I don’t have your email address anymore. Hoping the link finds you, and you click it, and you read all these words I’m scribbling while the thoughts are in my head. You’re in my head today, very much, and I think it’s time I let the ghost out.

I have unfinished business with you. No, don’t close the window! It’s not bad. Well, not really. Not for you. This is an apology.

I was horrible. I was broken, and not by you; grievously wounded, and not by you; deeply mourning, but not you. You were just… there. You, with all the innocence of a small bird fluttering to the ground inside a cattery, made yourself a target by doing what was unarguably best for you, and I was dreadful to you. I had a lifetime of fury and bloody gashes stored up and hidden away and I couldn’t hide the bloodstains anymore.

I am so terribly, terribly sorry. You recognised, probably entirely instinctively, what a mess I was inside, and understood that you couldn’t afford to get tangled up in it– and there were so very many threads to get snarled in. What a tattered, patternless spider’s web my head was… I don’t blame you for severing that particular tie.

And I realise for my own part that but for my stupidity and my unpardonable behaviour, we could still be friends. I burned that bridge. I stood in the middle of it and sprayed my acid bitterness like gasoline all over it and spitefully dropped the match that sent it uncontrollably blazing under my feet, and God help me, I welcomed the burn on my skin. The anger propped me up while I mourned… and again– I wasn’t mourning you.

You bore the punishment others earned.

I can only apologise, and this I do, here and now in the open, where anyone can see it, in the hopes that one of the anyones who do will be you. You deserved none of the vitriol I gave you. If I could take it back, I would. I spent a while not thinking about it all, because doing so hurt, and I wouldn’t look at why… but the why of it is simply that I’m ashamed of myself. I was dreadful to you. I am so incredibly sorry.

I’ve said hello a few times in the intervening years. Waved in passing, as it were, but nothing more than that, not really, because this has been in the way, the need for these words. I’ve kept tabs, a little bit, although it’s been difficult: you were always so private, and I’m closed out, now, so what I get are glimpses here and there, allowed me by mutual friends and acquaintances and what I can glean from the occasional writings I stumble upon. I hope you’re doing well. I hope you’re in a good place. I hope happiness for you, because I loved you once, and because I think of you fondly still. My regrets are twofold: that I behaved so terribly, and that the bridge is burned.

I wish sometimes I could build another, of different structure and design, one meant for longer friendship, rather than to close the gap I was trying then to define or, really, ignore. I don’t know if I can… but the wish is there.