish to let you go?

I have written you many apology letters. None of which will ever reach your eyes now. However this is not one of those… apologizing to you. This letter is a thank you to you and an apology to me.

Thank you for allowing me to experience a love so great I will never ever forget it. Thank you for being an example of what unrequited love looks like. A role model in so many ways. I am angry at myself for only now coming to this conclusion. I love you dearly, and you will forever have a part of my heart. However… I need to move on. I need to go find love again. A true love like ours used to be.

I can no longer live in the past… the “what could have been”… I am missing out on the present because I am crying over a past that can never be my future. I hope I can now finally look back at your memories with a fondness that no longer clutches my heart and paralyzes my breath. I need this.

I have a wonderful man in my life now, and I need to be able to give him all the love he deserves. I cannot do that with you lurking in the dark corners of my memories. So I thank you, and I allow myself to forgive myself for losing you. It is a permission that I have never granted myself, and now I realize that you wouldn’t want that for me. So I need to go and live and love and grow and laugh and embrace my failures and past. For indeed I have been very lucky to have known and loved such a man as you.

Love,
Bird, age 27


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13 February 2014


The Love I Lost but the Me I Gained Back

Jasmine,

Man, it has been 5 and half years since you tried to take your life. It changed my life completely and opened my life to a better life with you and our son. Thank you for not dying on me.

It took everything in me to cut you down and revive you. I was horrified for months and months. The image of you hanging in the barn haunted for a long time. I still some nights wake up to that awful image.

I wanted to run away screaming but I didn’t. You opened your eyes two days later and I feel in love with you all over again. I probably won’t be on this Earth if you would of died.

We have been through alot and I know our love will only grow even more. You are a blessing and I would be lost without you. I have something to say to you.

I am sorry that I was such an evil beast and I wounded and broke your heart and soul so much that I drove you to try and commit suicide to escape me… but you succeed a different way. You left me and took our son completely away from me.

That broke me completely and humbled me so much. I wish you could see me now. I wish you could see that I am becoming the person you always knew I was. I miss you and Briar all the time.

I walk this Earth now with so much LOVE and compassion for all. I just can’t get to your heart anymore and it hurts but it heals me more and more each day. THANK YOU for leaving. Thank you for taking care of our son. Thank you for LOVING him more and wanting the best for him.

With that being said. Know that I will ALWAYS LOVE you and you will ALWAYS have a special place in My heart. Our son is like Me but like you also. I hear your name and I smile but I get tears in My eyes. You LOVED ME with ALL of you and yet I couldn’t give you My all. Now I can and you don’t want ME anymore….

I am sorry from the depths of My Soul, Spirit and with ALL My heart, body and mind. I LOVE YOU Jasmine and I LOVE YOU Briar……

I AM sorry. Forgive Me. I Love You and Thank you….

Sincerely,

Gabriel aka PuppyWolf, age 36
Te Amo Para Siempre Amor


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12 February 2014


I’m Sorry I wasn’t enough

Dear Jeff,

It’s almost been a year since you came back into my life. As I sit and look back it’s been a crazy roller coaster. This friend I had not seen from High School came back into my life at tough time for me and made my heart sing, gave me a smile I didn’t know I had. How things change. Something fell apart, walls went up, and when those go up it’s hard to be the person on the other side. I’m sorry I never said exactly what I felt I always was afraid to say the wrong thing and in effect that hurt me too. You are a wonderful, amazing, loving person and I’m sorry I couldn’t be the person you wanted me to be. I’m sorry you always felt someone was going to hurt you…all, in all I’m just sorry..sorry that the smile will never..never be the same again. I’ll always love you..

Love,
Me, age 43


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11 February 2014


You Jump, I jump. Remember?

K,

Remember that day when you said my charm doesn’t work on you? Remember that day when I assholingly asked you how much you weigh? Remember that day when the two of us were watching Pitch Perfect in the middle of a rehearsal and we were arguing because I only wanted to see the parts where they were singing but you wanted to understand the story? Remember that day when we were dancing and you took your high heels off because you were too tall? Also that day when I took your hand to guide you off the stairs because you can’t see the steps with your gown?

Remember the days when we would get to school really early just to spend time with each other without (y)our friends seeing us? Remember the first time I called you just because I was bored and curious about what you were doing? Remember those days when I would pick three six-petaled White Angels and give it to you first thing in the morning? Remember when I left my sister’s parade just to make sure you get home safe and sound and then you hugged me for the first time?

Remember my Birthday? Remember the last Friday before the first Periodical Exam? Remember Jack and Rose? Romeo and Juliet? Us?

Well, I didn’t.

I didn’t remember all these when I left you. All I knew was that I wanted to leave. That I wanted to be free. But I had a reason, of course; I wasn’t happy anymore.

But I was wrong - and will never be more wrong. It was not even an “I am not happy anymore” situation. It was just an “I am not happy right now” situation. I could’ve saved it. I could’ve just calmed down and let that bad week pass without thinking it is because of you. I was so immature and irrational for leaving you. I mean, who the hell would let a girl who changed him so drastically go? Who the hell would hurt a girl who only wants to spend her life with him? Who the hell is that stupid? I am that stupid. I am, that stupid.

I miss the feeling of your hand in my hand, the feeling of your lips on my lips, the feeling of my lips on your hand. I miss that feeling when you smile for me, or when you pierce my soul with your eyes, or when you whisper really close (and hot) to my ear. I miss you - everything about you.

And I want you back, K. I don’t want you to move on. I don’t want you to hold someone else’s hand, I don’t want you to be kissed anywhere by someone else, ever. I am selfish. But I want you back, forever. I want you back so bad because I realized that I am nothing without you. That only you can tame my demons. That only you are the one I truly loved; and that I still love you - everything about you.

It still breaks my heart to see you crying. It even breaks my heart worse than it did when I can still do something about it.


Let me do something about it.

Your own Jack Dawson and Romeo Montague,
L, age 19


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10 February 2014