Love letters remind you of love letters

I got a love letter my freshman year in college. Over e-mail. It was over the moon sweet, moving; and I was young enough to be uncertain of my standing in life, balancing on the shaky ground of insecurity and desirous of external validation. I read the e-mail out loud to my roommate – not because I was making fun of it, but probably because I wanted someone to hear just how much I was loved.

I don't remember the letter, or the words. What I remember is the awe I had for his poetic soul and then feeling like we were being played by a cruel trick: he was two years late in reciprocating the shelved feelings I had for him. What could come of this?

Those early years are fragile and formative for all of us. In Atlanta, we were teenagers, young adults, and overgrown children just trying to make sense of our misery. Our bonds were strengthened over bitching, pride, callousness, and feeling collectively alone. The world owed us everything.

At some point, his gambling caught up with him. I still see his mugshot on my computer screen sometimes.

Freethought, WritingShawn Li