i feel so empty tonight

Dear Friend,

April 1, 2017

It’s April Fool’s day. 
I promise you I won’t be telling you any jokes in this letter. 
Instead, I promise you that it will be a handful of truths that you wish were a joke, or maybe just a story that I’ve made up. 
Unfortunately, my life doesn’t work that way. 
It’s been a mess ever since he left me. 

I don’t think I’ve ever told you his name - nickname at least.
I call him Voldemort. 
Why, you ask?
Well, there was this time in my life - about a year ago - he left to another city up north in Texas called Austin. 
He didn’t tell anyone bye. 
Not even me. 
I didn’t know I was an “anyone” to him. 
I thought I was at least a “someone.”
I guess I was mistaken. 

He left without notice. 
It caught me off guard when he did. 
I sent him so many texts. 
I never got a reply. 

This was going on for over five months. 
Text after text after text AFTER text, I kept giving in! 
Why do I give in?
You would think that after a month of not replying I’d get the hint. 
I did get the hint, I just didn’t want to give up on him. 
He was such a dear friend to me. 
I couldn’t just pretend that he didn’t exist even though he was doing just that to me. 

As the months went on, it got harder and harder for me to think about him. 
Every day, I’d hear his name, see his face, or hear his voice in my head. 
It was so difficult. 
It got to the point that I hated hearing his name so much that when I’d talk about him to my friends I’d call him Voldemort. 

“Voldemort? Who’s Voldemort? Like from Harry Potter?” my friends would question. 

“Yes. Voldemort! That’s what I’m going to call him from now on because I hate hearing his name. He’s my version of JK Rowling’s ‘He Who Must Not Be Named.’”

So, that’s how he got his nickname. 
It’s quite funny though how history decides to repeat itself. 
On January 15, 2017, I sent you a letter telling you about the last time I saw him. 
Referring to that - I still haven’t seen him since then. 
In the past three months, he has only sent me one text message. 
It’s happening all over again. 
And this time I feel like I have lost him for good. 

When he did this to me last year, I was so worried for him. 
I was constantly thinking about him and his health and his well-being. 
I was always wondering what he was doing. 
And most of all, I always wondered if he was happy. 

Now, it’s different. 
Now, he’s not over three hundred miles away from me. 
In fact, he’s less than two miles away from me. 
I haven’t seen him in months. 
I haven’t talked to him in months. 

I still worry about him. 
I still want to know if he’s healthy. 
I still constantly think about him.
And I still wonder what he’s doing,

He doesn’t know this, mostly because it’s a little creepy, but I do take a drive by his house every once in a while.
I got a new car, so he doesn’t know what I’ve been driving.
I always go with the hopes of running into him while he’s outside.
All I want to do is see his face.
Is that too much to ask for?

There wasn’t many differences between the first time he pretended I didn’t exist and the time that I’m going through now. 
The one main difference between then and now, is that I know he’s happy.
He’s happy… 

He doesn’t need me anymore. 
He’s with the girl of his dreams and I’m just figuratively watching him from the sidelines.
I’m watching him be happy with someone else. 
He just used me. 
I was just a distraction until she came back into his life. 
He ran faster to her than he would’ve ever run to me. 
I love him, but he loves her. 
He’s my soul mate, but I’m not his. 

I hate hearing his name again. 
I hate seeing his blue car when it’s not even his. 
I hate going to places where we shared the most memories. 
I just hate thinking about him so much because I know he’s not thinking of me.

I wish I was more prepared for this.
I’m going through the exact same thing as last year, so why does it feel worse than better?
Is it because I want to believe that he was starting to fall for me?
Is it because I know he was happy with me too?
He was.
Is it because he broke the walls around my heart down?

We started doing so many things together. 
He started to make me come out of my shell - as did I with him. 
I saw the look in his eyes when he looked at me. 
I heard the tone of his voice when he told me he really liked me. 
And I heard the sarcasm every time he told me “I hate you.” 
He didn’t mean that. 
Maybe he was secretly telling me “I love you,” but he was just too afraid to say it. 

It’s sad… because I can’t begin to understand what he goes through on a daily basis. 
I don’t know what it’s like to be in love with a guy when you can’t even admit to yourself. 
I can’t begin to understand what he goes through when someone would ask him who I was. 
Was I “just a friend?”
What if they questioned him why we would hang out so much. 
How would I handle that if I was in his shoes?

I want to believe that he was falling in love with me, because it would be the only reasonable explanation as to why he won’t talk to me. 
He got scared. 
I get it. 
His family doesn’t know about his attraction toward men. 
I get it. 

What I don’t get is why he would go back to her?
From what I can recall, in my opinion, she makes him feel so insecure about himself. 
She tells him things like:
He’s a bad influence.
He’s making you do things - drink and other things that happen behind closed, locked doors. 
He’s not a good person. 
You’re better than that. 
That’s not like you. 
You don’t do those things. 

Why does she have to degrade me like that?
And to her own boyfriend too.
I honestly feel like she makes him feel ashamed of himself. 

I hope he doesn’t listen to her. 
I hope he knows that it’s okay to be gay. 
I hope he knows that it’s okay to be in love with a guy. 
Especially someone that would treat him right for the rest of his life.
He’s too beautiful, inside and out to not be treated the right way. 

I remember one thing he told me when he started talking to her again and he and I were on good terms. 
He was telling me that one time when she said something offensive to him, he replied with, “You know what? Sometimes you treat me like a nobody. Unlike Alex, at least he treats me like I’m a somebody.” 

Hearing that brought so much joy to my ears. 
It was wonderful. 
If only he still stuck by that comment and chose me instead of her. 
To be honest, I hope he still compares me to her a lot. 
I want him to know what he’s missing. 
I want him to know what he could’ve had. 
True, real happiness with no judgement. 

I’m not saying he’s not happy now.
I’m just saying, maybe all the comments she made about him not being “him” aren’t true because she doesn’t know the real him. 
Maybe he opened up to me in ways he never did with her.
I feel like I met the real Voldemort.
I feel like I made him feel comfortable. 
He knew I wouldn’t have judged him. 
I think that’s all he needs. 
To be with someone who won’t judge him for what he truly is.  

I want to talk to him. 
I want to hear his soothing voice, especially during sad times like these.
When I’m home alone on the bar writing to you, lights flickering, music playing and surrounded by darkness. 
I feel so empty tonight. 
I wish I knew how to fill this void without needing him.

To be honest, I don’t think it will ever be filled until he comes back to me. 
I’ve tried seeing other people. 
I’ve tried letting someone see my vulnerable side.
I’ve tried finding someone with the same taste in music, games, movies and tv shows like me.
I haven’t found anyone so far.
He and I had so much in common. 
He’s going to be so hard to replace. 

Incidentally, in my previous letter I mentioned some things that I should probably keep you updated on.
I ended up talking to my Management professor after all. 
She almost cried during our talk. 
Her eyes got so glossy, especially after I told her that it’s been difficult for me to get out of bed. 
I could tell that she understood.
She gave me some advice and told me I should go see a counselor - if I wanted to of course. 
She wasn’t forcing the decision upon me. 
I knew she was right when she told me that it would help me a lot. 

Also, my friend from Chicago left this week. 
I miss her already. 
We had such a good time while she was here. 
We went to the beach. 
We went shopping. 
We ate my favorite restaurants. 
I took her to her old home. 
And of course we watched our favorite movies. 
I had such a great time with her. 
I can’t wait until I get to visit her next. 

Love Always,

EXCERPT: “Okay. You win.” He whispers and opens his door. I do the same and meet him at the hood of his car, his hand finding mine. He leads me down the sidewalk and my patience thins the longer it takes to get to my house. I occasionally lean up and try to kiss his neck or try to sneak my hand inside his shirt but Theo refuses to let things escalate.

It’s almost midnight. 15 minutes it says on the right corner of my screen where I’ve been watching the minutes go by for the past two hours. My parents are watching television downstairs and I hope the sound is able to drown out Theo’s arrival because the last thing I want is to get caught.

I walk over to my window and open it, a rush of warm air brushing my hair from my face. Summer nights are meant to be filled with fun, spontaneous moments — kind of like last night’s, except things didn’t end so well for me. Theo and I got into an argument and plenty was left unsaid — neither of us selfless enough to apologize. He usually comes over on Friday nights and picks me up so we can drive down to the park where we usually lie down and talk about numerous things. 

This feels sightly bizarre now and any normal person would cancel it, but more than anything, I want to see him. I hate fighting with him and feeling this emptiness inside me. So tonight I’m hoping can we settle this argument once and for all and move past it. 

I stare at the huge oak tree in front of my house, the leaves swaying in accord with the wind and bring my phone up once more. 8 minutes it says. Only 8 more minutes before I see him. Next year will be our senior year and the possibilities after that seem endless. Theo and I decided to spend the first four years after high school apart — each at our college of choice — and then meet again and possibly seal the deal. That’s the plan. 

I see a red car in my periphery and before I can confirm it’s him, my heart does a somersault. A burst of excitement rushes through me and I fastened my shoes before dashing out of my room. Downstairs, I walk into the living room and find my parents cuddled against each other on the couch. I lean down and kiss them both goodnight. “I’m calling it a night. Love you.” They return the kisses and wish me goodnight. Feeling successful, I pretend to walk toward the staircase in the hallway but veer off into the kitchen at the last second. 

I open the backdoor slowly and step out into the warm night air. I round the house, careful not to get caught and walk the few steps toward his car. I open the passenger’s side door and slide inside, my heart beating a mile a minute. There’s an awkwardness in the air and as Theo leans over to hug me, I extend my hand for a handshake. He stops, his arms mid-air, and slowly recoils. A deep flush settles over my cheeks as embarrassment fills me up. I start to hug him back but it’s too late, he’s already back in his seat. 

“Hi.” He says, glancing at me quickly. His body seems rigid and I feel partially responsible. Why did I go for a handshake? 

“Hey.” We sit in silence for a while. My eyes wander to his hands gripping the steering wheel and I have to keep from reaching over and feeling his soft skin. He catches me staring but instead of the usual smirk and witty remark, he pretends not to notice. I look away and clear my throat. “How are you?” 

“Can we not do this, babe?” He asks and I have to stifle a sigh of relief. I’m glad he doesn’t wanna pretend everything’s fine when it’s not. He turns on the ignition and speeds down the road. It’s only when we cross a red light that I notice, for the first time, Theo’s eyes on me. He redirects his eyes back on the road, a small smile appearing on his face. 


He slows down to a stop a few blocks away from my house. It’s 1:34 am and it’s dark outside, cricket’s filling in the silence. I sit there with my hands in my lap and my teeth over my bottom lip. Theo’s staring out his window, one hand on his thigh and the other lying alongside the door. 

“I should go.” I say but make no move to leave. I want us to talk, to settle this but I don’t know how to approach the subject. 

“Wait.” He holds out his hand and touches my arm. Relieved for the second time that night, I sit back in my seat and wait expectantly. “I don’t want to fight anymore.” He confesses and I nod profusely. 

“Me neither, baby, I’m so sorry.” I say all at once, my eyes trained on him. A faint smile stretches across his lips and he leans forward, his forehead coming to rest against mine. “I love you so much. I never wanna fight like that. Let’s just forget about it all, mm?” 

Theo nods, resting a hand against the side of my face. He looks into my eyes for a long time, his eyes speaking for him. I feel my heart flutter and without a second thought, crash my lips against his. A rush of air leaves my nostrils as I melt into his touch. I missed this. I missed him. Even if the fight only lasted a few hours. 

“I love you, too. It’s all forgotten. I just hate that we wasted all this time being mad at each other.” He smiles against my lips. I pull back slightly and nod in agreement. We can’t take another stroll, that’d be too risky. My parents never usually check up on me after I’ve told them I’m going to bed but what’s to say that can’t change? 

“Come up with me. My parents are sleeping, they won’t hear us.” I say, excitement brewing in my stomach. He kisses me again but doesn’t say anything when he pulls back. He sits back in his seat and runs a finger along his bottom lip, deep in thought. I lean forward and kiss his cheek lightly, my arm rounding his stomach. Theo remains seated and doesn’t seem to give me much attention. I kiss the corner of his mouth tentatively and after a few seconds, he sighs and turns around, his lips finding mine. 

“Let’s continue this upstairs. We’ll be able to get back the time we wasted being mad at each other.” I offer, touching his nose with mine. He keeps his eyes closed, his jaw clenched. I move my hand up to run it through his hair and kiss him. He allows my tongue to wander into his mouth this time and returns the enthusiasm. The wind picks up outside, drowning out the crickets and their chant. I pull back and stare at his lips, all red and swollen. At this moment, there’s nothing I want more than him. 

“Okay. You win.” He whispers and opens his door. I do the same and meet him at the hood of his car, his hand finding mine. He leads me down the sidewalk and my patience thins the longer it takes to get to my house. I occasionally lean up and try to kiss his neck or try to sneak my hand inside his shirt but Theo refuses to let things escalate. 

At the door, I pull out my key from my pocket and unlock the door. The house is silent and dark, my parents having gone to bed already. I invite Theo inside and lead him upstairs, my index finger against my lip as we march down the hallway toward my room. “I’m cool doing it here.” He whispers in my ear, his hands brushing up my stomach to cup my breasts. A little squeak leaves my mouth and I slap his hands away in complete shock. My parents’ room is a few steps from mine and my little squeak might just be what gets us caught. I push Theo inside my room and close the door, turning around with a look of fury on my face. He’s standing on my bed, his arms outstretched behind him, a look of pure delight on his face. He beckons me over, a small gesture of his finger. 

I take a few steps toward him, stopping when our toes touch. He looks up at me, his hair curled up at the tips, his eyes candid and his lips wet and impossibly red. I can almost feel the anger leave my bones as I stare at him. Theo sits upright and brings his hands up to my hips, his long fingers digging into my skin. I shiver, his touch electrifying. 

“That wasn’t cool, babe. My parents could have heard me. Do you understand how screwed we’d be?” He raises a suggestive brow and I have to roll my eyes. I can already hear the witty response. 

“Don’t say anything. Don’t answer that.” I say. He chuckles, his hands higher now, and in their process, pushing my shirt higher up my stomach. He leans forward and kisses the smooth skin of my stomach. There’s a slight chill in the room and I realize I left the window open. But I don’t mind. My body is hot right now and the wind is welcoming. His lips move lower and lower until he’s kissing the waistband of my jeans. I stand there, breathless, as he tugs on my jeans, pulling them down my hips and thighs. I suck in air and exhale a shaky breath. I feel lightheaded and at a loss for balance but Theo steadies me. At his request, I step out of my jeans and remain in my panties. He runs a hand up the inside of my thigh and I can’t help the noise that comes out of my mouth. He glances up at me and smiles before pulling my panties down as well.

I feel embarrassed at the sight of him watching me. I start to cover myself up with my hands but Theo grabs them. He stands up and lifts my arms in the air, one hand coming down to grab at the hem of my shirt. He pulls it up and with the other hand swiftly brings it over my head. The remaining item of clothing on me is my bra and as he stares it down, I know it’s only a matter of time before he takes that off too. He wraps his arms around me and expertly unclasps my bra, pulling it off completely. 

I’m completely naked in front of my fully clothed boyfriend and I can’t help but feel self-conscious. He sits back down on the edge of my bed and simply stares at me. “Come here.” He whispers and I bend down, my lips finding his. He kisses me slowly and pulls me down on his lap. My hands wander down his chest and rest in his lap, my nimble fingers working his belt and zipper open. I pull his pants down and Theo lifts his hips to help me out. Eager to see all of him, I push him down the bed and push his shirt up, bunching it up his neck. I bend down and kiss his neck, sucking on the sensitive skin — I want to leave marks on him. His hands press against my back, the skin warm but still strangely leaving goosebumps in their wake. 

I sit up and experimentally pull him out, his dick already hard in my hand. I glance down at him and find that he’s staring at me, his eyes full of something intense. He pulls his shirt over his head and throws it to the side. I stare at his chest, all strong and muscly. I bite my bottom lip and align myself on top him, using my hand to steady him. I feel his hands on my hips and with that, I sink down. A jab of pain courses through me at first and I have to stop. Theo, worried, rubs my thigh reassuringly and waits for me. When it’s bearable again, I sink further down his dick, this time the pain less prominent, and slowly start to move my hips — around, around, around and then up, down, up, down, up, down. His eyes are closed and quiet moans are leaving his mouth but not quite reaching me so I clench down on him and watch as his eyes pop open and a wanton moan comes barreling out his throat. He frowns at me, caught off guard and I reach over to touch his cheek, my way of apologizing. “I like it when you moan,” I confess. He raises a brow then reiterates my statement, directing the words at me. He slides one hand down his stomach and inches it closer to my crotch. I watch intently as he presses his thumb against my clit, rubbing it gently. A spark of something strong pulses through me and I can’t control the screams that fill my throat. Theo laughs, all soft and husky. 

He’s still working his thumb against me and the pleasure that engulfs me is surreal. I never want this to stop. I continue riding him, feeling him fill me up and then retract. Again and again. He’s watching, the moans leaving my mouth obviously a turn on for him. He pulls me down with a hand on the small of my back and kisses me with his tongue. I moan into his mouth, my hips rocking back and forth. His hand is moving between us, pressing against me and creating the most delicious of sensations. “My parents are going to hear me, baby.” I say but he doesn’t seem to care. He pulls my bottom lip between his mouth and starts sucking on it. A pool of hot electricity starts in my lower abdomen and slowly spreads itself over my body. 

I don’t have to tell Theo I’m over the edge, he seems to understand on his own. He releases my lip and pushes me up with his hand, his hips lifting up to pound into me. I sit there motionless as he does all the work and relish in the pleasure that takes over my body. “Theo.” I moan loudly. Way too loudly. His eyes widen and he shushes me, but I’m far too gone to care. He fucks me through my orgasm and when reality comes crashing down on me, I slump into him. 

“Babe?” His deep voice fills my ears. I sit up and stare at him before realization hits me. 

“Oh. Sorry.” It doesn’t take much to get Theo going and after a few minutes of my hand around him, tugging, he grunts and releases. I kiss his cheek and neck, whispering sweet nothings into his ear as he releases all over my hand. He turns his head toward me and kisses me softly. 

“I’m sorry I flirted with all those girls. You’re it for me. I don’t want anyone else. Ever.” 

I sigh. “We said we weren’t going to be talk about this.” 

“I know but I feel I should apologize.” 

I smile fondly at him and peck him. “You already did.”

The Dog Tale: Take Two

Life is a strange thing. I don’t believe in “fate” or “destiny” or divine intervention. I think shit just happens, and sometimes it happens bad and sometimes it happens good. But I do think that, on occasion, the universe aligns exactly right, and the shit that happens turns out to be happening perfectly.

Take all the dog-related events of this weekend, for example.

Obviously that didn’t turn out how Hubby and I wanted, but it was a big and positive step forward, despite the end result. As it turned out, though, it had ripples we couldn’t have foreseen. Such as me talking about it all a lot with Doc. Which lead to Doc talking about it with her wife, Jill. Which led to Jill having our search and our hopes and our readiness to adopt in her mind when she went to work today. Which becomes particularly relevant when you know that Jill is a vet.

And then the universe shifts and things start clicking into place. I find out Not-Dolly won’t be coming home with us. Within five minutes of learning that, Doc gets a surprise text from Jill. There’s a puppy who’s just been surrendered to her clinic. Would Hubby and I be interested maybe?




She’s an eleven-week old lab/collie mix. She came in with a broken leg, which Jill’s clinic is fixing up (she’s in surgery tonight). Then she’ll be living with Jill and Doc for the next few weeks, and when she’s good to travel, I’ll be driving to Montana to take her home.


Jill says she has the sweetest temperament. All that pain, all that confusion, and she was wagging her tail and not snapping at anyone. AND HER FACE OH MY GOD.

I didn’t want to bombard Hubby with all this at work, so I waited until he was home and comfy before I approached the idea. But he’d been so sad. He walked in the house and just stood in the living room. “The house feels so empty. I was expecting when I came home tonight it’d full and exciting and right, but it’s so empty.” And then I could show him this little girl.

It all feels so good and right. And we have to wait again, but it’s an okay waiting. Nobody is going to “sneak” in and take her from us. We don’t have to anxiously scan websites and just hope and potentially face more disappointment.

She doesn’t know she has a home yet, but she does. And soon she’ll be well enough to come here and be loved forever.

All she needs is time. And eventually a name. BECAUSE DESPITE HOLLIGAY’S INSISTENCE HER NAME IS NOT “RIKI” DAMN IT

My bed feels so empty tonight. As much as I joke around about you being uncomfortable, I miss you’re arms wrapped around me and I miss the gentle kisses you press against my hair. I’ve never felt so safe and so cared for in my entire life. Everything else melts away when you’re holding me and I miss that already.
—  Letters to you (7-14-15)