I was signing up for some service; I don’t even remember which one now. Flipboard, I think. Doesn’t really matter. It made me put in an email address so I put in the throw-away one I use for everything I suspect might spam my inbox. This site, however, was one of those tricky sites that makes you click on an activation link in an email to complete your registration. Tricksy hobbitses.

So I logged into the email account to retrieve the link. I hadn’t checked this account in quite some time, and that’s when I saw them. Windows into my past. Old emails from when we used to correspond. From when you used to actually talk to me. Before the shit annihilated the fan.

You hadn’t crossed my mind in the longest time, and that surprised me. I read through the emails and all the pain came crashing back momentarily. The past is a horrible place to visit. And I should know. I was there the first time.

I contemplated sending you an email. I figured enough time had gone by that things could be discussed now. I sat and I pondered. And then I wondered and I pontificated. It was just about the time I stopped thinking about it when I rediscovered a song which I had heard before, but didn’t much care for. But the cover of this song hooked me and then the lyrics pulled me in. And with each cycle of this track the urge to write you became stronger and the need for words to burst from me spiraled out of control. If I knew what was good for me I’d probably stop listening to music altogether.

But I can’t bring myself to write you, and I won’t. I’ve already tried. I explained what happened and why. I’ve apologized profusely and repeatedly. I’ve gobbled up the blame like a hungry hippo. I’ve laid claim to fault. And none of it mattered. Yes, I fucked up and mishandled, well, everything, but that doesn’t mean I’m the monster you’ve imagined me to be in your head.

There was a time my guilt for this tormented me. There was a time I’d plunge myself into every bottle within my grasp to numb the pain. There was a time I wept like a neglected baby while trying to cope with my failure and the pain I’d caused. That time has long since passed.

Despite all that, I have these words desperate to escape me, so I’ll release them here. If somehow, some way, these words reach you, please know that I wish you all the happiness you so rightly deserve. I hope you’ve slayed the demons with which you struggled way back when. I hope your family is whole again and your heart healed. I hope you’ve found love and are being treated like the amazing person you truly are. I hope that none of the scars you wear on your heart were left by me. I hope that, if by chance you look in your rearview mirror, you see me as a broken man struggling to do his best instead of a devil hellbent on breaking every heart he could. Know that there are a lot of things I’ve done in the past five years I would change if I could, and what happened between us tops that list.

I have deleted the emails. I deleted our texts. I deleted your number long ago. I deleted the pictures. I have deleted every reminder of us and closed the blinds guarding the window to my past. I have no use for the demons who lurk there.

Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’ve tried
To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart