The Past and Present


Dear Quondam,

There are some things I need to say to you.  Words I should have said a long time ago, but never had the courage to say.  Things that have lain between us for nearly twenty years, left unsaid and festering.  Now the scab has been removed from the wound in my heart, and it is time to clean out the mess, including what has been left by these unspoken words.

I think you now know that our time together was doomed from the start.  Right from the very beginning, in fact years before we met, our future had been destroyed by the things that had been taken by force from me as a child, by someone who was meant to protect me.  I was not whole, even at our first meeting, so our feelings for each other never had a hope of blossoming into anything more than nameless, shapeless forms that were destined to remain unidentified and unexplored.

Oh, we tried to make things work, I know that, but neither of us had the knowledge, experience or skills to understand that our problems were not really ours.  The problems that we had, well ninety-nine percent of them anyway, were rooted in all the secrets I carried with me.  In all the fears I tried to keep buried, all the nightmares I never told you about, and my constant expectation that the world would end without warning if you became to close to me emotionally.

Thanks to our ignorance, when we parted I did not feel the slightest twinge of sadness and regret.  To be honest, I didn’t feel anything, not even indifference.  I just carried on and tackled the challenges that came my way to the best of my abilities.  I never regretted or begrudged our time together, but I didn’t dwell on our past or fantasise about a reunion either.

Almost two decades later I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed and confused.  All the feelings that I never identified or acknowledged are now pouring out of my inner core.  With each conversation that we have, I am not only flooded with memories, but with the unacknowledged feelings that go with them.  Did I really feel all of this at the time?  Or am I now creating fantasies of what should have been?

It is hard to know if these feelings were there in the past or not.  I would like to think that they were.  It would be nice to think that the unconscious parts of ourselves did know that we truly cared for each other, even if our conscious minds didn’t care less.

When I talk to you now, I feel like you know who I really am.  I feel as though I can tell you anything and you will not judge me, nor will you feel any differently about me after listening to what I have to say. I feel as though I can turn to you when the chips are down and that you will be there to pick me up.  I feel as though we are connected on a soul level, and that no matter what we do, that connection will only ever get stronger not weaker.  I feel like we have wasted too many years not speaking, not caring, and not listening.  I feel tempted to make up for lost time.

On the other hand, I know that things will never change.  We will never be anything more than what we are right now – but there isn’t a name for whatever we are.  We’re not lovers, but we have been.  We’re not friends, but we could have been.  We’re not family, but we should have been.

I will never recover the things that were stolen from me, I know that now, but I am learning that I can live without them.  I wish I had learnt it sooner, so that we could have benefited from an amazing opportunity to build a life together.

The final thing I want to say right now is “Thank You”, and I look forward to talking to you again soon.

Yours in memory,

Au Courant

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