Dear John…ahem…Chris

Hey Chris*,
Sorry I guess it’s Elder Opeeda. But you only have a month and a half left. Why bother calling you Elder? How are you?
I talk to your sister sometimes. Kartna says you hardly ever write her. That would explain why you hardly ever wrote me back. Anyone would think you forgot about me. How? How could you possibly forget? We had something really special. You promised you’d write and that you’d still love me in two years. Well two years has come and gone, darling. And only one letter? After two months I got the letter and I started to get discouraged. People told me I was crazy for waiting. They say, “Rachael, he needs to focus, let him focus. That’s all. He still loves you he just is busy with the Lord.” “He’s trying to do what he’s supposed to do.” “Missionaries aren’t supposed to have girlfriends anyways.” But listen to this… someone actually said this. “You can do better.” They said that! They seriously said “You can do better.” But I know. I know they were lying. Trying to make me feel better. First off, how could that make anyone feel better? Basically telling me that I wasted three years and eight months of my life on someone that I had to settle for. I wasn’t settling! Plus, no one could do better than you. Really, truly. You are the betterthat people talk about. You’re the best I could ever get. But that perhaps is the reason I’m writing today.
Chris, before you left I swore you’d be the only one for me ever. And I swore we’d get married one day, no matter how long I had to wait. We’d be together forever. Now that I write it in past tense, it makes a lot more sense. We would be together if… we could be married if… As soon as you left I felt the gap in my life. It throbbed and that attachment I had to you needed to be filled. Two years without you and without anyone to fill the void? That’s just not how it works. Quitting cold turkey is not my style. I needed something or someone else to wean me off of you. With that being said, do you remember your one friend from high school? Simon Daves? He got back just a month or so before you left. Well, he was there at your farewell and while you were talking to all your family and eating that adobo and lumpia (really good, by the way), he was so nice and listened when I told him how I felt. He gave me his number and told me to call if I needed to talk. But I didn’t call. My heart was set on you. Two months after you left I got your letter. That first letter wasn’t until May! I was heartbroken that you only wrote half a page. I sent you at least one letter every week. You wrote half a page. You replied to my ten pages with half a page. I was furious. I had to tell someone. Simon would listen. I knew he would. It was late, maybe eleven. But I called him anyways. And he listened while I cried to him. I told him how much I missed you and how I loved you so much. I never wanted to be with anyone else ever. And I sobbed. I told him that I was lonely and my family all left for the weekend. My mom wasn’t there to hold me like she normally did. It wasn’t meant to be an invitation. I swear. I was just talking and he was listening. Then I heard a soft knock on the door. It was funny; I heard it both through the phone and down the stairs. He came so I could have a shoulder to cry on. By this time it was well past midnight. But no one was home to tell him to leave. I sat on the couch with this stranger. He let me lay in his arms, and he played with my hair. The best thing he did, though, was distract me. He made me laugh. He let me forget why he came in the first place. One in the morning, two, three o’clock. Finally the conversation died down. The time in between replies steadily grew longer. The next thing I remember was waking up alone on the couch. I thought maybe I dreamt the whole thing. But that headache was unmistakably from crying and staying up far too late. Then I heard the toilet flush. The rest was like a movie, a very slow movie. I swear it. Our first date and all the dates to follow. Meeting his parents. The delayed kiss. Hearing him confess his love.
You have to understand, Chris. I loved you. I loved you so much. You were all I ever needed but that empty space needed filling. Please don’t hate me, Chris. You know that I loved you. But he was there. He was ready for me and I for him. I waited for as long as I could. But I couldn’t keep him waiting. He was so patient with me. We dated for a year and seven months. I waited for so long but you never sent another letter. I couldn’t wait any longer. Neither could he.
You have to understand, Chris. I loved you, but now I love him. He’s not better, just different. Different because he’s my husband now.
Two years ago, I couldn’t have dreams of anyone more dear to me than you. Two years can do a lot to a person, huh? Well, there it is. I’m married.
I hope all is well with you.
Love, Rachael
PS- I’m sorry I waited so long to tell you. It didn’t seem right to distract you from your work. See you at your homecoming.

*Disclaimer- none of this is real. Names have been changed to protect identities.

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