…Let me explain. R, my love, my wonderful husband, let me explain. You look up and see me staring and give me a funny look, but what you can’t hope to see is what is behind the curtains. When I see you, I think of our past.
17, when we first met. I thought you hated me.
18, I moved to California. I figured I wouldn’t see you again, which was cool, cause you hated me, I thought.
19, We met again. You had started dating my best friend. Still sure you hated me.
20, we’ve talked a lot by now. I know you don’t hate me, I guess you’re pretty cool.
21-23, I meet her. I start withdrawing.
22, You’re one of my best friends now. I told you she hit me, and you defended me. I leave with her anyway to another state.
23, I come back. You let me live with you. I’m broken. It takes me a while to tell you. You take care of me, even though you’ve got a mentally ill wife, your life is falling apart around you, and you work over 60 hours a week. You never yell at me. You take it in stride that getting up is a monumental success. You help me help myself. Everything bottoms out in your life. Your wife, my best friend, leaves us in the dust. Certain of her delusions about us.
23, You ask me if I like you. My heart jumps in my throat. I always told you I’d be honest, so I return to our home believing I’m putting our friendship to the gallows. I told you I did, and you surprised me. The feeling was mutual. August we start dating. We share our first kiss. You kiss good.
24, I start breaking down again. Things are getting stressful. You ride the waves of my ups and downs. I’m sorry I’m so mean sometimes. You stay by my side.
25, Things are getting really bad now. I tried to leave again. It was just supposed to be a walk to calm down. I’m sorry I tried to hitchhike away. I wish I could explain my thoughts to you. Still, you take care of me. You explain that leaving like that isn’t normal.
26, My panic attacks are in full swing, as is my depression. I can’t go outside, I can’t open the mail. I’m unable to work, and I have a tendency of lashing back at you. You convince me to go to a psych hospital. I’m there for a week, I come back doing better. You’re there with open arms.
26, I stop taking my meds. You see it, but don’t yell at me. You coax me back to the psych hospital. I hate you. I don’t want to take to you anymore. 3 days and new meds later, I call you. I’m sorry. You’re still there with open arms. I ask you if you would visit. You tell me of course.
27, I thank you. I’ve held this job for almost a year, not too long to go now. You saved my life, and I don’t even think you really know this. I’m finally stable, and I couldn’t have done it without you. I stare at you, and think about our colorful and wonderful past. You see me stare, and look at me funny.
I wish you could read my mind, because all I can manage is
“I love you so much.”