She glances at the photo, and the pilot light of memory flickers in her eyes. ~Frank Deford
Dear John Smith*,
I saw a picture of you today, on someone else’s Facebook page. That’s when I realized that we weren’t even directly connected. Isn’t it strange how time can change the roles that people play in our lives? We used to mean so much to each other, in the giddy, light-headed way of a high school infatuation. Nostalgia, unbidden, settles in my chest as I remember the awkward sweetness of that time. You used to make my day with a smile.
You have a different smile now, yet there is still something touchingly familiar about it. Take away that sophistication, that hint of irony, and I can still see the boy who was too shy to ask me to dance. What could have happened to change you? The same thing, probably, that changed me as well, and caused us to drift away from each other. Life.
Yours was the first I love you that I ever wanted to believe. I wonder who’s hearing it now. Did growing up make the words easier for you to say? Or have you, like me, become more cautious, more hesitant? Love is so much easier for those who are unscathed. Somehow, looking at your picture, I cannot say that you are. There’s a wound there somewhere. I wonder how it happened, or if it’s just my imagination. Perhaps I’m too used to having secrets in my own eyes.
In any case, you look good. Different, but good. I hope life is treating you well.
Someone you used to know,
* a code name, so that my friends and I could talk about you in public. 😉