An Old School Goodbye


Volume 8, Issue 06
April 21, 2023

Dear M,

Goodbyes suck. Sometimes saying goodbye is so hard you have to say it a few times. Last time we hung out, I gave you a goodbye hug. About 10 seconds later I gave you a second one, and I could tell you were taken aback. That was a tough goodbye for me, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get to wrap my arms around you again.

I feel like this letter is my third goodbye hug. I’ve written 42 love letters in my life, this is the third I’ve written to you. The 39 others were written to my last love, seven years ago. I would have considered myself so lucky to write to you another three dozen times. For all I know, this will be the last time I write a love letter to anyone for another seven years. I hope I make it count.

I’m the opposite of a quiet person, but when I’m with you I feel a calm come over me. There’s something about the excitement in your voice, the shine in your eyes, the fullness in your laughter that has absolutely floored me every second of knowing you. When I’m spending time with you, I go to a different place. I really do feel like I’ve never known so much yet so little about someone. I constantly want more; my chest seems to burst, and I suddenly wish I could take you everywhere and go nowhere all at once.

Perhaps like I have never loved anyone before, I love you. I am so glad I said those three words to you just a few short months ago, and I thank you for never making me regret saying exactly how I feel.

I was taken aback by how effortlessly you said “Love you” when we ended our phone call the other day. You said it as familiarly as if we had spent every day together since we were first thrown into each other’s lives. You said it despite the fact we have only ever met in person twice.

Once I graduate, I’m going to be far, far away from you once again. After over two years of long
conversations and making plans; I regret we haven’t seen each other more, but the timing never felt right.

Three separate times in these years of loving you as a friend, I had begun dating someone and had to cut things off because I knew that my heart wasn’t mine to give. It belonged to you. Last week, you reached out for the first time in a while and called me when I was on a date. When I picked up the phone and spoke with you, I felt the same comfort and happiness in my heart like nothing had changed. Unfortunately, M, something does have to change.

For two years I have waited, made and changed so many plans to make this 90-mile gap smaller. When the gap grows to over 900, I feel that the renewed distance will bring our romance-flavored-friendship even further from the realm of committed relationship, which had been my deepest hope.

I think this is the time to say goodbye, even though tears roll down my cheeks as I write it. Last week I saw you cry for the first time. Now I guess it’s my turn. It’s tough. Goodbyes feel so unfair when you don’t know if they’re certain.

I like being sure of myself.

The benefit of being so certain was that for two years I knew exactly how much I loved you. I knew from the moment I met you, and since then you have been the thing I wanted the most.

The problem is that you aren’t a thing. You’re an ever-changing person; a beautiful soul and mind that cannot be pursued like the thing I want most.

This has been a difficult letter, a goodbye-that-seems-final-but-we-don’t-get-the-closure-of-knowing-for-sure kind of farewell
that so many in our generation are all too familiar with. The ease of communicating these days makes goodbyes so hard. Those shining eyes and bright voice of yours that I so adore are two taps away in the form of digital memories. These visual reminders, I fear, will tug at my heart strings and do more harm than good. I hope you don’t take it personally when I add some distance between us on social media to match the physical distance.

I think I’d rather keep this goodbye old school. If you feel the need to respond, to reach out, to say whatever you need to say, write me. Send a letter to Street, __, __, and it’ll find me.

Thank you for the fingerprints you left all over my soul.


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Volume 8, Issue 06
April 21, 2023

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