always articulated distance, a withdrawal.
Darling, there are just as many ways

of saying goodbye as there are ways
of letting you go. The boat is narrow

like the width of my heart after
impossible loss, cruel resignation;

— an excerpt from “Boats,” by Cyril Wong

I.

I sent you two letters a year ago. Two letters I’m convinced you haven’t read, maybe because you’ve never replied and because you’ve persisted to maintain that false story.

I have so many reasons to hate you: far more than I’ve ever given you. We have mutual friends and I think they still respect you (I believe there is always a bit of respect in friendships) and I don’t understand why. I wonder if you have friends who are honest with you.

Sometimes I ask myself why you did that and why you said those things. Why all those lies? For a while I could understand until I couldn’t (darling, you forget I know what heartbreak feels like and how letting go feels like. But you went past understandable and went bat-shit crazy instead). It was easy to hate you, then.

Sometimes I wonder if there was a possibility that we could have been friends. (I’m sure there isn’t.)

Sometimes I wonder, if I did things differently would you have reacted differently? A new year and I believe you wouldn’t.

I confess, I look at your  blog sometimes, and wish that you’re happy (which I hope would mean that you’ve finally accepted the truth and stopped manipulating the past and milking other people for sympathy. I remember all the things you’ve said back then and I know you won’t get the sympathy you want with the Real Story. Let me remind you who wanted to break things off first, who wanted to impress someone else first, who said she didn’t want to settle, who did not give second-chances, who was so confident about her decision — let me remind you of those things you’ve said to me that I haven’t spread in a flurry of gossip because you told me these things in confidence. Let me remind you of That Story and tell me why).

There are things I’ve heard that convince me you haven’t moved on. I see you smile in your photos and I have those few memories to fall back to (I did not know you well) and I wonder who it was I thought I knew? It’s so easy to fool people, I suppose.

I try to convince myself I don’t need an apology. That if only you’d realize how wrong you were (are?) too, then I’d be content. But I know that’s not true.

I’m sorry; I know you haven’t forgiven me. I wish you would because I want to forgive you, too. If only forgiveness was something like give-and-take.

I hope this year I can forgive you fully, for everything.

II.

I wonder why you couldn’t have tried to work it out with me sooner. Maybe we weren’t friends enough. I’m grateful you sent me a short letter before the year ended. It didn’t answer the questions (I doubt you ever will), but if you’re not willing to explain more than you’ve already said then I can accept that. The questions no longer matter as much as they did before (when they drove me crazy), and my willingness to understand disappeared with that.

I haven’t replied yet — but I will. I doubt we’ll ever be friends again and a part of me regrets that (because I remember being so willing, once).

III.

I don’t know how I can ever forgive you. I try to convince myself that I already have but you’re the one thing I’m unsatisfied with in my relationship so I think that means I haven’t yet.

IV.

I never hated you or blamed you or anything, and you didn’t deserve it, but keeping all of you in my life is something I couldn’t take at that time. I’m sorry, but it’s better this way, I promise. Otherwise, I will keep on doubting friendships and principles far more than I already do.

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