- In All Honesty
I could begin this letter by asking how you are. I could say something like, "Hello," or, "It's been a long time." I won't do those things, though, because I'm sure you know that it's been a long time, and because if I saw you on the street, I wouldn't say "Hello."
I won't ask you how you are, maybe because I don't know what I want the answer to be, or maybe because I don't care. Maybe I don't care how you are now, only how you will be once this letter is finished. Maybe I only care if you'll change.
I could say that I miss you, but I'm not sure if that's true.
So, now that we have eliminated those possibilities, what's left? The letter has been started, and unless I throw it away, even if I never send it, something must be said. So I suppose I will settle for saying that when I told Erika I would be writing to you, she asked if I would be honest. I told her that I would be as honest as I ever am, which is not at all really, and she said that was for the best. She said you would be expecting that. Expecting a string of half-truths. She was always rooting for you, Erika was.
Do you know that I am engaged? I thought maybe that someone had told you. Did you smile when you [End Page 29] learned? Did your features tense for a moment against your will? Or did you laugh, disbelieving? What were the words you said upon hearing it? "I'm glad for her," or, "It should have been me," "I hope never to see her again," "I hope she's happy," "I hope she's miserable"?
I think it's safe to say that I've examined every possibility.
There are many things that I could say about my fiancé. I could tell you that his hair is so blonde it's nearly white, that his jaw is wide but his chin sharp. I could say that he owns a store, or that he frowns in his sleep, his eyebrows pulling slightly inward.
I feel, however, as though these details won't interest you, so I will say merely that when I met him, I was attracted to him immediately, if only for the fact that he wasn't you.
Erika and I had lunch today, as we do every week. I found it difficult to enjoy her company when she was constantly reprimanding me, telling me that I should be wearing my engagement ring, or pestering me, asking about this letter.
I am sure you remember how Erika can be.
Erika is going to be my maid-of-honor.
She asked about this letter, as I should have expected her to. She asked why it is that I am writing to you, and, frankly, I am not sure of the reason. Am I trying to make you jealous? Trying to rekindle an old romance? Or merely hoping to reconnect with a lost friend? I'm not sure.
There I go again, being dishonest. There was a lie in that last paragraph, did you catch it?
My fiancé and I met at a "Singles Mixer." A bit sad, isn't it? Erika was surprised I went, and I admit I was ashamed to tell her about it in the first place. What a sad place to meet somebody, what a pathetic story to tell someday, should everything go according to plan. "My husband and I met at a Singles Mixer." When I told her, she asked me, "Do you really want to be someone's girlfriend? Or do you just want to be able to tell people that you have a boyfriend?"
When I told her I was engaged, she asked do I really want to marry him, or do I just want to be married.
Do you have a girlfriend? Is that an appropriate question to ask? You aren't here to say no, so I will ask it...