Letters I Won’t Send: #5

If I could write you a letter, this is what I would say.

Well actually, if I were really doing this, I wouldn’t start by saying. I’d start by asking.

Probably not hey, how have you been — awkward and out of the blue.


Except I am rather awkward. Or maybe I’m really not, but I sure feel that way, around you.

Delete, delete — good gracious, delete.

Truthfully…I have no idea how I’d begin. I think it’s more likely I’d wait another few weeks, hope for a more natural opening. That sounds about right.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. A natural opening? Doubtful before; doubly so now. Now that I’m out here.


I know you’re back there, but I wonder where you are, exactly. In line, scrolling through your messages, at the same coffee shop you saw me? What are the chances. I wonder if I’m your first unread email, or your fiftieth.

I’d think about just being honest, I guess, right out of the gate. I’d think about risking the truth. Hey. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, besides imagining you imagining me, and otherwise excelling at hoping too hard, but I’ve been looking for an excuse to say hi. For a long time, hi.

You said hi first. In person, I mean. That day. You came over to my table and you said something I forget, and it took me a minute to shake the writing fog free. It took me another sixty seconds to recognize you — to register you, standing in front of me.


I forget the details, remember the random things. Mostly disbelief that you’d come in, that I was there. And tall. I remember thinking you’re really very tall.

You have the kind of easy confidence I envy, haven’t yet grown into. And you have brown eyes: warm and kind. I remember seeing them sweep me up and down. Only once, and quickly. Apologetically? Your eyes never left my face, after that.

I remember blinking, blushing, babbling. Anything to fill the space. I stayed sitting, you stayed standing.

I remember wishing I’d done something about that. I remember thinking it was crazy, to feel what I felt, after five minutes in a coffee shop. You probably say hello to lots of girls in coffee shops. Think nothing of it.


I hadn’t felt attracted, intrigued, whatever you want to call it — in so long. I recognized it instantly, I’d forgotten what it was like.

You messaged me a few minutes later, like I’d hoped you would. I’d been working on something sad — you made me forget where I’d been going with it, if anywhere. I let it go. Shut the lid to my laptop, left my lukewarm coffee. Smiled, practically skipped, the whole way home.


If I wrote to you, maybe I’d ask what I really want to ask. Hey, how have you been since that time you wanted to get together, and something happened that obviously made you change your mind?

Did you think I liked your friend? I did like your friend — I do like him. He’s turned out to be a wonderful friend. If there were ever a time for bold, underline, italics, this is it.

I wish we’d had the chance to become friends too. You and I. Real friends, not just friends who like each other’s stuff, sometimes.


Actually that’s not quite true. I didn’t want to be friends — I wanted to see. I didn’t and I don’t, I want and I wanted. What I wanted was to see. I wanted that chance. That’s what I had my fingers crossed for, underneath my thighs, when you took your coffee to go. 



“God damn I miss kissing. I miss coming up for air only to dive back in.
 I miss lazy intent, in a heady mix with competition.
 Push comes to shove. 
I even miss the fumbles, the too much, the too quick. 
God damn I miss kissing.”

Kiss me in the rain, drag me through the snow, stare at me in the sun, follow me in the fall.



8 thoughts on “Letters I Won’t Send: #5

    • Small world! Isn’t Astoria adorable? I thought Street 14 was so sweet. Wish we’d bumped into each other! Thanks again for reading. (Sometimes I write things and want to cover my face with my hands.)

      • Never! I understand the feeling though. You hit send and think oh shit. But trust me, the personal writing is always the best. You reach into people’s hearts that way… whether or not they comment or not, know that you touch people. 🙂

  1. Hannah , that spark is there, the desire of our hearts is so fragile. Your words have such truth that we all feel, be gentle with yourself, babbling is good, like the cool green streams of the Pacific Northwest.

  2. This is really beautifully written. Thinking about it, I’d like to send a few letters to some people, but at the same time, I’d like to pretend those people no longer exist.

    I always wonder if the people that have the biggest effect on us, think about having that effect on us. I wonder.

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