3,926 Mile Love

By Camilla Kiessel

        Layla chewed on the bubblegum pink eraser that rested atop her yellow #2 pencil. A fresh piece of lined paper lay in front of her on a small wooden desk. Her legs were tucked close to her chest; her eyes, puffy and red from hours of crying, were staring blankly at the page. Why was this so hard? Why couldn’t she just write out her emotions? Why couldn’t she say how she felt? Oh right… Leon would never understand. He would never feel the same way. It was impossible to make it work and they both knew it. Yet, Layla was still there, she knew she just needed to release all these emotions, so with a deep shaky breath she touched her pencil to the paper and began to write.

Dear Leon,
How does one begin such a letter? With a simple hi, and how are you? Well I already texted that to you today. You’re busy with exams, so I didn’t want to bother you by typing this out and throwing it onto you. So, here I am, sitting at my desk and writing this letter to you. According to the post office it should get to you in a week, you’ll be done with exams by then. You will also be home, away from your boarding school and stress, so this won’t increase any stress… I hope. I feel like by now you probably know why I’m writing because why else would I write instead of text you? I just want you to know that I don’t expect you to do anything with this information. I just need to get these words, these feelings, out on paper. Okay… here it goes…

       Layla’s hand started to shake violently as she wrote three, simple words, “I love you,” on paper for the first time. She dropped her pencil and pushed herself away from the desk. Her breathing increased rapidly, and her heart was pounding in her chest. She closed her eyes, squeezing back the fat tears that threatened to run down her cheeks. After a few moments of silence, she opened her watery eyes to read what she had written.

      “You can’t just say it like that,” Layla growled to herself as she shook her head in frustration and angrily erased the last sentence. With a deep sigh, she flipped her pencil over, touched the lead to the paper, and began to write once again. 

It’s almost by cruel fate that I met you. We were strangers, living miles apart. One year ago was when you first messaged me, complimenting me on my artwork that I had been posting. I thanked you, thinking this was as far as it would go. But no, you asked if I could help you and of course I agreed. Flash forward two months, we had been talking every day since. I gave you my personal Instagram and you gave me yours. You were breathtaking in all your photos. Not long after, I was in a horrible state of mind, I was so close to ending it all. So close to leaving this cruel world. That’s when my phone started buzzing, your name flashing across the screen. You were calling me. I quickly wiped away my tears and picked up. Immediately your French accented voice filled my ears. I don’t know how you did it, but you persuaded me out of making what would have been the worst and final decision of my life. How could I ever repay you? I can’t and that’s the problem. With the ocean and land between us, I cannot thank you with something as simple as a hug. Since that day, we enjoyed Skype calls that lasted long until the sun began to rise over the grassy green hill that lies behind your house. It’s been a year. A year of blissful friendship filled with laughter, tears, and all kinds of various emotions. We have met many new friends and also a few enemies. But whatever we went through, we went through it together. My problems were yours and your problems were mine. Then I started having these dreams. Dreams of you wrapping your arms around me, comforting and protecting me. Dreams of your soft lips on mine. Dreams of you whispering seductive words into my ear. Those dreams just confirmed the feeling that I had been trying to ignore by pushing it deep inside of me whenever we talked. I had fallen for you. How could I not? You have those beautiful brown eyes that shine with intelligence and laughter. You have those brown messy curls that barely brush your collarbone. Your dazzling smile stands prominent against your clear, tan skin. You’re my soulmate. I know you are, I can feel it in my heart and I know you feel it too. I know because of your constant flirtatious texts and compliments. I know because the way you look at me is like no look I’ve ever seen. A look of love. You have all the physical and emotional attributes that I could ever imagine in a perfect partner. The only thing, holding us apart, is the distance. 4,184 miles to be exact. And I know it could never work. We both need someone who can be there physically for us. We both need someone who would be able to drop everything, get in their car, and drive just to talk to us. I love you, Leo. More than you will ever know and I want nothing more than to be with you, but it cannot happen. Maybe one day, when we grow old and I’ll be traveling the world, I will run into you at an airport. It would be a joyful reunion. But for now, I’m writing to you to say goodbye. I cannot keep talking to you every day, it makes my feelings stronger when I need them to go away. I cannot pretend that I don’t have these feelings anymore. I cannot continue as if nothing had happened. By the time you get this letter, you will have realized that I have removed you on all social media platforms. I’m sorry. My heart will throb and ache every day until maybe the day will come that you become a distant memory and maybe then, I will have the courage to send you a text. Until then, this is goodbye. I love you Leon Roux. 

Best Wishes,
Layla Wilson 

     A strangled sob escaped Layla’s lips as she folded the letter and tucked it into a clean, pressed envelope. She grabbed her burgundy red coat that was lined with brown fur. She pulled up the hood and pushed open the wooden door, the cold ice wind greeting her. It threatened to push her back inside, as if warning her that this letter is not meant to be sent out. But Layla fought back, continuing to push against the bitter, strong wind until she reached the little blue rectangle box on the side of the road. She hugged the letter close to her chest, her heart pounding at an unhealthy rate. Slowly, she pulled open the entrance and slipped the letter through. She watched it as it twirled down and landed in the other piles of paper. Just one of many letters. The only difference? Is that this letter will end something that never even had a chance to start.