Can We Start Over? (Let's See If the Magic Is Still There.)

Letter #1


As I opened my eyes this morning, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach that something was wrong. After a minute I realized what it was--you were gone. How long has it been since you left? Oh, yes, I remember--about five weeks now. Actually, it's been four weeks, five days and--let me see--about 10 hours. It seems longer than that.

When I look back on the way we were, we lived in our own private, happy world. When we walked close together and whispered to each other in public, the old people smiled at us and nodded knowingly, while the teenage girls pointed and giggled. When I went to work in the morning, though, some of my tired co-workers frowned, a little annoyed that I came in smiling and happy when they were facing another demanding day. But the work hours went by quickly, at least for me, and I always had you to come home to. We would always share the highs (and lows) of each other's day while we whipped up some chef's surprise in the kitchen, or went out and ate in style. And, oh, the nights we spent together afterwards--we shared our highs in each other's arms, too, remember? Sleep came easy for me back then.

Since you left, though, my nights are restless but uneventful. I find myself turning sideways in bed, throwing an arm over as I try to cuddle up to someone who's no longer there. It was very cold for April, didn't you think? Breakfast often consists of cold pizza, left over from the take-out I had for supper the night before. Afterwards, I join my subdued co-workers in facing another lackluster day with not enough to look forward to at the end of it. I have no one who's willing to comfort me when my boss shoots down another one of my great ideas and no one to agree with me when I analyze the state of the world. I have no incentive to eat in the kitchen like a civilized human being and find myself chewing something indifferently in front of the TV.

What all of this means, of course, is that I still love you and that your leaving has left a great void in my life. True love is not easily destroyed, I've found, even when the once-happy lovers separate in anger. It was anger, wasn't it? Maybe it was just a misunderstanding. Whatever it was, most problems can be solved when those involved have had enough time to cool off and think about it. I don't know about you, but I've had all the time I need. Actually, I can't even remember the details of why we separated or who was to blame. It doesn't seem important now, anyway, and it certainly doesn't seem worth throwing away all the good things we've shared together.

I'm half afraid to ask how you're doing. Do you miss me? I hope so. Is there a gap in your life that you haven't been able to fill yet? If so, stop trying to fill it and consider seeing me again. If you do, you will find an older and wiser person than you knew before, but I still love you just the way you are. I'm proposing that we go out to dinner and just see if the magic is still there. I could pick you up or just meet you somewhere, whatever you prefer. Let's go somewhere special--how about Tony Roma's? We used to eat there in happier days. Think about it. I'll call you Saturday afternoon and see if you're willing.

I remember us the way we were.

Letter #2


How are things going? I hope that you are doing well. I wish I could say the same for myself. Oh, my classes are going well. I never thought I would enjoy teaching at the U as much as I do. I do sometimes miss the excitement of deadlines and hot stories that comes with writing for a national newspaper but, in a way, this work is even more rewarding. Seeing the fire in my students' eyes as they come up with new angles makes teaching as exciting as any story I ever nailed.

Much as I enjoy it, I didn't really write to talk about work, I wrote to talk about us. I don't know how these last months have been for you, but they've been terrible for me. I didn't know how much a part of my life you had really become. Before you came along, I had my fast-paced career and my friends, and a lot of casual dates, and I thought I was happy. Then I met you, and my whole world shifted. I never knew joy before like I knew in the year I spent with you (well, one year, eleven months, and seven days, but who was counting?). Now, the pain that I felt when we ended our relationship has only deepened.

The bottom line is that I'm still in love with you. I know that at the time we parted we both felt that a little time and space was the right thing for both of us, and I think we were right. Things were just getting too intense. Our pressures at work were really getting to us, weren't they? I had just become chief editor at the paper, and you were quickly moving up your own corporate ladder. We put so much into getting ahead, we stopped giving time to each other. It's no wonder that things didn't work out. I've decided, though, that what we had is worth too much to just give it up if there's still a chance for us. What do you think about starting over? Is it possible that, despite the time that has passed, you miss me as much as I miss you?

I don't know about you, but I've definitely learned my lesson. A career is a great, exhilarating thing, but it has no arms to hold me tight, nor warm feet to keep mine warm on a cold night. I can't curl up with a job to watch a gorgeous sunset or my favorite movies. It can't share my dreams, and it can't kiss me after a rough day and make things better.

I would love to get together to talk about old times. We could go to the Sky Room Restaurant for dinner, then maybe go for a drive and talk about old memories and maybe make some new ones. What do you think? I hope to hear from you soon.

I am "your girl" always.

Letter #3


I couldn't wake up this morning, but I had to. I couldn't eat; I forced down a piece of toast. My co-workers are beginning to comment on my appearance, but I can't seem to help it. I'm sad most of the time. I find myself looking at the calendar--sixteen days since you left (and counting). I dread going home to a dark and empty house. You're not there to greet me; what's the use?

I find myself slumped in front of the television with the mute button on. I sit on the same couch on which we used to watch movies and hold each other and kiss and make love. I don't think we ever watched a movie all the way through. We were the couple that people envied. When we walked into a restaurant, we drew smiles and nods from both the waiters and the customers. They wanted to be us. We were so much in love. We couldn't help but glow, and people noticed. Now, they can't help noticing the circles under my eyes and my loss of weight. They worry about my health and wonder if I should be seeing a doctor. Maybe so, but what I have can't be solved with a pill. I am miserable and only you are the cure.

Do I still love you? Of course. Since you left I have groped for meaning in life. You were my life. Your leaving was like an amputation--without anesthesia. I know I have only myself to blame. I let stresses dictate my words and actions. I brought home my work and my frustrations. I became angry and lashed out at the one person who had nothing to do with the problem. I stopped expressing my love for you--my problems became the soul issue of conversation. Over time, that cancer ate away at our happiness until our relationship was sick and dying. I understand why you had to leave. I know that you needed distance and to become healthy again. And this has shocked reality into me. I recognize that I have lost (or could lose) that which is most precious to me--you!

But I believe with all my heart that our relationship could still work, if you would be willing to give me another chance. My deep love for you is the motivating force in making what I know will be difficult but necessary changes. I believe in our love. I don't ever want to put it on the line again. I am willing to work harder than I have ever worked at anything in my life to regain the love that we once had. I have learned, and I hope I am better for the pain. What I don't know is how you feel? Do you miss me too? Is there any love left to give it another try?

What I am asking is if you would be willing to se me again. I'm not asking you for a commitment or to come with huge expectations. I'm just asking you to come to dinner with me. Maybe we could talk and see if there is still any magic left. With the hope that you'll say yes, I've made reservations for two at Marie's Restaurant for this Saturday night. We've had so many happy memories there. I think you'll see a humble soul who desperately wants to change and hold onto your love. Would you agree to dinner?

I'll call you Thursday afternoon to see if you're willing.

I remember the best of our relationship.

Letter #4


I miss you. When we first separated, I thought that being apart from you was what I wanted. I thought that we would both be happier on our own and living separate lives, but I was wrong. I think about you all the time. I remember the wonderful times that we shared. It's more than just reminiscing about happy memories in the past; it's a yearning to create more of them in the future.

I want you to know that I can admit when I'm wrong. I know that the separation was my idea, but I'm admitting to you now that it was a mistake. I love you. I've never stopped loving you; I just let other things get in the way. I have been so miserable since I asked you to leave. I miss everything about being with you. I even miss the small things--the way you would touch my face as you walked by, the way you loved to get up and make Sunday breakfast and the sound of your laughter. I need you back in my life. I hope you need me to.

I've learned a lot during the last few months. I've learned that I can't take happiness for granted. I've learned that I need to focus on what's really important and not let little things cloud the big picture. I believe that we can start over and be happy again. I really want to work at being happy again, and I only want to do it with you.

I hope that you feel the same way. I hope that you miss me as much as I miss you. I'd like to see you. Let's talk about our future and, I believe we have one. I'll make reservations at that little Italian place on Maple Street that we always went to when we wanted to have a quiet dinner and talk. I'll call you tomorrow to see what time would work best for you. I can't wait to see you again.