Speaking of pictures, here are a few of the beach and a few of the ones we took at the marina together before you left…
Not sure what else I should say right now, but I miss you (a lot…) and hope you’ll come home for that fall break that your school gives you. I also hope you’ll respond to at least one of my emails…I’ve sent you quite a few…
Write back and tell me how everything is going with you.
Hope you’re okay.
I really do miss you…
I am okay. Glad to hear you are well.
Thanks for your letter,
Did you seriously waste an international stamp and three weeks of shipping time to send me that short ass letter? (Also, do you still not have internet? Can you not answer emails?)
I apologize for the brevity of my last letter. It wasn’t intentional, I promise. I appreciate the photos you sent (I hung them up on my wall) and I wasn’t shocked that you finished your required reading in advance at all. (You got a 180 on the LSATs…I would be more shocked if you didn’t get it done.)
I am actually quite miserable here and I think I might’ve taken that out on you a little bit, so I’m sorry. The classes here are super intense, from six in the morning until six in the evening, and after that we’re required to attend workshops that can last anywhere between four and five hours, so I usually just pass out.
I ordered a charger for my phone from amazon.com, but they sent me the wrong one by mistake. Two times in a row, so I’m hoping the correct one arrives soon.
My roommate is a jerk who barely talks to me so I’ve decided to ignore her altogether.
I don’t really have much else to say, but I promise to call you and do better with emails…
Thanks for your letter,
Track 23. Treacherous (3:39)
I can’t do this…
I logged into my email account and saw that Carter had sent me over fifty new emails since I’d come to France. My mouse hovered over the first message—Subject: Truly Missing My Best Friend, but I couldn’t open it.
It’d been hard enough responding to that first letter of his—that generic “Let’s just act like nothing ever happened between us” bullshit, so I shut off my computer and got into bed.
My days were now a lot shorter without talking to him, a lot less memorable and trivial, too. But I couldn’t sacrifice my heartache in exchange for empty conversations between us. Not now.
I needed to think long and hard about everything before I sent him any more correspondence…
Track 24. Half of My Heart (4:15)
Subject: Phone Update.
I tried calling you earlier, but the static in my flat is so bad that the call never went completely through…I’m actually typing this email from an internet café in town since the internet in my flat is even worse.
Anyway, our program is about to kick into even higher gear than before, and even though I have a charger now, I’ll have little time to take breaks during the week to talk.
I just want you to know that I’m not avoiding or ignoring you.
I hope you are well, and I’ll do my best to send you physical letters as much as I can…
Also, thank you for mailing me those tins of waffle batter from Gayle’s. I truly appreciate it.
Looking forward to talking to you when I get a break.
Eighty percent of that email was a lie.
My flat had perfect internet. My phone service, even better.
And I was ahead in all my classes so I had ample time to take breaks. The only thing that was true was my appreciation for the waffle batter; I’d made half of it the first week I received it.
I hit send on my lie-filled email to Carter and changed my email settings, making sure that any future messages from him would go directly into my spam folder.
I’d still been crying myself to sleep every night, no matter how hard I tried not to. In class, I was poised and focused—eager to soak up anything that would take my mind off of ‘not in that way,’ but once I was left alone, without structures and rigorous lessons, I fell apart.
Several times, I even tried to respond to one of his handwritten letters, but the only words that came out were curse words.
Even worse, I felt like the two of us were so fucking close that I had nobody else I could talk to about this. He was literally all I had.
I started to log off the internet, but I saw Nicole’s “online” symbol light up in my video chat sidebar and clicked “connect” without thinking twice.
The screen read “connecting soon” and within minutes her face appeared on my screen.
“Well, hey there, stranger!” She smiled.
“Hey…” I managed.
“I’ve been trying to connect with you for the longest! I didn’t even know you’d left so soon until I heard it from Carter…You could’ve at least said goodbye.”
I stared blankly at her.
“Ari?” She asked, looking confused. “Ari, why are you looking like that? Can you hear me?”
“Yes…Yes, I can hear you.”
“Okay, then.” She smiled again. “Well, how are you? How’s France? How are you holding up without Gayle’s and having your BFF around all the time?”
I couldn’t hold it in anymore.