letters to an imagined future love. pulled from various journals between 2013-2018. written by a hopeless romantic (me) as a teen and a young woman. edited for clarity, brevity, and to protect the innocent (and my pride).

dear darling,04.10.13

I wish you were here. Even though I had a good day, it is impossible not to think of you at the end of it.

I always think of you when I'm sad and when I'm very happy. When I'm at the suspension bridge in the winter in my scarf and gloves, and all the lights are up, and there's hot chocolate and fudge, and patches of warmth under the heaters—that's when I wish you were here. When I am enchanted and want to share it with you.

I wonder if you will ever cry in front of me. Though I hope you never have cause to cry, I want to take care of you, too. I want you to crawl inside of me and hide and stay, if you have to.

When I say I want to share burdens, I suppose what I'm hoping for is this: we will make decisions together. We will be there for each other on the good days and the bad days too. We will create something safe, so no matter what happens, we will always be able to rely on us for stability.

Darling, I will write you love letters forever. I'm certain I will write love letters to other people, and that I will think these letters that I'm writing now are for them. But they are for you. I love you. I love you. I won't say it enough, but I love you.

For now, know that these letters will often say the same things over. I'm sorry for that. Be patient.

I miss you. I'm homesick for you.

My friend has a pen pal who lives somewhere in America, thousands of miles away. They care about each other, but the distance is breaking her heart.

It is not distance but time between us. Every day, it breaks my heart.

Have a good weekend—it's two fewer days between us.

Thinking of you,


my love,06.10.13

I need you to temper me. Though I am almost certain—and dearly hope—I will mellow with age, that everything will seem less all-consuming, I have an inkling that to some extent my personality is simply this way. I expect that I will always experience hightened levels of empathy, and that I will cry over even poorly constructed characters, and that I will always be a little afraid of the world. Therefore, I ask you to temper me and my experiences. Shhh me. If I get obsessed with something, help me put it into perspective.

Remind me, when my novel is rejected for the 37th time, that a first novel is a tough sell and the important thing is that I keep writing.

When I am furious over the latest stage to screen adaptation, or thrilled that Sierra Boggess is performing nearby, stop my pacing. Pick me up and put me on the kitchen counter. Put your hands on my thighs, nod, ask questions—I hope you listen, but it's all right if you aren't always interested—and ease me back to peace and quiet. I've always hated when people ignore my passion. It's okay if you're tired, it okay if you're not that interested, but it's important to me. My parents, at times, belittled the things I loved and found value in. Please don't do that.

OK. So that's me. What do you want? I'll do my best to deliver. I can offer my affection, my support. I will do my best not to yell, and to always show respect for the things you hold dear.

Letters without reply are, by their nature, terrible, one-sided, self-indulgent things. I can't begin to imagine your dreams, desires, fears. I do wonder if we will want the same things.

I hate it here sometimes. I had a rare and pleasant moment with my father while discussing the future. He said that it's okay to apply to lots of colleges and not attend any of them. It's all about keeping doors open.

I'm not bad at keeping doors open. I just have a lot of trouble opening them. I'm always waiting for people and opportunities to tumble into my life. And that's not fair. I should be looking for you. I'm just sitting here, watching Casablanca, wishing you were here. I want to look. I'm scared, that's all. I'm afraid of all the lovers I'll meet who aren't quite right. Who will hurt me. Who I will hurt.

It will not be your responsibilities to heal those heartaches. Try, though.

I'll try.

Whether your heartache manifests as tears, or nightmares, or simple moments of silence as you stare out the window, I shall be there, and I shall try.

Rescue me, and I'll rescue you right back.

I sometimes make room for you on the sidewalk.

Visit me sometimes, in my dreams. You may wear different faces, but I'll know it's you.

Goodnight, my love,

(Here's looking at you, kid,)


my sun and stars,07.10.13

I am artistic rather than scientific. I see the world through art. I communicate through words. I tend to sort my emotions into songs. For instance, the song “Being Alive” always seemed to communicate a lot of my feelings about being single.

I imagine you must be an artist, at heart if not in your career. It would surprise me if you are not. Because artists seem to understand other artists between than non-artists can.

I wrote about this thought I had a while ago. I'll tell you about it now:

In the thought, you are a writer. I am too, but that's not important for now. I'm in the kitchen, cooking and singing. Perhaps this week it'll be “Opening Doors”—or the chorus of it, at least. And you're at our tiny, round dining room table (which claims to seat four but usually seats two) with a laptop and several books. You're typing, or trying to, but my singing is a little pitchy and more distracting than endearing today.

I remember something I wanted to tell you and I launch directly into it, rambling. You're patient, usually, but today it's, “Darling, I'm trying to work. Would you mind keeping quiet for a little while?”

I say I understand, absolutely, no worries. I return to the kitchen, because I'm still cooking, but there's saltwater burbling up in my throat and leaking out of my eyes. I see you're stressed, so I make you some tea. You like it with sugar but not with milk. When I bring it over, I set it down on a napkin on which I've written, “Ask me about my day.” I touch your shoulder and walk back to the kitchen.

Clearly the silence works; another half hour of furious typing and you're finished. You come up behind me while I tend to the stir-fry.

“I'm sorry,” you whisper, arms wrapped around me.

I put my arms over yours. “It's okay. Did you finish your writing?”

“Yes. Thank you for the tea.”

“No problem.”

“How was your day?”

I launch into my story. You listen. We have dinner and I hum between bites.

I've so often imagined our life together, but I don't care if the fantasies never come true. Reality has a way of being stranger and more wonderful than your imaginings ever could be.

Maybe I'll write again later,


my heart and home,

I wish you were here, holding my hand, helping me know what to do.

I wish I were there, meeing your friends, learning your troubles, lying on your bed.

Ted Mosby once said: “I'm done with being single. I'm not good at it.”

I don't want to put any pressure on you. You are not responsible for my happiness or emotional well-being. You do not have to “complete” me, nor be my reason for waking up in the morning. I hope, however, you will make things more manageable.

I've already fallen in love with writing you letters. I need an outlet for the love in my heart, but I wouldn't write these letters to just anyone. You are the right person and I am certain you will appreciate them.

I want to be loved, yes. But I want to love you, too. I want to dote on you. Fight with you. Fly with you.

Saddle up the moon and ride until the stars grow dim.

Until tomorrow, my love,



A funny thing about fitting in: I never feel I do. I am always convinced I am on the outside. However, after a rount of storytelling, I realize it must seem I am on the inside. My drunken evening with — and —, for example. That was a very “inside” thing. A had-to-be-there thing. And I'm realizing that all the experiences my friends have without me are only as special as my experiences without them.

One day, we will have our own private experiences and I will finally feel that I am on the inside.

And you know what? I shan't tell anyone about them.

I wish you could write me back. These letters make me feel lonely and self-absorbed.

Till next time, my love,



I needed someone to hold my hand today. My perspective was distorted; I was upset over nothing. I would've appreciated a little love and support, and I'd have repaid you with dinner or a back rub. We'd watch a movie, and I'd fall asleep, and you'd carry me to bed.

A promise: I will always be there to hold your hand when you need it (or speak love and support over the phone, if we are apart).

I think I've forgotten how lovely phone calls are. They're not as rare as letters yet, but they are still an uncommon delight.

I hope your day had more emotional stability than mind. Either way, I send you my love.

Sweet dreams & bonne nuit,


mon amour,10.10.13

I no longer wish you were here. Though it would be lovely to curl up on my familiar couch, I think we'll need to find our own unfamiliar places.

So, I no longer wish you were here. I wish I could flash forward in time to an evening when we are in our own apartment, our place. It is full of our books, our favourite art. The scent of you, and me, and us. Littered with our mess.

I wish I were there.

I wish we were there.

Who are you? When will we meet? Where will we meet?

Why haven't we met?

I know. We're young. (I am, at least; you may be less young.) That doesn't mean I miss you, need you, want you any less. If you're getting the impression I'm needy...well, short answer is I am. All I've wanted for ages is to be understood and I've need for a while now to give my love away.

I always give my art away. The only thing I keep for myself is my writing. Why can't I hold onto the things I love? Why do I give them all away?

I was watching Pump Up the Volume as I wrote this. I don't think I could have watched this movie at a better time in my life.

So, in the spirit of 1990, I'm sending my love across metaphoric radio waves. I hope all is well with you. If it is not, I hope you have hope. I'll send mine along to be sure.

I may not be adventurous, but I could speak to people, one day.

I'm talking to you, aren't I?



I think often about us breathing each other in, of faces pressed to backs, of foreheads nudging stomachs, of piling your clothes on the bed and burrowing in them to be surrounded by the scent of you.

I hope you are well. I wish I could know when I'll see you. There is a boy who I know I will always see at choir concerts. There is —'s boy, who I will hopefully meet early next year. My penfriend and I email each day.

But I do know know when I will meet you, or when next I will see you. You appear briefly in dreams and always in fantasies, wearing other boys' faces.

Loving you, missing you, feeling your absence,



May I ask something of you?

Will you promise to get me a library? If there is any one dream you could make real, that is it.

I would love to explore New York City, and travel with you, and write a bestseller, and meet my idols—all those things would be wonderful. But all I really want is a library. A room that is peaceful and a space that is mine.

It would be a place to retreat to and somewhere I would invite you. It would be utterly private, filled with joy and tears.

What is your one dream? How can I make it come true?

There are things a person has to achieve on their own. And then there are great gifts disguised as dreams.


I hope we collaborate. Part of why I'd love you to be a writer or other artist is so we could work together. On projects just for us, and maybe some to publish. I do so love working on things with people feeling useful, watching it grow.

I'd love to stroke the hair at the nape of your neck. I'd love you to kiss my shoulder.)

Love, goodnight.



I needed you so badly today. I needed someone in my corner. I needed you to hold my hand. I needed you to level me. to keep me from exploding. To keep my from imploding.

I am selfish and I am sorry.

But I needed you.

I need you.

I love you. Please take care.



Don't come too early. I want to be ready. I want you to be ready.

I'm hungry and lonely, and worst of all, passive.

This is no time for love.

I count the days until our times and spaces align.

Eternally yours,



It's been a while. How are you? I wish you could have been around today. I wish you could have sat around the table with my friends and folded tiny boxes. I wish you could have cheekily interrupted my presentation. I wish you could have watched this candy film (sweet but without substance) and cuddled with me through the credits.

But today was a lovely day, and I did all those things without you.

This is the life I wish you could be a part of. I want you here when I don't want anyone else, but I also want you here when I'm with my friends, family, and teachers.

I am building a life. Slowly but surely.

I have a hint for you: if you sing to me, sing well, or write to me, write well, or read to me, well, I will adore you for that. If you sing “you look like a star / a vision in blue”; if you write, “I'll always be there for you”; if you read, “There was a brilliant moonbeam shining right onto her pillow”—I will adore that.

I would love to read to you. I would love to read to you about Peter Pan and Wendy Darling. I will always write to you and about you. If you let me, I will sing to you.

I eagerly await when our beings occupy the same time and near space.

Love always,



I wish you could have been with me. I wish I were about five years older and you were with me and we were indulging on a few fineries for our apartment. And you'd drive us home in the dark. I love being driven at night.

Darling, we decorated the TA room today. There was holiday music, and tinsel, and lights. I thought of the two of us in our apartment, laughing and singing along to the music while we decorate our tree.

My friends have their boys. I have you. Our timelines just haven't met up yet.

Next year, maybe? The year after? Five years from now?

(I feel like I"m being a little pathetic, a little desperate, but that may just be some social anxiety. Besides—you love me anyway. Don't you?)

Missing you all the more this holiday season. All my best,



“I inexcusably adore you.”

Please visit me in my dreams.

All my love,



I wish you were here.

But mostly, I hope you are having a happy new year.

All my love,



I would like to come home to someone. When I come home, I feel as though I have to hide. I don't want that. I want to tell you about the good. I want us to be proud of the same things and proud of each other.

I want to know I can talk to you and be unafraid that you'll leave, unafraid that it will take hours or that I'm wasting my time.

I want so much, but what I want seems simple to me. To talk. To be understood. To belong. To be loved.

I want so badly to know what you want. To give that to you, if possible. And...I want to talk to you about kids. I keep thinking about this and I have no one to talk to.

I think I might want kids. I think I would be happy with kids. But I also want to feel like it's okay if I choose not to have kids.



If it's not you that's missing, what is it? Will you help me find it?

Let's run away together.

Marry me. And everybody will leave us alone.

We'll never be tied to anything.

I've got to be where my spirit can run free / got to find my corner of the sky...

I can't wait to meet you. I can't wait for you to meet my friends. Especially —.

Do you pray? Probably not. (But maybe? I love you either way.) I don't. Despite that, let's pray for her and —, or at least send positive energy into the universe or something. She deserves to be happy and she deserves a love that lasts. And he needs her. And she needs an everlasting "us" to be a part of.

I love you dearly, darling. I'll pray for us too.

Love, sincerely,



I've been thinking of you. It's only, — and — were both asked out recently, and even though they didn't want to go out with the guys, the fact remains that they were asked. I'll graduate high school without a boyfriend. I've been thinking of last year's grad. Better to go with an awkward date or no date at all?

I've been trying to figure out whether I want kids. That's a conversation we need to have. It's hard to have it without you.

I really want you to touch me. I was watching Her and I imagined you touching me. I wish you were here to motivate me and to help. I wish we could talk about you. I wish a lot of things.

I'm okay. I just miss you.

Thinking of you, always,


I know you're out there.
Come find me.


Know that I take on too much. I will destroy myself trying to keep the promises I make to you. Don't let me. Please—remind me to think of myself. Remind me that I can say no, that I can ask for help.

Know that I will do anything for you. I just hope you don't ask for everything. Because I will give it, willingly, and have nothing left.

With need and affection,



Are you graduating? Have you graduated already? How are you feeling? / How did you feel? I wish we could've gone through this together. I really need you.

Sometimes I watch a movie or read a book or see a play, etc., and think that's exactly who I want you to be. But I've thought that so many times about so many different characters. And you won't be any of them. You will be uniquely you, and I am so excited to meet you. I want to share things with yout. I want to call you in a fit of excitement when I complete my first novel manuscript. I want to call you when I'm upset. I want to get texts in the middle of the night because you have news that can't wait 'til morning.

Darling, I wish I knew your name. I'd be saying your name if I knew it.

Wishing you were here.

Darling, darling, darling.

I'm really going to like you one day.


Will you let me read to you like Cath reads to Levi? I'd like to. I'd like us to curl up together and read. I'd like to read The BFG. Can we do that? What would you like to do? Visit car museums? Climb a mountain? Go swimming? Cook meals together? I'll do anything.

Do you want a family? Do you want kids? They aren't the same. There are so many ways to define family. I'm afraid my feelings on children will change. I'm afraid that they won't.

I wish you were here. Don't leave. Don't leave unless I ask you to, when I'm upset. I probably won't talk to you, but it's important to me that you're there.

I'll be Roger in Rent, sitting in the windowsill. Please sit on the windowsill. Nudge my foot with your foot. Inch closer, if I let you, 'til our legs are tangled can rest you head on my knee.

Do you ever cry? It's all right if you do, all right if you don't. Maybe you just get quiet. I hope you let me be there, but I understand if you want to be alone. As long as you come back to me. Always come back to me. I will always be there for you. I will, I swear. Because when I commit, I commit.



I want you.


an interlude: the end of the earth (fiction)

“You’d walk to the end of the Earth for her.”

He was, of course, talking about Emma.

“But I wouldn’t step off the edge,” Alex countered.

“Wouldn’t you?”

She opened her mouth to reject the statement, then didn’t.

“Imagine you’re standing at the edge of the world,” he continued, “and Emma’s holding your hand, and she’s leaning over to see what’s down there, and she says, ‘Come on, Alex. Why don’t we?’ And you’d say something sensible, but she’d whine and plead…wouldn’t you cave? You always do.”

“I don’t always—”

“You do. Are you seriously telling me that if the two of you were together at the end of the Earth, she couldn’t convince you to go over the edge with her?”

So, Alex considered it.

She would do nearly anything for Emma, she knew that. She’d give up any and all wealth, she’d stand in the path of a bullet, she’d walk away from her family. But would she go over the edge?

“Haven’t I already, though, in a way? I’ve gone completely beyond what I could ever expect her to reciprocate, I’ve wasted years being in love with her and denying being in love with her. Maybe you’re right. Maybe I would go off the edge. Maybe I have.”

“But you married me,” he said, placing his hand reassuringly on her back.

“That I did,” she replied. “I’m sorry.”

“What for?”

“I always wanted to be married. I always knew. And I thought that if I could make that commitment to someone, a lifelong commitment, a vow that you are my family for the rest of my life, then it would just be us. We would always come first. And yet here I am, talking about how in love I am with my best friend.”

His voice was quiet now, but not accusing. “Would you walk away from our marriage, if it came down to me or her?”

“I’d rip myself in half, I think.”

She moved to sit on the grass between his legs and leaned against his chest. He relaxed, slouching against the old tree.

“You have my permission to go after her.” He pressed a kiss to her head. “She had you first.”

“You’re only saying that because she’ll never love me back.”

“I’m not. You’d be with her if she loved you back. I know that, even if maybe you don’t. I’d never want to get in the way of your happiness.”

Alex blinked her watering eyes. “Why did you marry me? If you know all that?”

“Because I am inexcusably in love with you. And all I want is to spend the rest of my life trying to make you happy.”

He kissed her again and Alex wondered if he noticed her crying.

“I would walk to the end of the Earth for you, too,” she said.

“Maybe.” He held her a little tighter. “But I would never ask you to.”