Something to burn

I grabbed a few sheets of paper from the basement to burn.
I just really wanted something to burn.

I had forgotten about that weird time you forced us to not see each other for a month.
I guess red flags are especially hard to see when you are 15.

You wrote me a letter on the day we were to say goodbye for this forced time apart. From all accounts, this letter is your own description of how heartbroken you are that you won’t see me for a month. You describe your snot covered face. You say, This brief cry felt so good . . . I remembered the zillion reasons I love you and remembered that you are the girl I’m gonna be with forever. It took that cry for me to finally be positive that what we have is real.

The next letter is just a few days before we are to see each other again. It’s a confusing letter with codes I don’t really understand. There’s something about a fake store, and my publicity photo. I’d say you were high when you wrote it, but you didn’t do drugs.

The last letter I pulled out is from a couple months later. This one is the worst. It’s about how you don’t want us to spend forced time together. I guess I was too clingy.

Someone asked me once why I read your notes before I burn them. I don’t know if it is sentimentality or picking at a scab. I’m not sure if it’s the healthiest thing to do, but I do it.

Maybe I read them so that even if my 15 year old self couldn’t see the red flags, my 44 year old self can.

Anyhow, you write, I love you, and hate when you make me think there’s any reason to question that…

I’m so glad I found things to burn.

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