There’s a lot of things I’ve wanted to say to you. I was hoping I could have done this over the phone, so I could hear your voice for last time, but it’s become apparent that it’s not going to happen so here goes.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting these past few months. When I say that being abroad has changed me, I mean it honestly and truly. I feel myself changing more and more every day, and for the better. I’ve gained a new perspective, I’m way out of my comfort zone. I’m independent, I’m feeling #culturedaf in all of these absolutely stunning places, eating delicious food, drinking the best wine, making the best friends I could have ever possibly been lucky enough to meet. They encourage me to be honest, outgoing, and most importantly be myself. I’ve felt more alive and happy and doing what I’ve meant to be doing than I have in a long time.
When we broke up I was unsure of myself, and what I was doing, and I told you I needed time on my own to figure out myself and find who I really am. I believe that I’ve started doing that now and it feels like I’ve been able to take a deep breath for the first time. Being so far away from everything at home allowed me a fresh start, and it made me realize that the world is much too big and life is much too short to keep things in it that don’t belong. I am a new person, a new Gabby, and although you say you don’t like the new me you haven’t really gotten a chance to meet her. You’ve only seen the hurt, scared, and heartbroken one that’s taken place. This year overall has been a huge turning point in my life: I truly started over from scratch and when I return to my senior year in college in the fall, it’s starting all over again. I no longer have toxic relationships in my life like the ones you keep bringing up. I fully intend on keeping my life as happy and healthy as I possibly can because I’ve realized my worth and what I deserve.
That being said, this letter isn’t about me. It’s about us. I’m sitting here on my bed, listening to a playlist I made when I missed you, thinking about our first kiss laying on Dan’s couch. How my stomach flipped upside down and prayed that you would still want to talk to me when we woke up the next morning. Or when we were laying in the back of my car, listening to music, and I told you I loved you the first time. Or when you told me on skype, after weeks of being apart because you couldn’t wait until you got home. I’m thinking about the feeling I had getting off the plane to see you after months of long distance, the feeling of your arms around me and the smell of your favorite cologne that I made you spray everything I had with me before I went home with. I’m thinking about getting drunk with you, eating a curry chip on the walk home, and sitting on that bench for hours listening to music and talking about us. I’m thinking about going to that Ed Sheeran concert with you, freezing our asses off because I insisted on wearing that stupid dress because I wanted to dress up nice for you. I’m thinking of the soundtrack of our relationship, the one that was always on repeat no matter where we were or where we were going. I’m thinking of the way the sun kissed your skin this summer and the look on your face when we walked around the parks, lit up like a little kid, telling me how much you loved me and loved being there with me.
I remember our countless walks around Ames Nowell, going rock climbing until our arms fell off, late night drives for hershey pies or just an excuse to spend some time alone. The countless weekends you spent at school with me, watching House before sleep, and how we always fit in the most perfect way. I remember every game, every sugar you insisted on putting in your coffee, and taking on your serving of veggies because you don’t eat greens. I took your small little notebook, jammed full of the post it- notes and love letters you used to hide around my room for me. I’m dreading going back into my room because it’s full of reminders of you.
How weird it is to read that summary of our lives together. And only now have I felt that sense of finality. While I’ve been moving on from you, it’s hard to forget your first love. It’s hard to ignore the feelings that are so deeply ingrained in me that I doubt they’ll ever leave. This Christmas hurt me more than anything, because I felt the rug get pulled out from under me and leave me breathless. I know I’ll never get an explanation, I’ll never get a reason, for why you acted the way you did and lied so many times, but I’ll get over it. The feeling of your kisses on my skin, your fingers tracing down my spine, they’re starting to fade. I can still hear your voice, whispering to me, singing with me in the car, whistling to get my attention, but it’s less clear.
I’m moving on, and I’m moving forward. And someday I hope to be able to sit down with you, have a drink like we promised, even if it is a far- away May. You were truly the best friend I’ve ever had, and the first love I was lucky to experience, and I’m thankful for the good times we had while they lasted. It doesn’t erase what didn’t go well with us, but every relationship has their ups and downs. I have to do what’s best for me now, and continuing on this path of self growth and exploration. Even if I don’t want to admit it, I still love you, and this will be the last time you’ll hear those words from me. Maybe someday our paths will cross again, but for now this the goodbye I’ll give, even though we always promised we would never say that word to each other.