There's just... So much I wish I could say to you.
Humanity. We're the most intelligent species on the planet. We can construct complex machines hundreds of times our size, we can revolutionize communication.
The power of the world lies in our pockets and at the tips of our fingers. In half a second I can connect and have a conversation with someone on the opposite side of our planet... And still, we can't even begin to communicate.
Like I said, there's so much I wish I could say, so many things I wish I could have done differently. We've spent our whole life, living in fear and failure, and the regret of everything we should've done that we didn't.
We lie awake at night, thinking about how different things would've been if maybe, just... Maybe... We stopped living in fear for a moment.
Do you remember how, when we first fell in love, our hands would twist around each other's as we strolled down the sidewalk along the water's edge?
How I'd follow every passing biker, every jogger with a big pup on a leash, and you'd trace the trails of the seagulls overhead as they screamed at each other. We'd go silent as they dove down near our feet to pick up scraps and crumbs. One man's trash, right?
And the sound of the waves, crashing against the stones as the wind blew gently and the clouds blocked out the sun, not enough to make it dark but enough that I could take off my sunglasses?
We'd pass old folks on the benches as they ate ice cream or hot dogs and kept soda cups between their knees,
and every couple of feet there was someone trying to sell something.
And towards the end of the path, Where the sidewalk molded back into the town and away from the beaches, There was always an older, short lady with the gray streaks running through her hair?
Her hair was mangled and full of split ends, but you could tell she'd brushed it that morning all the same.
She was standing behind a short wooden table, covered in necklaces and chains and rings and seashells, remember?
I remember. I remember it every single day when I wake up and before I go to bed Every time that I look over at the jewelry tree on my nightstand and see that seashell necklace you got me,
the one that changes colors in the water. I remember how hard I sobbed when you first gave it to me. "Close your eyes," you'd said, "hold out your hand."
I did what you asked, how couldn't I? I know when I'm being given a gift, but how could I have ever imagined that it would be something so beautiful and meaningful and...
Sigh... Where do you think we went wrong? I look back at that day all the time, now that you're not here and I'm not there.
I smile, I cup the necklace in my hands, And I close my eyes and remember your tender fingers sliding the string around my neck and latching it, The seashell pressing against my chest softly.
I remember that towards the end, after we spent so much of our time fighting and giving up on each other, and then fighting some more just to avoid each other all the time...
After we gave up, we tried so hard to replicate that feeling. Sometimes I still wish I could replicate that feeling.
If I could, I'd bottle up the scent of the sea across the wind and the singed scent of mildly burnt hot dogs, and then I'd lock that scent in a candle that could never burn out.
I remember the look on your face the last time we spoke. You were defeated, I was defeated, both of us were tired of the pain that we caused each other, and.. At the time, I was so, SO angry at you.
I remember dropping my suitcases near the front door. And you didn't argue with me, you didn't plead with me. Because you knew it was too late for that now.
You looked up from the kitchen table, your fingers twirling around those funny-looking dog tags you found at a thrift store. You called them your good luck charm.
You looked up at me, your smile hiding the same pain that I was trying to hide under my anger... And you nodded and said goodbye.
And out of spite, I snatched my seashell necklace off of my throat, slammed it down on the wooden tiles, and crushed it beneath my heel as violently as I could.
And then... I was gone.
Days passed. Then weeks. And then months. I mourned when I had to and then I healed, and then I moved on when it felt like it was time.
And I did a lot of partying to escape the pain,unsuccessfully. My attempts to escape the pain were as unsuccessful as my attempts to recreate that day at the beach.
And one day. Long after I'd forgotten about you and moved on, As I was grabbing a cup of coffee from the kitchen before work. I saw a yellow envelope in the countertop.
I don't know how it got there. I don't know how long it had been there. And I didn't know what it could've possibly been.
I remember how goddamned painful that morning was. As I put my coffee down and grabbed the envelope with two hands Trying to feel for whatever was inside.
The bubble wrap packaging made it hard to tell. I knew I was going to have to open it.
So I grabbed a steak knife out of the holder and sliced the envelope open as gently as I could. But somehow I cut my finger and ripped the envelope apart.
I heard a small clink against the marble tiling as I scrubbed my hands and put pressure on it.
And after I turned the sink off, as I started to look for a band aid. I saw the slightest golden shimmer on the ground. As I looked down, I remember feeling all of these feelings rush back into my heart and my body and my goddamned soul.
A golden chain replaced the rope string. And between all of the places that the shell had cracked there was a shimmering gold lining.
You must've paid hundreds of dollars to get it fixed, maybe more. But you still cared enough to fix it, AND somehow find my new address to send it to me.
So I... I put it on. And tucked it under my work shirt before grabbing my keys off of the keyring and heading to work. I forgot my coffee on the counter, my ID badge on the dresser, and I forgot to lock my front door on the way out...
I don't really know what to say, except... I guess... Thank you. It hurts, but... It's a part of my story, and I wouldn't feel complete without it. And... I guess also... I'm sorry.
That everything went the way that it did. Maybe in another lifetime... Maybe the seashell wouldn't have cracked to begin with.