First off, I don’t intend for you to ever read this letter. As soon as I’m done with it, I’m tucking it between two books on my bookshelf never to be seen by the light of day again. But I need to let this out somehow. I need to see my feelings on a sheet of paper in front of me and face them head on, instead of hiding from them as usual.
I remember third grade. I know you don’t think I do, but I do. I remember how tiny you were, and how you wore the same green hoodie every single day. I remember sitting next to you in class, and you chasing me during games of tag on the playground. I remember you tugging on my long ponytails and calling me strawberry head. But most vividly, I remember you congratulating me every time I got an A on a spelling test, or got an answer right, on the rare occasion that I raised my hand in class. You’ve barely changed at all.
I never spoke another word to you until two years ago when our lives started changing and our paths crossed again. That is one of my biggest regrets. Not because I owed you my attention, but because once I started giving it to you, I never wanted to stop. You are gentle, and kind, and thoughtful, and you listen to every single word I say. You’ve never given up on me, even when everyone thought I was off-my-rocker-crazy.
I play it off like it’s casual, but you don’t know that every time you touch my back to guide me through a crowd, or hold my hand, it’s as if your fingertips are matches and my skin is sandpaper, and a fire is lit in my veins.
The way you look at me is a whole different story. Nobody else has ever looked at me like that, and it scared me at first. It scared me a lot. I’d get lost in your admiring gaze and forget where I was, what was wrong, who’s life was in danger. I didn’t feel like I deserved that. But now I know I do. I give you partial credit for that.
Before I kissed you that day in the locker room, I wasn’t sure of my feelings for you. Until then, you were my dopey partner in non-crime, and I wasn’t completely sure why I was drawn to you. But while I sat there, watching you panic and struggle to breathe, the first thing that came to my mind was to put my lips on yours. I expected it to be clumsy and awkward, but what I felt was the opposite. The clarity that came with your kiss was like putting on glasses and finally seeing the world for how it should be. It wasn’t until we broke apart that I remembered that holding your breath could stop a panic attack.
Since then it’s been clear. I love you. In more than one sense of the word. You are my best friend, my partner, and my hero. I have found a home in you. You are the wall I lean on for support when I am dizzy, and the blanket I wrap around me for warmth when I am shivering from cold and qualm. My life without you in it is hazy and dim. I have put the glasses on, Stiles. I’m never taking them off.
If you ever do end up reading this letter, I want you to know one thing: Whether you still feel the same way or not, I will never stop being for you what you are for me. I will never stop loving you.
Love always, Lydia
-an unopened letter to Stiles, inspired by this post