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  • Whenever I try to write to you, I fall into that familiar trap of being too sentimental, too poetic, and by the end of it I realize that I didn't really say anything. That's the problem with trying to say what you feel- emotions are messy. Usually they can't be contained, or even caught and named in the first place. By the time you sort them out enough to explain yourself- enough to say "I love you" or "I'm sorry"- it's already too late.

    Do you remember the night we walked hand-in-hand onto that boat on the river? It was waiting for us, covered in lights and people and music. You wore your black dress and I wore my suit- my hair freshly cut and yours just curled and my smile bright and wide and your hand gripping mine. You didn't let go for the whole night. Not once.

    But holding on is hard. Holding on to a person- it's like holding a screaming baby or living with an untrained dog. It's raking leaves twice a week and remembering to put snow tires on Chase's truck in Novemeber. It's waking up at 6am to let Rufus out and start the coffee. It's reading faces.

    It's loving you, which, sadly, I could not do.

    I could have kissed your fourhead when you came home from work. I could have held your hand and sat with you in our room, instead of on the couch with my sorrows and half-truths. I could have let you in my head instead of locking all its doors, losing the keys, and closing the curtains.

    I could have let you in.

    I should have smiled at our kisses, our bed, and our locked hands, but I didn't. I should have let myself cry, because in a marriage you can do that. I should have packed my suitcase, loaded it up, and left, because I know that's what you wanted. I knew that's what you wanted. I knew what you wanted.

    For me to either come back to you, or to leave.

    You knew the joys of holding a baby, of feeling Rufus' fur, of raking your own leaves. You knew that fixing Chase's truck and knowing our daughter's faces were privelages. We got to be their parents.

    You know that it wasn't hard- that it shouldn't have been hard- for me to care. To participate. To hold on.

    "Wait," you'd said. "Wait a second. What's your rush?"
    "What is so wrong here?"

    Me. My Self. That's what I lost.
    And I didn't let you help me look for it, so I lost you, too.

    I love you.
    "I'm sorry."
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