Going through some clothes in storage today, I came across a letter--4 years old--stamped but never mailed--from my boyfriend to the former Ms X.
Nothing new is in it. I don't think he was hiding it or saving it. He hasn't worn the coat for years--I think he just threw the old coat in the box along with everything else, and between then and now has forgotten this letter entirely.
But for the letter to have been in that coat when he stored it, means that he was still keeping it--hiding it and probably taking it out to look at it, I don't know why--for at least 2 years from the time he wrote it, and for at least 4 months from the time their relationship ended. I'd like to think that maybe he thought better of sending it, and kept it to look at, because it kept him from writing another one, or calling? But just because I'd like to think that doesn't mean I think it. I almost CAN think that he never mailed her a real letter, just the chat and emails--because the whole relationship was about impulse and escape and he couldn't actually take all the steps required to send a physical letter without having second thoughts. That he wrote a few letters and never mailed them, and was then embarrassed not to have sent them and so he kept quiet about it. Please, please, does anyone else do this? Keep things around from the bad old days, or hold on to one last secret? WHY?
I don't know how I feel about this right now. I know the whole truth already--finding this letter doesn't change what I knew before I found it, and we're still talking about a relationship that he ended a long time ago, before I ever knew about it. I've already forgiven him for everything in that letter and more. In a way, this letter was "better" than the letters I've imagined he wrote to her. I think it will be relatively easy to put behind me. It was just such a terrible shock to see something in HIS handwriting, with HIS name at the bottom, our address in the upper left hand corner of the envelope. All I've ever seen before are letters from her.
I'm not even angry at him right now, or especially hurt or surprised. I'm shaken but not shaking. I'm just so SO SO SICK AND TIRED of having to come to terms with things all over again. I'm not all the way back to the beginning but I'm closer to it than I was last night. I am angry and hurt at the world, about going backwards all the damn time. I want nothing more than to close the book on this tired old history and live the next many years of my life in peace with the man I love. I've put this behind me once. That should have been enough.