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it's planting seeds in a garden you never get to see

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„Dear Luisa,

I hope this letter finds you well. I’m on the island now. You know that I had to leave. Knowing it didn’t make it easier for me though. Did it make it easier for you? You wouldn’t have wanted me anyway so why should I have stayed? I like it here. Devin and Ryan are here too, you met them, remember? They care for me and make sure I don’t get discovered. The island is pretty safe though. I haven’t made any friends yet, but I’m also just here a few days. I’m not good at that anyway. I mean look at where that landed me last time.

I hope you’re safe and well,

Clara Rose

 

two weeks later

Dear Luisa,

I don’t even know why I’m writing you. It’s not like I could sent you these letters anyway. Or that you would read them if you got them. None of that is guaranteed, but I can feel myself slip away into a fantasy in which you receive my letters, read them and reply to me. Letters in which you write about how happy you are, how much you miss me (just as much as I miss you?), how often you think about me (Do you think about me at all? I think about you constantly. That’s why it’s so dangerous to lose myself in a daydream like this. I can’t handle the possibility of it all never coming true) or what you’re doing at the moment. I’m still mesmerized by every little thing you do. I still love like you. I hope your father treats you well and your classmates as well. I always promised to punch the silliness out of them, but you never took me up on that offer. Sometimes I wish you did. You’re not stuck with them forever, you know? You’ll find your people, who accept and like you and then you never have to be afraid again. Do you imagine me being a part of that friend group? Am I the only one who dreams about a future where we could do whatever we wanted, live together, have our friends, our lives, without anyone bothering us? Without anyone telling us it’s wrong? Without anyone tearing us apart?

Yours always,

Clara Rose

 

three weeks later

Luisa,

The sisters caught wind of my letters. They know I’m writing you. They force me to sign under a different name. I had to change it in my previous letters. Please forgive me, dear. It’s not like you are ever going to see them, but I felt like I needed to apologize anyways. I enjoy writing you, telling you about things that happen here. It’s casual, it’s free, it’s fun, everything we used to tell each other before everything went downhill. Do you remember that time Elizabeth fell from her horse during our riding classes? We laughed and the punishment was unpleasant, but it was worth it. We used to sit on the fallen trees and play when no one looked, because it seemed boyish and not “lady like”. We always hated it. I hated it. Here, they give me reading lessons and give me time to play with others and climb in the trees, but teach me manners in a different class too. I would love it here if I wouldn’t think every waking moment of you and how soft your hair and your skin and your fingers felt beneath my touch. I’m always thinking of the moments we shared, the times we laughed, we cried and enjoyed each other’s company. Late at night, when I’m certain no one is awake to control me, I let myself dare to think about how soft your lips felt on mine, how perfect yours fit to mine, like we’re destined, or bespoke. Like destiny created your lips for mine only and mine for yours only. I remember how uncertain you looked, how scared, terrified even, you were. I was too. We had every reason to be terrified, our fears were always justified. I just never thought it would be over so soon. How am I supposed to fall asleep, to eat, to breathe without the certainty that you know exactly what I feel for you? How can they expect me to focus on my studies when my head is full of thoughts of you, of how you smelled, honey and cinnamon, and how it always felt like home to me? They don’t try to make me different here, which is the only thing everyone else has in mind when they know what I’ve done. I don’t like the way it sounds. It sounds like I’ve broken the law and did something bad/terrible, but all I’ve done is fall in love with my best friend. That can’t be wrong, can it? I’m sorry the world isn’t ready for us yet, darling. I don’t understand it and one of the sisters said I won’t for years, but I don’t think I’ll ever understand why you want to separate two people who love each other. Isn’t love between two girls the purest kind of love one can experience? For me, it feels like that, but then, I’ve got nothing to compare it to. I should really end this letter here. Taffy is pulling me out to play in a few minutes. I call her Taffy, but her name is really Tabetha, but she thinks it’s too uptight and long for someone as chippy and free as her and I agree. She’s trying to be my friend and I appreciate it, but it’s hard for me.

I miss you,

Cl Rose

 

one week later

My dearest Luisa,

I wish I had known about the hole in my dress. I keep going back to that afternoon, what could have been different, what would have been different if I had chosen a different time, a different place, a different cloth to cover up the windows. Your father came home early (not my fault), he looked up at your window because he wanted to surprise you (not my fault) and he saw us through the holes in my dress, the dress which should have covered the window (my fault), which I didn’t know about, so technically it is not my fault. Why do I feel like it is my fault, my blame to shoulder though? I am still guilt-ridden about it, in this very moment as I’m writing these words you never get to read. I feel like that every time I write you, but this is truly the only way I can still feel connected to you. I’ll always want to stay close to you and if this lonely one-way communication is the only way, then I’ll take it with greedy hands. Greediness isn’t ladylike, but which good thing ever is? It’s like they’re trying to keep us in cages. First, they teach us that our body is a cage and we can never like it, then they trap our mind in our skull and tell us we can never achieve anything because we’re women. They are such fools. I’m sure you would have agreed with me. You were always very outspoken about what you believed in. I loved that about you. Still love. I am quite charmed by your fearlessness. It has always been not the absence of fear, as many assume, but the bravery to do to something you want to in spite of your fear. That’s what most people get wrong about you. They mistake your fearlessness for boldness and arrogance and treat my silent admiration as something dark and twisted. Society is not our dearest friend, I know.

Whenever I think about how you may feel in this very moment, I wonder if your heart still beats as much as mine does whenever I think about you, if your heart is safe and protected out there without me you’re probably better off without me and my foolish heart longing after your fragile heart, if you’re safe and protected out there in the world. It’s a big, wide world. We’d said we’d see all of it someday and now I’m questioning if I’ll see you again in this lifetime or if these childhood years spent with you were the only time that was given to us. I don’t like this change of things. You were supposed to be beside me, you were supposed to be here with me, you were supposed to know when your dad comes home even though I would never blame you for it or make you feel guilty, you were supposed to know so my eyes would never knew how it looks like when your best friend’s father starts beating the shit out of his daughter. You were supposed to know so my heart couldn’t recall the pain it felt when I saw that the love of my life is in great danger of dying. You don’t know how fragile you felt in my arms. I never wanted to know how delicate and weak a human being can look like, I never felt the need to know everything about the human body, because then I would know how easily breakable these treacherous bodies are. They give you a sense of security and safety and in the next second, they betray you and let you down and just die. I wish you would’ve known that your father would work early because he wrote it on a note that sat on top of your unfinished schoolwork, which I saw hours, could be days, later. He ran out afterwards, but I stayed, I couldn’t tear my eyes from you. I wish you would’ve known so my eyes never knew what it looked like when the life slipped out of your best friend’s, your girlfriend’s eyes. I wish you would’ve known so I could spare my heart the pain of knowing what it felt like to hold your warm body and feel it slowly getting cold. I just wish you would have known. Or I would’ve known, in the end it doesn’t make a difference if you would’ve known or not, it would have happened someday or another. We were foolish to think we could hide and play pretend until we could travel far away and lead a new life. A new life you never get to lead, a life that could’ve been filled with joy or misery, I could’ve kissed you a thousand times more or could’ve broken up with you in ten years, you could’ve been responsible for the next breakthrough in science or in literature and now the world has to wait for thirty more years for what you would’ve done if only you had more time.

But all this talk of what you could’ve done or could’ve been is pointless. It leads to nothing, except to more thoughts about you. How should they fit into my head, which is already filled to the brim with thoughts of you? Where shall they find its place, where shall they rest, when there’s already so much of you there? Sometimes I do something regular as help a sister with the cleaning up after dinner and then I remember little things about you like how much you hated cleaning up after dinner and always tried to distract me with intriguing questions about the world and the universe and you wouldn’t let go until I promised that we would ask Miss Oswald first thing in the next lecture. Whenever that happens, I get so overwhelmed with how vibrant and alive you used to be and I need to sit down and let Sister Theresia finish cleaning up alone, because I’m overwhelmed by the essence of you and how less there is left of you. You live in my mind, my heart and my memories, but there’s no one I can share you with. And the selfish, little fool that I am want to keep you for myself, but I started telling Taffy about you sometimes when she coaxes me out again. It’s not fair to the world and the universe to keep you all to myself, dear. I love you.

Rose

 

thirty years later

Hello dear,

It’s me. I’ve written you countless letters over the years, they’re coming out of every drawer I put them in, like they’re having a life of their own and don’t want to be held captive behind locked doors. Quite like you, dear. I still miss you terribly, and every once in a while, I allow myself to think about you like I did back then, with all of the emotion and the pain, but Mrs. Williams says I should give myself days to feel and days to remember – But not all at the same time. She is quite smart, Mrs. Williams. She is married to a charming man and they have a lovely daughter, who dates a rather hyperactive blonde woman. You’re probably asking yourself why I am telling you this. Times have changed, my love. While it is still not acceptable in many countries, there is so much to be happy about. You could marry me in our country now and you wouldn’t even need to wear a dress, you could wear a suit as well! Darling, you would look amazing in a suit. I’m in love with you. Even after all these years, I am still in love with you. My head is not filled with you at every second of every hour anymore, because I have a daughter to take care of and Mrs. Williams said it’s not healthy for me, but I still think of you every day. I adopted my daughter ten years ago and named her Mia Luisa, after you. I still remembered our conversation about children and in a way, you’re her second parent and we got to be parents after all. I tell her about you (only the good things, of course!) and I tell her how happy we were and how unfortunate we were at the same time, but most of all, I tell her that’s she so much like you. You would’ve loved her. She has your opinions and need to let them all out, which is quite endearing, but she doesn’t know in which situation it’s okay to share your thoughts and when it’s considered rude yet. She has a good heart and I love her so much.

I won’t join you for quite some time, but do wait up for me?

Clara