Maybe I'm the problem.
I don't know. Maybe. Maybe I can't stop it because I'm the problem, because I've always been the problem.
No, I know too well to believe that now. I know too well to believe that I'm the problem, that I'm the one who's been the problem in our relationship. There's a part of me that would rather I'd still be able to lie to myself about it. But I suppose that's not possible. And that would put me exactly where I was two years ago.
No good would come out of that.
So I'll be honest. For once, I'll be honest. But not with you, because I've never lied to you. With myself.
Time to be honest.
You were my life. My entire bloody life. I've come to you... so broken and so alone. In such need. Living my life in my head, skipping from story to story, pretending that if I wanted to, I wouldn't have to live here. In this world. In this life. I haven't been seen - really and truly seen - by anyone. Not for long. That just wasn't who I was. No, I was the shadow girl.
You know, it has a nice ring to it. Maybe I should write it.
I didn't know you were new. In hindsight, maybe I'd have been more careful. Maybe I wouldn't. It doesn't really matter at this point, does it?
How unusual you were. You are. A geek that looks exactly the opposite from that. I don't know if I ever told you how much you reminded me of my Daniel, my crush for as long as I can remember. You have the same passion and kindness and desire to change. That's what drew me to you at first.
And then A Dance with Dragons.
Yes, I had a crush on you. Who didn't. I suppose I'll never know how much that crush was on you and how much it was my crush on Daniel. I've loved him my whole life. And for six months, you were so much like him in class that I suppose my mind formed a connection. So I was looking for a reason to talk to you after I finished the book.
And you gave it to me.
And that moment when I was over my crush and started to get to know you was the very moment that everything became about you.
To think that was over six years ago and I still dream about you.
But it wasn't for no reason. You saw me. With my fears and my insecurities. With my pain. With my hunger. You understood me in ways no one had ever understood me before. I know that even if I come back there now, you'll be able to take one look at my face and know exactly what I'm thinking. Even though you haven't seen me in nearly 2.5 years.
Because that's just the way we are.
I know we're not as similar as I thought we are. I'm far more broken, in ways you'll never know. And I'm happy - because you don't deserve to know it. Frankly, I'm starting to think I don't deserve it, too. But here we are. How did House put it? Life doesn't give you what you deserve. You get what you get.
But it doesn't matter, because on every other thing, we're so much alike. Everything we've said, everything we were - it was all real. I know it was. I think it was. You knew me like nobody else ever did. Like I never did.
I know myself better now. But it probably wouldn't have happened without you.
You were the only person in my life to have ever actually seen me. Me, Ann. Not the daughter, or sister, or student, or volunteer. Ann. Simply Ann.
You're not the only one now. But you're one of the only three people in the world who know me. Probably still better than I know myself.
He says that my dreams about you show just how much I want someone to see me, to care about me, to remember me. How much I want to know that I'm making an impact on someone - anyone.
But you know what? It's more than that.
I miss you. I miss being able to talk to you, to hear your voice, to see your smile. I miss having someone I can consult with and joke with and chat with and show stuff to. I miss having a family. Because you... you're the closest thing I've ever had to an actual family. You're like the father I've never had. Like the family I've never had. You were, and maybe still are, in a way, my secure base. My everything.
That's what you were. I try not to think of you now.
But i've been dreaming about you increasingly lately, and now that I'm writing this, I think I know why.
I don't know what my family is. The more we go into things, the more I understand I've never had a real family. Not one where people care about me and put me first and let me be whatever I want to be. I've never had that. I've always been there to fix and protect and be the family sponge, taking in everyone else's problems. No one has ever said to me, "Be whatever you want to be."
Except for you.
So maybe it's not a surprise that the more I understand this, the more I see my family for what it is... the more I miss you.
Maybe one day I'll be able to reach the fifth stage of grief. But it's not today. Today I just miss you.