This afternoon I was down in the basement, taking care of some laundry amongst other things, when I stumbled across these old boxes of mine filled with memories. Inside these wooden containers are ski lift tickets, school ids, piles and piles of notes from friends that had been passed during class. There is a necklace made from a guitar pick and a handmade book of inside jokes from middle school with phrases I don't even understand anymore. A majority of the correspondence is from David. High school notes given to me after lunch that I would devour as soon as I got to history class. Stacks and stacks of letters written by him while we attended separate universities, dripping with confessions of love. I think it is such a treasure that I have this written history of our relationship for our children to read years from now. But those aren't the letters that caught my attention.
They are a neat collection of three equal sized envelopes found amongst the stacks. Two letters are typed, one is handwritten. All three are from a boy I had been in love with probably since fifth grade. I thought he was brilliant and charming. Our lives intersected in such a way that we saw each other daily. Sometimes we would sit near each other in orchestra, although not often because he was the best violinist in the school and I barely practiced. We went to the same church and over time both became fixtures in the youth program. But, other than our friendship, I was invisible to him. Oh, he would give me rides home or we'd go grab a bite to eat, but i was always his gal pal.
Then something happened. I moved. To a completely different state. It was such a difficult move for me and over the course of the next year I wrote to him. We began a correspondence wherein he confessed to regretting the choices he had made between the two of us. He said he had taken me for granted and now that I was gone he realized what a big part of his life I had been. He said he loved me.
We never saw each other again. Around the time he sent these letters I had met David. Roughly nine months later we started dating. Fourteen years later we are married and I have piles and piles of love letters from my husband. But those three, those three letters serve as a reminder to me that sometimes the thing you think you want the most is not always what's best for you. Oh, he was a wonderful boy, and I'm sure he became a wonderful man. But I knew him, and I know my husband. And I can't help but think that if some small factor had been different, I might have missed the best thing that could have happened to me.
And one day I want to show these letters to my daughters. I want to tell them about the boy who didn't like me back until it was too late. I want them to know that sometimes it's because you are meant for someone else. Sometimes the letter is enough.
I put the letters back in the stack, called out to my girls, and walked back upstairs to the someone for which I was meant.