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cold weather & you

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Dear Anya Forger,

I miss you.

What the hell—I can’t even write anything. I’ve spent five minutes staring at an almost blank piece of paper and hoping that words come to mind. They don’t.

I guess I’ll just start at the beginning. The gross feelings should start spilling out after that.

The beginning was when you punched me, way back on the first day of school. I don’t know why, but I fell for you completely and utterly. I was yours from the beginning. I mean, even you might have been able to tell, what with that game of Old Maid and the dodgeball match.

And then we became friends. It was still a banter-y sort of friendship, but I liked it. A little too much. I had almost forgotten about your little chokehold on me. It was still there, but I shoved it deeper, choosing not to acknowledge it.

And then it all came rushing back.

It was the way that you didn’t mind when I was selfish, rambling on and on about plays and musicals, about chemistry, about the new book I read. I would ramble until it was late, not realizing that I had kept you listening to my silly rants, and you would say that you liked to listen to me.

It was the way that on late nights, when I was still writing notes, you would text me something funny, and ask if I was okay. (I mean, I probably wasn’t, but just that made me feel okay.) I felt cared for. No one else would ever wake up at 4AM to message me out of pure concern.

And then I told you that I loved you. I vaguely remember babbling something about how I felt like we could be more than friends and that it was okay if you didn’t feel the same way. But then you accepted my confession.

(Because of course you would, right? It was all for the fucking mission.)

That winter was the most wonderful time of all my years, without hyperbole. In retrospect, I loved the way you made me feel way too much. I loved the way it felt hot in my sweater even though it was freezing outside. 

We went to see the opera. We went to listen to the orchestra. We snuck outside to steal kisses from each other on the Eden graduation trip, cheeks flushed from the cold. We celebrated my eighteenth birthday by getting wasted on shitty rum at the bar, and it was so much fun. 

It was the way you told me that I was never going to be alone, ever; that you were going to be beside me all the way. Even if I was alone, lonely, whatever; you would still be there. If only in sentiment.

There was a point in life where I knew that almost everyone ‘liked’ me for my father. Their father had put them up to it—to get close to me so that they could meet my father. I blocked out their faces; scribbled them away in my mind. You weren’t scribbled out. Because you were genuine like no one else.

But then you left me alone. It was February, and it was already warming up. You told me you were moving to Westalis, and you told me everything.

About how you could read minds. About how your dad was a spy. About how you got close to me so that your dad could meet mine.

You. Were. Just. Like. All. The. Others.

So I scribbled out your face. And you knew. Because of those stupid telepathic powers. And you began to cry. I scribbled out your face more, because I’m too weak to those tears; those green, green eyes. You begged me not to forget you, swore that at the beginning, it was for the mission, but you realized that you really loved me.

(Liar, liar, pants on fucking fire.)

It didn’t matter. You were just a big, bad, bundle of scribbles now. And then you disappeared into spring.

I decided to forget you. (You really did leave, then.) Life felt like it was missing something. I felt like shit. When I stayed up late to study and felt my eyes droop, I would hear an invisible notification. I found myself without someone to rant to about my musicals and chemistry and books, and even if they were willing to listen, they didn’t listen . For the first time in a long time, I felt truly alone, and I didn’t know why. 

Then came April. It was officially spring, and I found myself wishing that it was winter again. 

Then came May. I found myself idly going to the place where Eden’s graduation trip happened. There was a lost memory here. A nutty taste on my lips that was out of place. 

Then came June. I found myself wanting to go to a bar. I had been there tons of time, to drink. I didn’t know why this place brought back tender feelings.

Then came July. I found myself wanting to go to see a symphony. I’d heard it before, but it didn’t strike a chord in me anymore. 

Then came August, warm and sticky. I went to the opera on a sunny night. I had missed this place. (I still do.) When I was walking home, I came across a bridge. And then it all came rushing back again.

A girl who tasted like peanuts, a girl who got drunk with me, a girl who listened to a symphony with me and laid her head on my shoulder as the melody soared, and a girl who held my hand and made my mind go blank for the entirety of an opera.

A girl who wore a beautiful dress that made her look like a snow angel, waiting for me on that bridge.

(I wish it was still winter.)

But she was still a girl who used me for my father. 

So what was this homesickness? I missed it all; the opera, the symphony, the graduation trip, that bar.

No—it wasn’t that I missed those places. They didn’t feel like home. I just missed you.

But I shouldn’t miss you. Not after all those fake smiles and fake kisses. I bet you never even liked me.

So why do I go back to the bridge every day, hoping that you’ll be there, in a beautiful, angelic dress, because I just can’t fucking forget how you looked that night?

Because I don’t need anything else as much as I need you.

(Are you having fun in Westalis, with your spy dad? Is there someone new you’re seeing? It’s what I want to ask, but it feels too hopeful. Like I’ll get a reply from you.)

It took me six sad months to realize.

I miss you, Anya Forger.


Yours, truly and forever,