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A journal account
‘Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.” ~ Flavia Weedn ‘I'm crazy for trying and crazy for crying, and I'm crazy for loving you’ ~ Bon Jovi
1. The Beginning (of the End)
3:30 pm, November 2, 2012 - Knoxville, Tennessee Penn station: East Coast sub house
t was a Thursday afternoon in November. The wind was brisk and the Autumn leaves rolled and tossed across the grey pavement outside the restaurant’s generous windows. I was feeling happy and fulfilled after a long day of teaching. There wasn't much on my mind other than the conversation and food at hand. Penn station was one of my favorite eating places. I love subs; particularly those styled after the hot, fresh sandwiches sold around Fishers Island. I had planned a relaxing shopping trip for that evening; and perhaps a stop at Starbucks and some studying before bed. Everything was going according to plan. Let me just start out by introducing myself. I'm Colleen. College student, Lord of the Rings enthusiast, Believer, lover of literature, art, and music. I don't have a bad life. I live in a small town in East Tenne ssee. It is beautiful here mostly year-round. Rolling green hills slope across the horizon where the sky meets the ground, cloud-covered Mountains rise East of Knoxville, a thriving city of 180,000. The Summers are sunny, the Winters snowy, and the sidewalks filled with life and friendly people. I am blessed with a loving family, friends, a stable job, and an easy-going school schedule that leaves me time for my hobbies and pasttimes. There are problems in my life, of course. Mean people, downfalls in school, drama in the family. But most of them are private, and I can’t complain too much as far as that goes. This story is not about my life. It is about a friendship that passed through my life like a flourishing flower that springs up and fades away with the passing wind. The memory, though still fresh in my heart, has not faded. But I can write this story now because, even though months have passed, I will never forget the impact it made on me. Back to the story. On this Thursday afternoon one thing, perhaps, that was burdening me most (besides falling pitifully behind in school) was the lack of contact from my online friend, Christy. Tina (as I called her) had written me across seas for about six months. I suppose one could call our friendship rather
unconventional. It began as strictly a roleplay relationship. After I fell suddenly and passionately enthusiastic for Lord of the Rings, I naturally fulfilled my nerdish needs by roleplaying Frodo Baggins. She was my excellent and enthusiastic rp partner, Merry Brandybuck. Our roleplaying and chatting consumed my entire Summer that year. I kept my phone on me at all times so I could stay in contact with her. Our friendship gradually developed into one I treasured. As the months passed we formed some type of schedule of communication that became routine. She lived in Athens, Greece, seven hours ahead of my Eastern standard time. At night before she went to bed we wrote and roleplayed, and each morning and afternoon after that. Once she attended college in October, things changed drastically. We didn’t chat much anymore. On this particularly Thursday afternoon, after teaching piano for the day, I wrote a small message to one of Christy’s friends, Stavroula, asking her how my friend was doing. Stavroula was that new friend from college. Because she and Christy had developed a close bond, I tended to rely on her to find out if my friend was okay or not. We wrote on and off at nights, and usually our conversations were about Christy. At this point I was growing concerned because I hadn't heard much back. I was confused. My heart was beginning to miss Tina more and more. I felt coldness from her end and asked myself, "Have I done something wrong? Or has she forgotten about me?” After all, ours was just an internet friendship. And honestly- there are things one can share with their face to face friends they simply can’t share over wires. I felt secretly and admittedly insecure about my lack of ability to reach her in the way her college friends could. Who was I to compare with them? I could never look her in the eye, embrace her, squeeze her hand, or go out places with her. I relied strictly upon my words, and the feelings in my heart. It wasn’t enough. But anyway, I held onto the promise she often made to me in past months: I will never forget you. And I would never forget her, even if she didn’t want to hear from me. I cared too much about her. That’s just the way friends work. Things would come around in the end. I felt guilty for not trusting. “Colleen?” I looked up at Mom and smiled. Often these thoughts took me by surprise.
“I’m fine,” I said, sipping my soda and picking up my sandwich again. “Just a thought.” Our conversation continued, mellow and pleasant. I talked about my newest students, two girls who were progressing well and would likely attend my upcoming piano recital. They were already learning Classical repetoire and I was proud of them. We talked about Church, the guy I liked, and the next performance Mom and I were going to play on flute and piano. Just as we were beginning to finish our meals my cellphone buzzed. It was a notification from my facebook app. I set the now nearly-eaten sub down and flipped through my phone. "Just one second!" I said as I slid my thumb across the screen to get to my destination. “I got a message.” Mom nodded and returned to finishing her own food. A message! Sure enough, Stavroula had written me back with the details of how Christy was doing. I was eager to find out how my friend was. Was she okay? Was her internet still down? How was college going for her? But what her message contained would change the entire rest of my year.
“Christy is dead.”
My heart leapt in my chest. What? This had to be a prank. Someone was pulling my leg. I knew that Christy had health problems, but this? There was no way that she could have suddenly died. But then again, people do suddenly die, don’t they? Why should this be any different? My heart thundered in my chest. Quirking a brow, I quickly punched in the simplest answer I could think of. "What?" A text came back.
“We tried to take her to the hospital but didn't get there fast enough.”
“If this is some shitty prank, it’s not funny!”
“It’s not a prank. Her heart stopped. She’s dead. I’ve been crying all day about it.”
I could not pretend to concentrate on my food anymore. My hands were trembling. I quickly shoveled my phone back in my pocket and avoided Mom’s questioning glance.
“I need to use the restroom,” I said as I quickly left the table. My arm was over my mouth in pure disbelief. The black woman at the counter, who I often shared banter with, watched me in wonderment. I felt hot tears springing to my eyes, and my head began to swim. No. Christy could not have died… this was a misunderstanding… this was all a joke. Someone would soon reply and say sorry for telling me the worst prank in the world. Once I made it to the restaurant bathroom I collapsed against the wall and sobbed convulsively. All the emotions flooded through my heart like a pent-up dam. It had been days since Christy and I wrote, and now that I thought about it, it was likely that all that time she was suffering an illness. How freaking stupid of me! Here I was, upset that she hadn’t been contacting me, when in reality she had been dying! I couldn’t hold the tears in. Every fiber of my being was wrung in pain, my temples throbbing with the pressure of trying to hold back. I fought to disbelieve it. I could not believe it. I had to hold on to some hope that she was still alive. I grabbed my phone and continued to text Stavroula, begging her for details. If I lost Christy, I had lost one of the dearest friends to my heart. The answer remained the same. Christy died that morning. There was nothing for it. Unable to do anything more, I prayed for strength, cried some more, and washed my face. I waited for the redness to fade from my eyes before I walked back out to Mom. I couldn’t tell her about any of this. I would cry too hard. ❧ That evening found me staring blankly at the wall in my music studio. The late Autumn sun gave way to twinkling night stars, and four windows cast gloomy glows across the cold marble floor. The moonlight reflected off the shiny surface of the grand piano, standing proud in the corner of the room. Earlier that evening I had discussed the day’s tragedy with my brother, my girlfriends, and my sister. My feelings of confusion and sadness now faded into a dull, throbbing numbness. I could do nothing other than gaze at the wall and let my mind wander aimlessly through a thousand questions. Why hadn’t I shown her more love while she was alive? In October I had displayed disapproval and hurt by her lack of attention. Perhaps she had been too busy to write. Perhaps her internet was down, or she was depressed or ill. Knowing that we had departed from one another on less-than-amiable terms… it was more than I
could bear. Did she know that I often imagined flying to Greece and giving her a real hug, and not just a virtual one? I wanted to buy one of her novels because I adored her writing. She had the ability to make me laugh and cry through her writing. She made everything seem like it would be okay in the end. She was so full of happiness and creativity. But now she was gone. I’d never see that first publication of her dream novel. This could not be happening. This was some nightmare that I didn’t want any part of. Silent tears rolled down my cheeks. Time had snatched away those opportunities away from me, and I was left with feelings of grief and failure. I could never take back those harsh words. I could never say "I love you" one last time. If I had only been there in Greece this morning, I would have immediately called an ambulance while Christy breathed her last breath. I wouldn’t have tried to run her to the hospital myself, as Stavroula had said. Why was no one able to save her? Why did God allow such a tragedy? Shakily I stood from the sofa and walked toward the piano. My feet dragged like lead. I didn’t care if hot tears fell to the marble floor as I walked. I am a pianist, and music is my therapy. I gain deep satisfaction in creating it. Sometimes writing is my therapy-- but tonight I couldn’t gather the thoughts to form words. The poignancy of music always speaks where words fall short. As I sat upon the bench it creaked and stirred. The light was dim, but there was enough moonlight for me to see the bright ivory reflecting on the keys. Letting my trembling eyes fall shut I placed my hands upon the cold ivory and began to slowly play. The somber, haunting tune of My Immortal rang out across the studio. It was one of my favorite songs by Evanascence, but tonight it took on new meaning.
These wounds won't seem to heal This pain is just too real There's just too much that time cannot erase
Melodramatic as it might seem looking back at it, I was facing the death of someone I cared for. Not just a desparture; an actual death. The presence of an ocean between our continents didn’t diminish the pain. Tonight was only the beginning of many, but I could not seem to put Christy to rest. I promised I would never forsake her, and that promise would last beyond the chains of the grave. Noone could stop me from caring.
1. Trying to Let Go
“I’m closing my roleplay account.” “Colleen…what?" Camille bolted up, eyes huge and round as she stared at me. "Nooo! You can’t do that! You love roleplaying Frodo, and everyone loves you! I’m your Legolas, remember?” I shook my head, staring at the ceiling as I bounced a rubber ball up and down. My dark hair was strewn across the pillow, clothes amiss from a long day of work. The radio hummed silently in the background. Tonight the house was eerily silent. “I just… I can’t do it, Camille. I can’t roleplay anymore. Frodo is dead to me. I can’t even feel him anymore. It’s like… I don’t know… once Tina died he died inside me. So much has died inside me, and I just need to move on. I can’t hold onto the past.” At this point, two days later, I had already cancelled two of my lessons. I was beginning to feel irresponsible. I spent my evenings and nights lamenting, writing my online roleplay friends, and trying to convince Stavroula not to commit suicide. Besides the pain of losing Christy, I was now growing perilously worried for her brother and her college friend. Stavroula was threatening to kill herself, and Alex kept blocking my accounts whenever I tried to contact him. “I lost Christy, and Frodo lost Merry. So I’ve lost three people. Do you get it? It sounds stupid but…” I broke off, frustrated at my inability to explain myself. “I never realized how much this meant to me. I mean… her. Being her friend. Being Frodo for her Merry. It’s become a part of me. I can’t even think straight.” As if on cue, the tears began again. But I quickly swiped them away, determined not to cry. Damn it, not this again! I needed to be strong. Tomorrow Christina and I had a girls’ day out scheduled. We were going to shop for clothes at Rue 21 and eat a nice dinner. I had to get my act together.
“I will delete my account too, then,” Camille said gravely, looking ground. “I feel bad about Christy. Really bad. I’m sorry, Colleen.” I her piteously, finding no words to say. Her watching me cry and brood beginning to depress her, and now I felt more guilty than ever. I was screwing everything up.
to the looked at was royally
My dear Merry My heart is hallow and empty since you left. The darkest depths of Mordor could not begin to compare to the black shadow of death. My heart was knit with yours, and our souls were one. How deeply I loved you, my cousin! How shall I carry on? Once I promised you, "Even if all others fail and promises shatter around us...we can always hold fast to eachother, and to our love for one another." But now what have I to hold onto? earth." I cannot hold onto you, for to do so would seal my own death. Shall I die for your sake, my dearest? I would follow you anywhere, even unto the utter ends of the
I raised my head from the crinkled paper and looked out toward the vast expanse of speckled red and orange trees and fields outlining the neighborhood. The mountains were tall and colorful. Raindrops pattered from the trees and sparkled in the grass. Some days I liked to imagine I lived in the Shire. The rolling green hills would morph into Hobbit holes, and the houses would shrink into taverns and inns. Today I lived in the Shire. I was Frodo Baggins, writing one final tearful letter to his cousin before setting him out in a boat toward Tol Eressëa. There he would release him, until one day beyond the vast horizon they would be joined together once again. This was an important therapeutic exercise for me. Besides being Frodo Baggins, I was myself, Colleen, writing one final letter to Christy. Today I would silently put them both to death. Several days had passed after the terrible news, and I was beginning to grow frustrated. I deleted my roleplay account and yet still nothing had changed. Life moved on, along with college, teaching, and outings with friends and family, yet my attitude remained the same. I only laughed when I was with other people… and never by myself. My friends were beginning to notice a difference.
“Are you okay?” one of my girlfriends finally asked me as we adjusted our
skates at the skating rink days earlier. She put a hand on my shoulder. I smiled and nodded, twiddling with my laces. My answer was always the same. “I’m fine! Just fine.” I took her hand and we skated off onto the rink together. I would not damper others’ lives with my constant brooding. As I wrote my final letter to Tina, I cried. I folded it up into a tiny cube and carefully pushed it into my shirt, where I could hold it close to my heart. I would keep it there for days to come, until the pain finally faded like a leaf on the wind along with the memories. It would come. I knew it would. Christy would have wanted me to be strong were she still alive. Later that evening I set up an online memorial. It was for her, and for all those who bereaved her death. I uploaded our roleplays, and downloaded our messages and drawings. Then I saved them in organized files on my computer. One of the girls who suffered the most was Bridget, who also set up the memorial. Bridget and I had roleplayed for nearly a year—the entire duration of the time I was Frodo. She also considered Christy a close friend. I had, with much pain and sorrow, revealed the news of the death, and she took it terribly hard. She was behind in school, and didn’t go online much anymore. Her mother did everything she could to keep her daughter’s hands busy. There were so many tears shed that week.
2. Questions from the abyss
A. A strange feeling
The aromic flavor of coffee beans filled the air as steam floated from my porcelain mug. I looked out the window to see the cars and pedestrians passing by as they always have, each man and each woman pressing toward their perceived obligations and wants. Trolleys stopped to pick up passengers, and young men biked across the street. It was a lazy Monday morning at the coffee shop. After a bit of school and reading, I took a break to check up on things again. I took slow, deliberate sips of the drink as I stared at the computer screen. My eyes squinted hard into the depths, my mind spinning with evaluation.
Why is her account being updated? I rubbed my temples in frustration. Alex said he would be updating her accounts, but going to this level is just insane. What
brother would pose as his dead sister so casually?
Two weeks had passed and I was beginning to feel very odd about Christy’s death. Stavroula acted totally fine one day, and suicidal the next. Christy’s roleplay and personal accounts were being updated, and her tumblr was still open and updated. Besides that, her friend Anastasia, who subsequently roleplayed Sam Gamgee for me, simply blocked me when I tried to ask her about the death. I smelled fishiness in the air, and speculations were beginning to rise like wildfire. My first speculation was that Stavroula disliked me and made the entire farce up, and my second was that Christy’s brother was trying to console himself by pretending his sister still lived. The latter was bizarre, but then again… so was this entire situation. My stomach was in knots and I had no idea what to believe anymore. The third speculation-- like a sick, twisted thought you never want to face-- was that Christy herself was behind this. I considered it once, but quickly threw it out of my mind. She would never. And even if she did, admitting to that would be an entirely new blow to the chest, and I didn’t think I could handle it. My heart was bleeding enough as it was.
B. “You only knew her through a box!”
In the following days, something truly devastating occurred. After Stavroula pretended to be suicidal again, I finally snapped at her. “Stop pretending you’re suicidal! You act totally fine one day, and then depressed the next. Has it ever occurred to you that I am hurting too?” I seethed. She got furious with me and claimed I never loved Christy like she did, because “I only knew her through a box.” She went on to say that Christy never loved me or cared about me. Instead, she was annoyed at me and got disgusted whenever I messaged her. I wept bitterly. I was so devastated by such an accusation that I blocked Stavroula. How could anyone be so insensitive to one who was suffering day by day? The fact that it was an online friendship didn’t matter to me. My heart was connected to Christy across seas, through wires, and that would not change. Yet I wondered, had she truly despised me in the weeks preceding her death, as Stavroula said? I couldn’t conceive it. As for the latter, I was entirely finished with her. For two weeks I had tried to console and help her through her fabricated suicide threats, and now she was treating me like a dog. I wouldn’t stand for it.
Nothing deterred me. My care for my lost friend rose above all thoughts and I continued to search for answers. No one was willing to give me any confirmation of Christy’s death. Ania blocked me. Alex blocked me. I could not seem to contact a single living soul about the matter, and I was growing more anxious by the day. Was she dead or was she not? Who was running these accounts? I couldn’t trust Stavroula anymore. She had proven herself to be a flip-flopper who didn’t particularly care for me at all. Her account of the death was growing less validated in my eyes. Nothing made sense anymore.
C. Across the seas
“I’m going to find her phone number,” I finally said one day, throwing my pencil and paper down and standing to my feet. Brandon pushed his glasses up and continued staring at his computer, deeply engrossed in a technical task. I looked at him blankly and let out a deep breath. The window, revealing the quaint and quiet view of my Tennessee neighborhood reminded me how truly far apart we were. She was on the other end of the world. It was midnight in Greece. Five o’clock here. “I don’t care if she lives in Greece or not. I’m not getting answers, and I need them. You know? I can’t carry on wondering like this anymore!” I paced the room, listening to the melodic strain of Chopin from the speakers. It had a soothing effect, but I wasn’t in the mood. “It was bad enough knowing she was dead, Brandon, but I mean… now I don’t even know if she is dead. For all I know she’s alive and well right now, while I’m over here throwing hypothetical flowers on her grave. No one will help me!” Despair gave way to desperation. I sat back on the floor and flung my laptop on my lap. “I need to find the Greek directory, first of all…” I detailed, picking up my pencil again. “And I need a translator. I know her name and last name already. Athens, Greece. I.E.K.” I scrawled down everything I knew, and tapped the pencil against my lips. “That should help.” Brandon had to go out shortly after, but he wished me the best of luck before leaving. My brother was fully aware how much this meant to me, and I knew he wanted me to find the answers I yearned for.
Two hours later, Brandon’s room
By the time my coffee was emptied and my paper thoroughly written on, I felt insanely proud of myself. I’d managed to poke around a Greek directory and find a list of two addresses. I thought for sure I stumbled across the right one. It was a small home in Athens, and four people shared the address. One brother, one sister, and two parents. It was definitely the one. Now I could finally find the closure I needed. I would call for no other reason than knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, whether or not she was dead. Perhaps she knew nothing about Stavroula’s deeds, and her internet was simply down. Perhaps one day she would come back online and tell me ‘hello! I have missed you!’ I would tell her everything and then we would chat again as if nothing ever happened. We’d laugh about pizza and chocolate. Maybe even roleplay again. How I missed those days. How I missed her. I patted the little note against my breast, still curled up there, scrawled with my final words to Christy. For three weeks it remained as close to my heart. I had no intentions of removing it soon. Across the seas though she was, we would find a way to work this out. This letter wouldn’t be my last.
D. “How exactly did you love her?”
By now nearly all of my friends knew about this mysterious Greek girl across the world, who was feared to be dead. Friends and friends of friends offered me condolences, helped me, wrote me, and offered to buy me lunch. I didn’t speak of it much anymore, but they seemed to know all the same. Often a friend would approach, wrap her arms around me and ask, “How are you doing?” as if to say, “I know you’re hurting, and I’m here.” I felt some of the deepest love and compassion I’d ever known. It warmed my heart dearly during that time. But one day, quite unexpectedly, a guy I knew asked me a question that took me by surprise. “I hope this doesn’t sound rude. But how exactly did you love her?” I paused for a moment, trying to work the question out. I shifted uncomfortably. “What exactly do you mean…?” “Well, you know. It seems to me like you…love loved her,” he said, seeming shy. “All the talk about loving her, and the way you talk about her. I mean…did you love her like a friend? Or…”
I shook my head, stumped for words. I never gave much consideration to the way I loved her. When we weren’t roleplaying, I thought about her a lot. Not just thoughts pertaining to our roleplays, fantastic though they were. Long after she admitted to having lost her muse for Merry Brandybuck, the side of me that was not Frodo still yearned to write her. And now that the question was before me, I was forced to consider it deeply. Do friends think so much about their friends? A month passed and it was as though it all happened yesterday. I still missed her so much. “I don’t know,” I finally said, averting my eyes. “I just love her. I think I love her as a friend.”
E. A ghastly thought
Yes, it was definitely a friendship-love. Over a month ago, when Christy had told me about a relationship she entered into, I felt genuinely happy and joyous for her. I wasn’t jealous. I only grew envious once she stopped contacting me. I accused her of being one of those people who had abandoned me in the past. But now a new worry was festering. Was I possessive? Was I overbearing? Was I controlling? Was it wrong for a friend to be as envious as I had been? Was it wrong for me to doubt Christy from the beginning? I couldn’t seem to come to a conclusion. What if Christy had felt so wearied by me that she actually faked her own death to get rid of me? What if she had tired of my accusations and complaints? What if Stavroula was right about Christy hating me? I buried my face in my hands, unable to face this sudden onslaught of thoughts. By now I was growing more convinced that Christy was not dead. Call it evidence or instinct. She had feigned her own death through Stavroula in order to rid herself of me. I clutched the note against my chest and held the tears in as hard as I possibly could. There are no words I can use to describe the pain I felt that night.
3. Facing the Truth
“There comes a point, when it’s not that you don’t care anymore; you just can’t.” -unknown
The days afterwards were a blur of emotions and mystery-solvers. We called Christy, and she answered the phone. I finally realized 100% that she was not
dead. She knew about everything, but did nothing to stop it. I texted her, she ignored me. I learned that “Alex” had been Christy all along. My confusion was mixed with grief, guilt, and horror. Bridget and the LOTR community was floored. My friends were floored. Even Ania confirmed to me that Christy and Stavroula came up with the idea together. I brooded, paced, tried to understand, tried to make sense of it all. I called and cried, I texted hostile messages accusing Christy of lying. I was gutted to the core. My heart was shattered. For an entire month I and others had grieved Christy’s death, only to discover she was alive.
“Why? Why? She promised me she’d never leave! She promised. What have I done?”
Yet I never got answers. I plead with Christy to tell me why… but never once did I hear back. I continued to hold onto the hope that she would answer me. I would apologize for everything I ever said and did wrong to her, and we would work this out. We would write eachother again. I even supposed Stavroula was behind it. I couldn’t convince myself that Tina had chosen to do this to me. Days turned into weeks, and Autumn turned to Winter. Snow lightly fell upon Knoxville. Christmas decorations went up on every lightpost and window. Flashing lights were strewn from house to house. It was time to practice carols once more. We would sing them throughout the neighborhood on Christmas eve as we did every year. Along with the holidays came many joyous traditions. As I stood upon the porch, gazing out at the Winter wonderland before me and blowing icy wind from my lips, I finally pulled the note from its spot against my heart, and silently shred it to pieces. It went flying into the icy wind, only to scatter across the earth and turn to dust. Christmas was coming and my heart was as cheerless as the icicles hanging from the trees.
Merry Brandybuck: “Are you kidding me?? Are you afraid that I'll stop talking with you? Are you serious? I am not forgetting the promise I made to you a few months ago. I may not have much time but I'll do whatever I can within my powers to be on at as much as possible mainly for you. Frodo Baggins: I shouldn't doubt. I'm sorry. </3 I don't want you to be exhausted, so don't stay on longer for me. I'll also talk to you as much as I can manage also.
Merry Brandybuck: No. I'll stay more. I just want to prove to you that I am not like those who left and never came back. . That's all Frodo Baggins: I feel bad for bringing it up but I wanted to be honest. It's not as though you've ever given me a reason to believe that. But you know, often you refer back to your past when thinking about these things. Merry Brandybuck: Just have faith in my words and if not in them then in me. I wouldn't ever stop talking with you. Not for any reason. Even if they paid me or promised me anything great, I'd say no for you are my “Tell them all I know friend and love you and I don't want to lose you.
now Shout it from the roof tops Write it on the skyline All we had is gone now Tell them I was happy And my heart is broken All my scars are open Tell them what I hoped would be Impossible” -Shontelle, Impossible
Frodo Baggins: ;________; I love you too. So much. I won't doubt you again.
That night, even as I tried to release Christy from my memory, I blew slowly my peppermint mocha coffee and stared at the screen before me. A smile crept across my lips, mixed with unbidden tears that silently ran off my chin. I felt oddly happy and sad.
“I love you,” I echoed, and ruefully I deleted all our
messages that night. Though in the future I would discover that some of them had remained saved in my folders, I could not bear to read them anymore. Christmas and the New Year was approaching fast, and I had to let everything go. I needed to release the memory of the past to stay where it belonged, and move on with my future. What use was there to hold onto it anymore? She had left me behind in the rubble, stranded with only broken promises and broken trust. And yet I was allowing her to snatch the cheer from my holiday. It wasn’t fair. Anger and sorrow turned into bitterness, and mixed with undying love. I was developing emotions that I hated holding inside. It was such a weight to carry. I didn’t know how to feel toward Tina anymore. I loved her too much to hate her, but I was too angry with her to love her. I’d lost my roleplay account, weeks of joy, my Autumn, my Thanksgiving, and now I was losing my Winter and Christmas. I needed to learn how to move on once and for all. ❧
As the days traveled on, I slowly learned to release Christy from my heart and mind. I had experienced the pain of betrayal in times’ past, and had learned how to slowly accept the loss of a friend. Somehow, though, this seemed to be different. My other betrayals had been face-to-face friends, yet mysteriously I was more devastated by Christy. Perhaps it was due to manner of the betrayal. Pretending to be dead was an act of complete and utter betrayal. That reality was harder to accept than mere betrayal itself. Aside from the question “How?” there was that looming, humongous question, “Why?” But Christmas came and went, with joyous moments between the difficulties.
n January 27th, 2013, I emailed an apology letter to Christy. To this day I don’t
know what spawned it. I think I wanted her to know I was sorry for not giving her enough room. I felt strangely responsible for the psuedocide, hideous and disgusting as it was. I wanted Christy to know for 100% certain how much I loved her and wanted her to be happy.
<firstname.lastname@example.org> Sun, Jan 17, 2013, at 3:39 am
subject: An apology
I am writing this message for better or for worse, hoping you will understand how truly sorry I am. Even if reconciliation does not come of this, I hope at least you will realize I am thoroughly regretful of my own wrongdoing toward you, and that I only wish you the very best in everything. I was selfish. My unwillingness to understand, give you space, and to let you in peace caused you to turn away from me in the worst way possible. After thinking it over I understood. And I realized how truly unkind and unloving I was in telling you I did not trust you and then expecting you to write & roleplay with me as much as we once did. I was wrong. You are one of the single most best roleplay partners I ever had. I mean that with my heart. Your friendship, bright spirits, and unquenchable sense of humor made the Summer of 2012 one of the very best of my life, and I will never forget it. I will never forget you. You brought so much joy to me in those days. I am truly sorry, Christy. I am sorry for all the harsh words I said; for not giving you the understanding you deserved. It was the last thing that I wanted, to be the cause of sorrow to you. My own selfishness and expectations drove you from me, and months after you left I came to understand this fact with clarity. That my transgression was so severe it caused you to feign death... I could kill myself. I wish I had been a better friend to you. I expect nothing of you. I wish for you to be happy and to live your life to the fullest, to enjoy every moment of your days. As such, you needn't do anything for me if you do not feel inclined. You needn't respond, or roleplay, or anything else if you don't want to. Just know that I am here for you. Across the sea though we may be, I am here. I will be willing to listen, to hear you out, to talk to you, or anything else. Perhaps just chat again. And if you do not, I will be willing to accept that as well. I do not hold anything against you anymore. I regret everything that brought this upon us, and I wish that I could turn back time.
the cost. I had not forgotten about her.
I hope you are well. All my love, Colleen
I never received a reply for the letter. I will not pretend I expected a reply, and nor will I pretend I didn’t feel disappointed. But I felt content and peaceful knowing that I had done everything in my power to fulfill my end of the promise. Though three months had passed since November 1st, and my life was filled with new interests, hobbies, and people, I would have accepted her back with open arms had she apologized and accepted my apology in return. Everything in life happens for a reason. Betrayal does not happen to us so we will never love again. Betrayal happens so that we will learn to love unconditionally, with no thought of return. It teaches us that love comes with a cost. As C.S. Lewis said: “If you love deeply, you're going to get hurt badly. But it's still worth it.”
I believe that with all my heart.