This is not a love letter. It is simply an explanation to the person that I once loved, to the person that I still love. You. It has taken time to put my thoughts and feelings into words, so much time that you are long gone, and I have been long since missing you. You never heard about these two days, because by the time I was desperate to tell you, you were already gone.
My heart was still fluttering from the night before when I woke up and memories flooded warmly into my brain as I rolled over in bed. Thoughts of your front steps, leaning against you as the sun set, laughing for hours into the night, your soft lips on mine for the first time. I hid under my covers that morning, trying for what felt like eternities to travel back in time. I was young and in love, in love with you, and I felt like the happiest person in the world.
I began my day with the brightest of attitudes, laughing absentmindedly as I rubbed shampoo through my hair, twirling through my room with thoughts of you and only you on my mind. My music was blasting through my room and down the hallway, and my mom had to come upstairs and turn down the volume herself in order for me to not wake up the whole neighborhood. It was a Saturday, after all, and the neighbors deserved to sleep in a little. But nothing that anyone said could turn down the volume on my joy for even a second, because you and only you had mattered in that moment and for one day I allowed myself to live in an unbreakable state of bliss.
No matter how hard I tried, my smile refused to leave my face, and after a while I just gave up because it was a symbol that I was so in love with you that it would never go away.
My brother pushed past me as I skipped downstairs, muttering, “Freak” under his breath. I poked him in the bicep and rolled my eyes, grinning ridiculously. I danced past my mother, who was skinning carrots over the sink, and she wrapped her arm around me to hold me steady and said, “You had a good night with Isaac, I suppose?”
“You know it,” I answered.
“Would you like to add any detail?” she asked, looking me in the eyes.
“No, I would not like to,” I said, for last night’s happiness was for me and for you and no one else.
“Alright,” she said with a sigh, turning back to the carrots.
I walked to the couch, my bowl of oatmeal warming my hand, and curled up under a blanket. Nothing on any of the channels satisfied my busy mind.
My parents left home at separate times that morning to go to meetings or whatever they could possibly be doing in the summer. They left me with things to do, and I vowed to myself that I would do them before I even thought of calling you.
I couldn't do it, Isaac. I couldn't concentrate on something else when the only thing that deserved my attention was you. I sat there, at the kitchen table, for hours, trying to concentrate enough to write one simple thank you note, and in all that time I barely got past the first sentence.
I gave up on all of the things that I was supposed to do. It was a bright and sunny July day, so I went outside. The grass in my backyard was freshly cut and it tickled my toes as I ran to the hammock. I lay there, my back pressing onto the rough rope, tapping my fingernails on the back of my phone and looking at your contact.
I was so nervous to call you, Isaac, because I didn't know what to say. But I wanted to talk to you so badly. I told myself that all I had to do was be brave. So I decided to be brave and I pressed the call button.
As soon as I heard the first ring my stomach came alive with excitement and butterflies. I bit my lip as I grinned and slowly rocked the hammock back and forth, back and forth.
The phone rang four more times in my ear before your voicemail picked up. My stomach dropped a little and my smile slightly faltered, but I left you a quick message and went back inside.
I called you again later that day, and just like the last time, you didn't pick up. I didn't leave you a message that time, because I didn't want to seem needy and I figured, that at 4 in the afternoon on a beautiful summer day, you were probably doing something, as were most people.
I couldn't help but wonder about you, that night as I fell asleep. Why didn't you pick up the phone? Or, at least, why didn't you call me back?
The next day started just like the day before had. I was giddy and excited, because I wanted to see you so badly, Isaac, I really did. I refused to take no for an answer, and no one had ever said no. I interpreted your silence as simply being busy, something that I knew all about. Sometimes one doesn’t have time to talk, and I forced myself to accept that. I loved you and trusted you, and so I made nothing of your silence.
During the school year, a Sunday would have been a dreary boring day in which to cram in all of your last minute homework before Monday begins. But Sundays in the summer are just like any other day - a day to stay up late, be with your friends, and do whatever you wanted, because it’s summer, a ten week break from reality. And, on that humid Sunday, the only thing I wanted to do was be with you.
I spent most of that morning sitting on the couch with my laptop. I watched cooking shows and dramas and romance movies, and by two o’clock in the afternoon, my back was aching and I was ready to get out of the house and go see you. I hadn’t even spent very long without you, and already my heart was bursting with love and longing for you.
I danced to my music as I got ready. I was wearing a light green dress that ended right above my knees. I brushed my long hair and applied just a touch of makeup, even though I knew I was being ridiculous. You didn’t care what I looked like. You just cared about me.
I walked down the hall to my father’s study and knocked lightly on the door frame so I wouldn’t surprise him. He looked up from his computer screen and smiled at me. “What can I do for you, sugarplum?”
“Can I borrow your car?” I asked, smiling hopefully and raising my eyebrows.
He looked at me questioningly. “What for?”
“I want to take a little drive, I guess?” I improvised.
“The boy?” he asked, chuckling.
He tossed the keys to me. “Have fun and be careful.”
My heart was pounding as I went outside and got in the car. I had been waiting to see you for a day and a half, and I was so ready. The car started almost silently and I glided out of the driveway. The drive to your house was ten minutes long, so during those ten minutes I thought about you. I picked at one of my fingernails as I sat at a stoplight, imagining the moment when you answered the door.
I imagined your face breaking into a smile, apologizing for not calling me. I imagined you wrapping your arms around me and pulling me into a sweet smelling hug. I imagined you kissing me with my face in your hands.
I parked my car in front of your house and quickly scampered up to your doorstep. I rang the doorbell once and bumped my knees together as I waited. And waited. I rang the bell again. No one answered. There were no cars in your driveway. I know that because I checked. I called you three times more. You didn't answer. I felt like I had just swallowed an ice cube. Shaking, I stepped off of your porch and peered into the living room window.
Your house was empty. There was no furniture, no books, and no signs of life. Just brightly colored walls and hardwood floors. I sprinted back to my dad’s car before the tears started to fall.
I was speeding a little on my drive back home. Mascara was all over my face and I was hyperventilating by the time I pulled into the driveway. I sprinted past my mother, who was at the dinner table writing a check, and she gave me a shocked look and started to follow. I ran, stumbling, all the way up to my room and slammed the door in her face.
Memories and hopes and dreams and thoughts of you came flooding back to me as I lay there sobbing. I cried myself to sleep, and that night, I dreamed of you.
I have dreamed of you every night since then. It’s been almost two years.
Where did you go? Why did you leave? I loved you, and I thought you loved me, and you broke my heart. No one had ever looked at me the way you did. With you, I was happy and I felt like I had a purpose. Were you just a part of my imagination?
I spent the rest of the summer wondering where you were. I found out in the fall that you weren’t registered for senior year, and the school had no records of where you went. Your old friends didn’t know why you had left or where you had gone. You had simply disappeared.
He’s just a boy, my mother would say. He’s just a boy. But here’s the thing, Isaac. You weren’t just a boy to me. You were special, and you were art. You had a smooth silky voice that melted my heart. You had a loud, clear laugh. You were shy, but you were so talented. You had warm hands and strong arms that fit perfectly around my shoulders. You had dreamy eyes that seemed to have the sky trapped inside of them, and with just one look from you, I was yours. And the thing that stumps me is that you had so much going for you. If you had all of that, why would you leave?
I’m still searching for you, Isaac. I’m still in love with you. I have prepared myself to live life without you, but I will only truly give up when I know for sure that you can’t be found, and I don’t know that yet. I hate you for leaving. I love you with all of my heart. I miss you so much.