Dear younger me,
I know you'll never read this because you're now gone, a fading memory in the back of my mind. But I wish I could find a way to make you read this.
A lot has happened in our life. Sometimes, I think, we grew up too fast, but I don't regret it. Maybe we moved out too soon?
We regret a lot of things. Such as saying yes when we didn't understand, being afraid. I'm sorry all that happened to us. I'm sorry we're traumatized. I wish it'd never happened.
They say trauma makes you stronger... We didn't need to be stronger. We needed to be safe. We were just a child. Small. Innocent. Afraid. And now, we pay the price.
At 10 years old we began self harming, tearing the skin out the inside our mouth and picking scabs so much that it left scars. We starting starving ourself at 11, even though we were already skinny. 14, we were cutting and planning our death, daring God to prove he was real.
We've been through Hell and back. A place we should never have been.
I still remember the metallic taste of blood as it'd fill our mouth after we tore the skin off the inside of our cheeks. I don't think I'll ever forget.
We've got a boyfriend now. He's sweet. He knows our past as well as we do. He forgives us for being afraid and saying yes, at least I think he does. I wonder, if he'll notice the scars decorating my body, showing the seething hatred we hold for ourself.
If I could make you read this. I'd make sure you know not to starve yourself. I'd make sure you know to never harm yourself. I'd make sure that when daddy asked that question when we were 11, you would know to say no and to find a trustworthy adult to tell them about it. But I can't. No matter how much I wish I could, I can't. And I'm sorry for that. I'm sorry we live with this burden. I'm sorry our boyfriend knows and shares our burdens.
But... I'm learning, we're learning, to love ourself. Slowly. But we're learning.
To the past me, I love you. I love you. I love you. I know it's too late to say this for you to know, but maybe future us will know this and will love both of us and herself. And maybe she'll be able to show her kids this letter and teach them about everything so they never struggle with the same burdens.
Your older self in the present
I’m sorry I left so suddenly. I’m sorry you’ll only read this after I’m long gone. I’m sorry you didn’t know that the last time was the last time. Life doesn’t give you warnings before a life-changing incident happens, it’s not fair, and I’m sorry that life has to be this hard. Remember that one time when we talked about our insecurities and fears? Remember how I told you that I fear being forgotten, that I don’t think I’m special enough to be remembered, that when I’m gone people will only be sad for some time, then life will go on as if I never existed? I’m gone now, and I know that there is no way for me to figure out wether my fears will come true or not, but I want at least you, you who I loved like no other human being, I want you to remember me. Remember that I didn’t eat breakfast, because my stomach hurt if I ate in the morning. Remember that I loved peach ice tea, and that caramel cappuccino with whipped cream was my favorite coffee. Remember that I hated spicy food, and that I had a sweet tooth. Remember that I was a chatterbox who never shut up. Remember that I loved winter, but autumn was my favorite. Remember that I loved my teddy bear more than most people in my life. Remember that I cared about birthdays, anniversaries, and special days, and that I loved getting presents for those I care about. Remember that I was a crybaby who would cry over nonsense, and that I would become ecstatic with a simple word. Remember that I always loved wholeheartedly, that I was always there for anyone who needed me, and that I always felt I was never enough. Remember that I was a good friend, but never a great one, that I was the close friend but never the lover, that I was never loved the way I loved. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just me and the way I am, and that’s always been the problem. I overthink, over-feel, and I over-love. It’s just me, I couldn’t change that, and I couldn’t live with it anymore. I fear oblivion, I always have, so please let me ask you, my forever favorite person, to allow me to make one final selfish request;
It’s only sauce.
I like his smile.
I think he’s sexy.
I’d like to go on a date with him.
″...accused of murder in the first degree...”
He’s kind of cute.
Now that his wife is out of the way.
″...evidence clearly left behind the scene of the crime- a sock and two sets of fingerprints is enough to identify Mr. Jonathan Samuels as guilty of murder.”
I wish they’d hurry up with this trial. I’d like to run away with him.
He’s looking at me. He’s got nice green eyes. I wonder how his hands would feel all over me...
His lawyer's voice cut through my daydream.
″...the defendant was watching a football match in the living room when he heard a noise. He went to the garage and found his wife on the ground. She had slit her throat and was dying.
He tried to stop the blood flow with his sock and left some prints on the door before he called the hospital and the police. Mr. Samuels is devastated he lost his wife.”
I could make him forget her.
He’s tall. Taller than I’d dated before. He’s got a strong jawline. I can tell he’s very authoritative.
The fat presecuter started to speak again snapping me out of my thoughts.
“Mr Samuels has a history of domestic violence cases against him. In 2011 he was found guilty of punching his then girlfriend Amanda Miskin, in 2013 he was accused of shooting his neighbour’s dog, in 2014 he was booked for throwing a flower pot at his ex-wife Ms. Morena Gray. In 2016 he was fired from his job due to anger issues by Comet Company Ltd. where he worked as a manager. Since 2017, there have been rumours in the neighbourhood that Mr. Samuels regularly beat up his wife, as confirmed by ten friends of the victim Mrs Mary Samuels. The marks on her throat as verified by a qualified doctor clearly show she could not have inflected those wounds on herself.”
A man full of rage.
I could handle that.
I’d handled that before. I’d even stood in court and testified five years ago.
The jury found him not guilty. They let him go. His lawyer was too good.
He almost killed me when he got out. But died in a car crash a day later.
I still find people like him insanely hot.
The other jury members looked solemn. My jury hadn’t looked like that. What had I done differently? Maybe they didn’t believe my story because I was still alive.
″...court dismissed till 3 pm.” said the judge.
We all stood up to go to the cafeteria. I listened in on the other jurors.
“He’s guilty.” said the woman in a blue tunic. Self righteous and so utterly mistaken. She thinks the world is full of good people and bad people. She’s the kid who never had to settle for the grey crayons in kindergarden.
“I agree.” said the man in a brown suit. He was the accountant at the bank I always avoided. Always smiling, happy, son-of-a-bitch.
The nine other jurors nodded in agreement as they sat down at the table, plates of spaghetti in front of them.
It was fascinating how, if you put enough sauce, it would look like splattered blood on your clothes by the time you finished your meal.
“He’s innocent.” I said suddenly.
The table paused to listen to me explain, if only because their mouths were full.
“He’s got anger issues for sure, but he isn’t a murderer.” I said.
My abuser hadn’t killed me. He’d always liked to see me suffer.
“I think someone else did it.” I said taking a fork and twirliing it around my plate of spaghetti. “He wouldn’t have slit her throat because he knew he would get caught. It wasn’t him.”
“But the evidence points straight at him.” started old Mr. Harris. He was a good guy, had three grandkids, lived an easy life. Couldn’t be bothered to know how I, back then, living across the street, got such frequent black eyes.
“It’s been planted to make it look like he did it. But he didn’t.” I said firmly. “Believe me, there is someone else involved. A scorned former lover, a wellwisher, a hateful friend---even a robber.”
I hadn’t had anyone. Maybe that’s why I lived.
We returned for the afternoon session shortly after, my eyes meeting Mr. Samuels as I entered. He was more good looking than I had imagined.
He was neatly shaved. I could almost imagine the scruffy beard growing in a few weeks, reeeking of alcohol and overburned cigerettes.
″...just received CCTV footage from across the street, Mrs Mary Samuels is seen with a man, who is clearly not Mr. Jonathan Samuels. This man on the 53rd second mark, slits her throat and runs away after an argument. This clearly shows Mr. Jonathan Samuels is not guilty. Police are looking for a middle aged man, 5 foot 11 inches tall...”
The jury looked at me and nodded.
In a couple of hours they would all agree with what I had told them.
“The jury finds Mr. Jonathan Samuels not guilty.” was announced precisely at 5 pm.
As we left the room I quickened my pace, so I wouldn’t turn around and ask Jonathan Samuels for a drink. I had to get back and see my therapist.
But he was at the door speaking to every jury member as they filed out of the empty courtroom.
“Thanks.” he said to me with a charming smile. The bastard was smirking now.
I’d seen that look so many times before. I ran out of the building, before I kissed him.
He knew his wife had an affair. He knew her lover was abusive too. He knew he would eventually kill her for him.
He knew. He knew.
I thought of those haunting green eyes turning red. He’d be more careful next time.
And now he was free.
Just like me.
I boarded the cab and held my head in my hands.
But was I really?