I’m From Orlando, FL.

by S.C.

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

Hey, V:

I’m glad I got to see you the other day.

Last night, I told my boyfriend about that weekend when you and I broke up, and the story reminded me, as it always does, that I’m lucky to know you — not just because you’re a lovely and intelligent young woman, but also because you’re so strong and selfless, so big-hearted.

It’s good to see you happy, V. This may sound hollow, but I swear the hardest part of this whole process came in those first few months, watching you struggle to reconcile your gracious, loving decision to help me find myself with the loss and betrayal and abandonment I know you couldn’t help but feel.

I don’t regret asking you out during senior year — if I hadn’t, I might never have worked up the courage to confront, head-on, that awful nagging anxiety that kept me firmly in my shell for so much of high school. Still, eight months is a long time to wait in silence, a long time to hide the fact that every kiss, every cuddle has become a test: “Do I like this? What should I feel right now? How can I finally PROVE to myself that this is what I want?” I regret waiting so long to say anything to you–I regret using you, though of course that’s not how I saw it at the time.

There are a hundred good reasons I could give as to why things had to go the way they did–why it wasn’t my fault. You pursued me, after all. And once things got going, I wasn’t just lying to you; I was lying to myself, as well, and trying my hardest to love you the way you loved me. And after the breakup, is it really surprising that, having fled a thousand miles away for college, I retreated into my studies and neglected your calls and messages? No matter what you said, I knew that you were still in love, and there was nothing I could think to do that would maintain our friendship without prolonging your pain.

Yet, of course, you were hurt anyway, and no matter how I might try to excuse myself, the fact remains that your pain was a product of my weakness and inaction. But among my many blessings, perhaps the most miraculous is that, without ever being asked, you forgave even that most wretched shortcoming on my part: my failure to support you even as you bent your heart and mind to the burden of supporting me. Yes, I needed care and attention, but so did you.

You already know this, but it bears repeating: I’m sorry.

It’s such a relief to see how you’re thriving these days. You look so healthy and happy! Sitting there swapping stories over milkshakes with our old friends was fun–and seeing you smile a big, genuine smile was probably the best, most important thing I did this Spring Break.

I’m very lucky to have you on my side, V. Take care of yourself, and know that I’m here any time you need me.


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