A Secret Love…
Well, my sweet love, it has been nearly 10 years when my young world ended. I am writing this letter to bridge the gap of years and space between us and to fill that awkwardness that must now exist.
I remember the last time I saw you, and think of it on occasion. It was a misty February afternoon. Piles of wet snow covered the front yard, and a cold rain drizzled on my face. The sky gray and cloudy. I stood there saying nothing at all holding the tears of leaving you behind inside. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it was time to go. I didn’t want you to know that I was leaving. I wanted to make your life easier so you wouldn’t have to see me around town. I wanted you to wonder what had happened to me and always regret your choice. Which for me was a big step.
I can’t tell the story of a secret love. I have chosen to tell the story of you, although you never knew.
I sit here trying to write you a letter of secret love, to tell a story that has touched me or that has left me. It is all a mishmash of broken hearts and tears in my head. Where to start? And to pick just one.
All my loves were secret, because they only existed in my mind, I dare not tell a soul, much less you. Why would I want to jeopardize what I have with you now? Although our time together was just a summer, it was lifetime for me. If you really knew how I felt, I’m sure you would have run away and I would have lost my friend.
I remember the first day I walked into your father’s gallery with my dad. I had driven past this building so many times, yet never knew what treasure was inside. When I was introduced to you my heart was a flutter. You were covered in paint. Your spiky hair, big brown eyes and snaggle teeth were the cutest thing to me. Maybe it was the lure that no one knew you. I could have my private friendship, that none of my friends could disturb. It would be just you and I.
When my father came home that day to announce that your family would be joining us in Toronto for the summer, was the happiest day of my life. Finally, a summer love like in the teen romance novels. I was 12. You were 13.
We were spending the summer with my aunt and uncle outside of Toronto, in North York. It was city, but still green. Even though it was a high rise, there was an outdoor tennis court, and a jungle gym and swings for kids.
I remember to this day how mad Charlene, your sister, was that day. The stickiness of the city was getting to us, so we had been playing in the park outside the apartment building. We had been driving the residents of the building crazy with our trips up and down the elevator, and were now banished outside. I can’t remember how we got into the tennis court to begin with, considering we didn’t even have a key. We just had a ball and playing handball grew tiring after 15 minutes. Although Charlene and I were closer in age, I really had no interest in playing with her and she knew it. Maybe that’s why she locked us inside the court. Little did she know how those three hours spent with you, were the greatest of my young life. Here I was “stuck” with you. Even though we only spent those few weeks together, it was filled with a lifetime of memories, especially that afternoon. It was so hot. I remember how the court got gooier as the afternoon past. There was no shade, so we huddled together behind the only bench attempting to outwit the sun. Talking, sharing. I remember I was wearing my favorite short set, little did I know it would now become my lucky short set too. You just sat there in your dark blue shorts and red top. As we sat in the shade, we shared stories of our everyday lives. You talked of your family in Massey and how things looked happy from the outside, (too vague, maybe I didn’t notice why your parents were fucked up, create drama, tells me some deep dark secret that I don’t get until the end and the regret.) but your parent’s spent the nights fighting when they thought no one could hear. I shared with you my loneliness of being an only child and the fact that there were not a lot of kids my age around to play with. I wished this day would not end, but finally it did, when your little brother, who had been tailing us, had finally went and told my parent’s that we were locked inside the court. To this day I wonder why we didn’t just climb the fence.
Back at school, when I played those silly jump rope games that little girls play, you know the ones were you have to spell out your boyfriend’s name, I always spelled yours. But looking back I was one of those girls who had a boyfriend who lived in another town. They never really did exist.
I saw you less and less, as my dad had found a different gallery to work with and we didn’t go your dad’s gallery anymore. I followed your hockey skills in the local paper. Then you must have stopped playing or just got worst, because I couldn’t find anything about you in the papers. I wanted to write to you, or call you, but I decided against it. You were too cool for me. I was the girl you thought about but never did anything about. It wasn’t until that day I just happened to see your picture in the paper and read the story.
I was now 15. It was May; I was sitting in the living room getting my daily fill of music videos. The windows in the house were opened wide, and the bloom of spring with a touch of rain could be sniffed on the air. The sky its usual blue gray. I am so sorry that I was scared to contact you. I’ll never get to tell you personally how much that summer meant to me. I can only sit here and read this story over and over, filled with regret. I hope that it didn’t hurt and that death came quickly. How brave and scared you must have been. The courage and fear it takes to physically hold a gun to your head and pull the trigger. I wish I could have known you after our time spent together. I’m sure we would have been close. You watched over me that summer and saved me from boredom and myself and I could have done the same for you. I will miss you always, and know that I think of you on occasion and smile as I think of us in that tennis court.
Mention how many years had gone by since this happened and he shot himself
Describe the time of the tennis court
Enjoy the time stuck in tennis court
Be clear about the regret that we didn’t stay in touch (regret – that his family was happy at 13, re
Kind of art, why he was covered in ink, moves the ink
During the 3 hours why didn’t we climb the fence?
What kind of art my dad did.
Don’t get to know what his pain was, address the regret about did I miss something, disappointment that followed, say explicitly
Explain the bravery and strength I speak to
Read about what I don’t know about teen suicide
The smell of fried chicken always reminds me of you. Those few brief years that we spent working together linger in my memory. As I see pictures of you posted on her website, I cringe. How dare she? She broke your heart and now has the nerve to joke about it. Does she not care that I can still kick her ass? My threat still stands. You were always precious to me. Although not really functionally in love myself, I always thought of myself as a protector to you. That’s why I always put that threat out, I knew the other girls were afraid of me. It helps to talk a big talk. I’m not sure why I was attracted to you? You certainly were goofy looking. But then again how could anyone dressed in all white standing over 6 feet with a paper hat on his head not look goofy. Freckle face, stick straight brown hair. You were kinda scrawny. But you with your casual flirting had all the girls eating out of your hand, although you didn’t think so.
I’m glad we kept touch after you left for university. I missed you. Who was going to be my cheerleader at volleyball games yelling from the sidelines how much I sucked and how volleyball wasn’t a real game. I cherished/dreaded the days in college when I would get the strangely addressed letters from Hank’s bar and sperm bank, or some “clinic” in Europe. You don’t know how many times I had to explain these letters. How could people not tell that they were not serious. Really. What I wished I could remember better was that visit. Renee came and picked me up at school. It was fall. Which made the long 8-hour drive to see you much prettier. The hillsides along the north side of Lake Superior were ablaze with yellows, oranges and red maple leafs flying about in the late October wind.