A letter to my first love
I have written this letter more times than I would like to admit. At first, it started as hate mail—STRONG hate mail. (Sorry.) When you first broke up with me, I wrote pages of rage and pain, hoping I would feel better after, but I didn’t. Then a month later, I wrote another one after seeing you for the first time. Again, no part of me felt healed from it. Another letter followed when my grandfather passed away. Except this time there was no hate, only sadness, because I didn’t have your hand to hold. I missed you in that letter. Then a few months later, the animosity came back when I thought you had a new girlfriend. Between these specific moments, I wrote short pieces about what I missed the most, why I was still mad, how I hoped you would feel the same heartbreak one day. All of the things I thought would make me feel better, I wrote down. Now, over a year later, I found what actually helped me heal: time. The cliché I never wanted to listen to ended up being the truth. So now, I sit down to write you what I hope to be the last letter I need to write. I assure you this time, it won’t be angry hate mail or pathetic “miss me like I miss you” mail. Instead, this is a letter of thanks, apology, promise, and hope.
Thank you for giving me a love that hurt so much at the end. Saying goodbye to you, us, and the relationship we had created broke my heart in ways I didn’t think was possible. At first, I was angry at you for this. But over time, I have realized that it hurt as bad as it did because of how passionate and strong our love had grown to be. And for that, I thank you with all that I am. Thank you for giving meaning to all those love songs, romantic comedies, and heartfelt quotes. During our entire relationship, I never doubted your feelings for me. Your gaze never wavered. And I say that with full honesty. I didn’t wonder if you were going to be unfaithful; I knew I was the only girl in your life. Thank you for being somebody that I could fully trust and for being the type of guy who thought I was enough.
Which leads me into the next thank you in order: thank you for teaching me that I was enough for myself. Before we dated, I doubted who I was, how I looked, and what I was doing almost daily. My self-confidence just did not exist. But you showed me how to love myself. By seeing myself through your eyes, I was able to start loving my dark eyes and curved sides. With your help, I heard my laugh differently and felt better about my thighs when I walked. And I don’t think you ever realized that you did it. Your genuine compliments and support showed me my own self-worth. Now in times of doubt, I remember the way you loved me, and it still helps. So thank you.
Now, I could go on for pages and pages thanking you for each aspect of our relationship. Thank you for the candlelit dates, peanut butter pies, basement couch kisses, dirt bike rides, skateboard street lessons, afternoon autumn hikes, hand-holding days, and everything in between. Thank you for giving me a first time that will continue to remain special. Thank you for never pressuring me and letting me decide when. Thank you for loving me the entire way through, and for holding me after. Thank you for being silly with me, and for laughing at my childish sense of humor, but thank you for also arguing with me and not always giving me my way. Thank you for constantly challenging my views and opinions, but for also always listening to them. Like I said, I could go on for pages. But at this point, I think you realize that I’m simply thankful for the entirety of our relationship. As for the final thanks? Thank you for being strong enough to walk away. Because whether or not we wanted to admit it, it was time for us to be apart, and I never would have had the guts to say goodbye.
This is short. Not because I don’t think I have much to apologize for, but because it is easy to sum up. I am sorry for all the times I tried to change you and all the times I made you feel less than. I apologize for not realizing there was nothing about you that needed to be different. You weren’t a project needing to be fixed, and I am sorry if I ever made it seem that way. I can’t say that enough. I am sorry for all my faults that led to our end, and I apologize for not being able to recognize them sooner.
It took me a while, but I am finally at the point where I promise I will stop talking about you in a negative way. Instead, I will continue to recognize that it was a loving, strong relationship that was just ready to end. I promise to start sending nothing but positive thoughts your way. And if there ever comes a point where you need to hear those thoughts out loud, I will be here to tell them to you. I know that a close friendship like we once had is nearly impossible to revisit, but I promise that I will still be there if you ever find yourself with no one else to turn to. I assure you that no matter where life takes us, I will not forget the time we spent together. In the end, I promise to remember that our relationship was special and not everyone has the chance to experience such a passionate love. I promise that if my daughter ever asks to hear the story of my first love, I will tell her with a smile on my face about the first boy I had the privilege to be loved by and how incredibly thankful I was for it.
After all the apologies, thanks, and promises, I only have one thing left. I hope that all of these things mean something to you. I hope that our relationship brings a smile to your face, too. Mainly, I hope that one day you find a love greater than ours, and that you treat her with as much passion and respect and then some more. And I hope she does the same for you. Because you deserve nothing less than the best. You deserve a woman that gives you all that she is without expecting anything in return. And with my whole heart, I finally hope you find that.
Your first love
Sophia Reichert is a small town Georgia peach who adamantly collects VHS movies. Her talents range from eating a jar of Nutella in an hour to being able to sleep for fifteen hours straight. She enjoys biscuits, Scrubs, and apple cider. Currently, she is a studying at Brown University and dreaming about a city life to come.