I used to know you. I still have those memories. Even now I find myself flipping through the polaroids in my mind. Pictures of us spending our days together; talking, singing, flirting, eating, watching TV, sleeping. Simple things. The serious conversations about life and our uncertain future, the laughing, the crying, the screaming, and the occasional quiet admiration. Over three years worth of snapshots. So many moments that they surface in my mind even when I’m not looking for them. They litter my mind and hamper any rational thought. My mind has become a scrapbook to replace the one I gave back to you after we stopped talking. A scrapbook, good only for reliving the past and searching for the moment we went astray; but I have yet to find any pictures of my insecurity. I know it doesn’t matter anymore. What we once had is lost, and under all rational circumstances, is irretrievable; buried too deeply beneath the harsh words that were thrown between us and pushed us apart. Even if I could, I don’t think I would want to go back. I’m not sure I have learned any lessons. If I failed again, I certainly would not be able to forgive myself a second time for destroying something that seemed so vital to my happiness. I still haven’t forgiven myself for the first time. You’ve changed, and so have I. I don’t know you anymore. I don’t even know myself. I still see you almost everyday, but only electronically. Those pictures barely resemble the pictures that occupy my mind. You look happy now, and full of life. How could you not be? Always surrounded by your friends and family. And your new boyfriend. He seems cool. The two of you seem so perfect together. To the extent that I wonder how people looked at us side-by-side. Someone should have said something. We must have been the only two people in the world who couldn’t see our glaring differences and incompatibilities. Maybe that made us special. Or, more likely, just wrong. Sometimes I attempt to mentally superimpose myself in these new pictures of you and all your friends. But the finished product is always laughable. It’s funny how quickly two people can grow apart. Any connection that was there or that may still linger is heavily overshadowed by the complete opposite directions we have taken in our lives. I don’t know much about what you’re doing now, but the pictures convey a carefree and happy life. Ha. Truly the opposite path from me. Everyday seemingly more worthless and miserable than the next. I can’t even see straight these days. I purposefully disillusion myself to create a poorly manufactured reason to go on. And I chose a path destined for success. What a joke. You’ve always had the real potential for success. Not the empty intelligence that many of us use to gain entrance to “prestigious” institutions of higher learning. I hope somewhere between your cheerful days and nights that you are using your potential and working hard to secure your dreams. I always admired your independence, your confidence, and your passion. As my life crumbles, my admiration turns to envy. I guess some of us are meant to be great, and others are meant to fade away. I hope you always remember which side of the spectrum you lie on and never quit or get down on yourself. It’s hard for me to imagine any possible negative outcome in your life. You are just one of those lucky people. Or, maybe it has nothing to do with luck. You can’t really expect me to understand the structural make-up of a happy and successful life. I really do wish only the best things for you. A dream job. Great friends and family. A perfect husband and beautiful kids when you come to that stage. Happiness. Contentment. I’m sure the pictures will tell the blissful story as it unfolds. I’ll be your most dedicated reader, and I promise I wont skip a page. I don’t expect to see the real you again. If a chance meeting does occur, it’d be best to regard me as a stranger. I don’t belong in your new story. It should be free of my defacement. You don’t have to worry. I’m leaving soon. Going far away. Two, three, five, ten years. Maybe longer. A fresh start. Another stab at life. Maybe we are all just a product of our environment; and maybe I was in the wrong place this entire time. That’s optimistic, probably foolish. I’d say I’ll miss you, but I hope I don’t. That would surely be a never-ending struggle. I pray that your life in pictures is satisfying enough for both of us.