16 March 2003

Dear Dalandis

Dear Dalandis,

I've always loved you, you know. Even when we were kids. Our families always seemed to look out for one another, even though there was no reason for it. Besides the fact that we were in the same class from preschool to eighth grade, nothing else bound us together. But we were bound.

I still remember your sweet, bright face. Your honey complexion skin was flawless, your smile outshone the sun, and your eyes were a shade of hazel that I've never seen on another person. You were skinny and gangly, nothing but arms, legs and teeth. And because of that I adored you, and that image will be imprinted in my mind forever.

If I could turn back time on that day, I would've said yes. I knew you liked me, and it took so much courage for you to ask the question that you did. But I wanted to be devoted to my ‘boyfriend,' being the good girlfriend that I never seem to be. You were hurt and embarrassed of course, but we were only thirteen. Both of us knew we would go on to better things and people. Both of us were wrong.

I asked about you often after I moved away. My best friends would tell me how gorgeous you were, how you had to beat the girls away with sticks, how you were so smart and kind, how you were sick with cancer, how your insurance wouldn't pay, how your father fought so hard for you, how you suffered and wilted away....

And how you died.

I knew it when I saw the number on my caller ID. You were gone. I almost didn't pick it up, knowing exactly what she was going to say and knowing that I wouldn't be able to go to your funeral. I wouldn't be able to see you, to kiss you goodbye, to tell your father how much I thought about you, to tell you how much I *cared* about you. I would see those girls who were lucky enough to have you, friends who were blessed enough to be around you, and my jealousy would break all limits. I would see my old boyfriend, the one I declined you for, the one who won't even speak to me anymore, and my bitterness would turn so rancid it would dissolve steel.

But you don't know this. You will never know this. And that is what's killing me.

You'll never know how much I thought about you. You'll never know how much I truly cared. You'll never know how much it hurt me to find that you were sick, and weren't going to get better. You'll never know how much it hurt to know that you probably never thought about me.

Dalandis, I write this letter to you for myself. You're too far away to read it.