Red letter day

Dear Karen,

This is the letter I will never send. It’s funny, now I will never look at you again my head has become full of the conversations we should have had. Things I should have said. Feelings I should have explained. I hope I still have time to go through some of these things with you.

I don’t want to bore you with the tale of how we met. For both of us that night is etched in our memory as clear as the morning sun I see rising slowly over the horizon. The only thing I will say about our meeting is that it is my first true memory. My life is moving before my eyes and seeing you is where it all began.

I want to talk about our first argument. I know you remember it too Karen because right till the end you mentioned it whenever we squabbled. I was late for our third date because I was watching football with my friends. You said I was treating you like a second-class citizen and that I should put you first. I didn’t want to be late that night but I am weak. I didn’t have the strength to say “No” to my friends and I’m sorry.

“I’m the last person you think of.” You’d say to me and you were right. I know that now better than ever. Looking at the rising sun I should be remembering good times, however the jagged, broken, windscreen that cuts through my vision makes me think only of pain so please forgive me for opening old wounds.

Shall I go through the bad times one by one? That’s how they are coming into my head. A chronological catalogue of when I’ve let you down. Each one punctuated with the phrase “I’m the last person you think of.” Your rallying cry in times of distress. I can only apologise so many times but here is a final “I’m sorry” for everything I ever did. I hope that’s enough Karen, as I can offer no more.

Here comes the moment we split. I arrived home from work and you’re things were gone. It sounds like a country and western song and felt just as bad. I didn’t take it well. Remember the drunken phone calls? You know it was me who smashed your car headlights don’t you? I can admit it know because it doesn’t matter anymore.

Birds are singing the dawn chorus. They are the only sound. I cannot hear traffic, I cannot hear people. I chose a very quiet road last night. I guess I knew what I was doing.

When we first split I didn’t know what I was doing, that’s why I smashed the headlights. I also punched your father, stopped going to work and began drinking heavily. Recently things have gotten even worse. A fire fuelled by self-loathing rages through me and no amount of whisky can quench the flames.

And so Karen we come to the end. You’ll never read these words because they are not being written on paper. This letter only exists in my mind and currently I am trapped in my upside down car.

You see, last night I got drunk and drove off the road. I’ve been here remembering you as my life slips away and I wanted you to know you were right. You are the last person I am thinking of.


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