An envelope, which had once touched my lips when I sealed it, now lay on the table, waiting to be dropped off in the mailbox. It sat there, a harmless piece of paper and ink, yet it held the weight of a thousand unspoken words and unanswered questions. The sticky taste I felt on my tongue when I sealed it left me wondering, did I ever truly want to love you this much?

I couldn’t help but contemplate if your kisses were like poison on my lips, slowly seeping into my soul and corroding my heart. Or were they another way to seal my words and emotions, locking them away behind a facade of passion and desire?

I remembered how I pressed the corners of the envelope, almost obsessively, to ensure it wouldn’t peel open later. It was as if I was trying to hold back the flood of emotions that threatened to spill out, to keep my true feelings locked away in that fragile paper prison. But was it really to preserve our secrets, or was it to prevent me from opening my mouth and confessing what I knew would forever change us?

As I stared at that envelope, I couldn’t help but see it as a metaphor for my life. Everything I had put off, all the promises I had made to myself, lay dormant like that letter, waiting for a better time, a more convenient moment. I had told myself, “Later, I’ll go to my favorite place. Later, I’ll live the life I’ve always dreamed of. Later, I’ll smile. Later, I’ll speak.” But later never seemed to arrive.

The envelope, with its sealed secrets, served as a reminder of my hesitation, my fear of confronting my own desires and emotions. It was a reflection of all the unsent letters, the unsaid words, and the unfulfilled dreams that had accumulated in the drafts of my life.

As I picked up the envelope, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was time to break the seal, release those hidden feelings, and finally live the life I had always imagined. Or would I continue to regret you in drafts, forever haunted by the words left unspoken and the love left unexpressed?

“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.”
― Ted Hughes

There wasn’t a good time to tell you how much you hurt me. It’s not that I didn’t want to, but every time I looked into your empty eyes, eyes that wouldn’t see me the way I yearned to be seen, the words caught in my throat like a stubborn lump of bitterness. I became the shadow of myself, the one who never voiced the turmoil in my heart, the one who kept silent through every vowel and petrified every consonant.

I wore a mask, a practiced smile, whenever you told me you loved me. We both knew it was a lie, a painful charade we danced around. You were good at spinning tales, and I was an expert at believing them, convincing myself that maybe, just maybe, this time it would be different. But deep down, I knew the truth. Love had become a foreign concept in our relationship.

I had swallowed lies for so long that they piled up on the tip of my tongue until I felt nauseous with deception. Yet you remained oblivious to it all, lost in your own world, where I was nothing more than a ghostly presence. My suffering was hidden, carefully tucked away so as not to disrupt your mood, your equilibrium. I tiptoed around you, walking on eggshells, afraid to make you uncomfortable, even as my own toes were numb and pounding with pain.

I had to remember what I liked and act accordingly because any deviation from your expectations would send you into a rage. I couldn’t be so selfish, right? My desires, my dreams, my needs—all of them were secondary to your urges. I became a puppet, dancing to your tune, wearing a mask to hide my pain, and swallowing my own voice until it became a mere whisper, barely audible even to myself.

But as I stood there, looking at that sealed envelope, I felt a flicker of something I hadn’t felt in a long time—hope. Maybe it was time to break free from this suffocating silence, to find my own voice, and to finally demand the love and respect I deserved. The pain had carved an abyss in my heart, but maybe, just maybe, I could fill it with self-worth and the courage to speak my truth. It was time to stop regretting you in drafts and start writing my own story, one where I was no longer invisible, no longer shackled by your expectations.

“Eventually something you love is going to be taken away. And then you will fall to the floor crying. And then, however much later, it is finally happening to you: you’re falling to the floor crying thinking, “I am falling to the floor crying,” but there’s an element of the ridiculous to it — you knew it would happen and, even worse, while you’re on the floor crying you look at the place where the wall meets the floor and you realize you didn’t paint it very well.”
Richard Siken

But those days are over, and I can finally breathe. I can smile, and, most importantly, I can speak—loudly and articulately. All the words you never wanted to hear, all the pain you refused to see or acknowledge, I now possess them all like a precious treasure, one I would protect at any cost, even if it meant putting my life on the line.

It wasn’t easy to piece myself back together, to recover the splinters of my broken soul, and to heal the wounds you inflicted, but I summoned every ounce of strength within me and willed myself to stand up. And here I am, alive and thriving. I may not be the same person I was before, but I’m not dead either, even though some days I feel like I’m barely moving. The journey out of that hellish existence was longer and more demanding than I ever anticipated, but I made it through.

There’s no one here to discourage me now, but there’s also no one here to encourage me. And strangely, I’ve found solace in the solitude. I don’t glance at the clock obsessively anymore because I no longer need to be on time for anyone else. Even though nobody waits for me, I don’t feel lonely. I’ve come to embrace the freedom of time, where hours and minutes are fluid concepts. AM or PM doesn’t matter; I have all the time in the world to do as I please.

I can cook whatever I like at home or indulge in a restaurant meal laced with garlic, without feeling the need to justify my tastes and desires. I can even have that second portion of dessert if I want, simply because my hormones are craving it. No longer do I have to tiptoe around someone else’s expectations, stifling my true self to maintain an illusion of harmony.

In this newfound chapter of my life, I’m learning to be unapologetically me, to relish in the freedom of self-expression, and to cherish the power of my own voice. The scars you left are a testament to my strength, a reminder that I survived and emerged stronger. And as I move forward, I savor the beauty of every unburdened moment, where I am the author of my own story, the keeper of my own dreams, and the master of my own time.

“We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.”
― Steve Maraboli

I dress up the way I like, not worrying about the extra weight I gain because there’s no one around to criticize my appearance. I wear my wrinkles and scars with pride, for they are the marks of a life well-lived. Some days, I still enjoy putting on makeup, but I do it because it makes me feel good, not to conform to someone else’s expectations or to avoid embarrassing you.

I go out anytime and anywhere I want, relishing the freedom to meet my friends, even those you never liked. I no longer seek your approval or feel the need to have my every move tracked. I get lost sometimes, but only in the pages of the books I devour or amidst the enchanting beauty of rose gardens.

I drive freely, wherever the wheels take me, and there’s no one to shuffle words through my thoughts except for the wind that rushes through my hair as I speed down the highways of my life. My days are now a world apart from what they once were with you. But let me be clear: I bear no regrets, no lingering doubts about the choices I’ve made.

My life has moved on, far away from the shadow you cast over it. Today, I am happy—infinitely happier without you. I’ve found the strength to be my authentic self, to revel in the simple joys of existence, and to embrace the journey of self-discovery. In the absence of your presence, I’ve discovered the true essence of freedom and enjoyment. This is my life now, and it’s a life I wouldn’t trade for anything, a life where I am the captain of my own ship, steering it toward a brighter, happier future.

“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.”
― Shannon L. Alder

I wish I could have found the courage to tell you all of this before you hurt me before you became the anchor that kept me stuck in a stormy sea of misery. But the past is the past, and I’ve finally found my way out of that suffocating darkness.

Today, as I stand at the mailbox, I’m dropping off this letter that has lingered in the drafts for far too long. There’s no return address, no need for one because I no longer require the empty words and false promises that were your specialty. You see, you are dead to me now, and that’s the only closure I need.

Rest in peace, but not in my heart. My heart has found a new rhythm, a new song to sing, and it no longer carries the weight of your memory. As I release this letter, I also release the last vestiges of my attachment to you. The shackles that bound me to your deceit and manipulation have been shattered, and I am free.

With each step away from that mailbox, I feel a newfound lightness in my spirit. I am no longer burdened by the pain and suffering you caused. Instead, I’m moving forward, carrying the lessons I’ve learned as precious jewels in the treasure chest of my life. I have discovered my worth, my strength, and my voice.

Though I wish I could have spoken my truth to you earlier, I take solace in the fact that I found my voice eventually. I’ve reclaimed my life and my happiness. So, farewell to you, and may you find your own peace, wherever that may be. As for me, I’m heading toward a future where your presence is nothing more than a distant memory, a chapter in a book that I’ve closed for good.

“Well, it’s true that I have been hurt in my life. Quite a bit. But it’s also true that I have loved, and been loved. and that carries a weight of its own. A greater weight, in my opinion. It’s like that pie chart we talked about earlier. in the end, I’ll look back on my life and see that the greatest piece of it was love. The problems, the divorces, the sadness… those will be there too, but just smaller slivers, tiny pieces.”
― Sarah Dessen

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