I have something I need to ask you, but before I do there’s two things you should know. First off, I’m a fucking mess. And I reserve swear words for only the most significant of moments, so you know I’m not exaggerating. I cannot stress how much of a mess I am without going into detail, which I won’t. Not yet, at least. I don’t want you to think I’m any more of a freak than you probably already do.
The second thing is that I like you. A lot. I mean I don’t want to creep you out, and I don’t want to give you the wrong impression; I’m not going to stalk you or anything, I just really like you. I’m sorry to make it weird, and I know this whole thing is just awkward, but I’m so sick of keeping everything bottled up inside and pretending that I’m not a human being with feelings and emotions. It’s been nineteen years and the amount of times I can honestly say that I’ve connected with someone on a deeper, more personal level is exactly zero. It’s eating away at me. I can feel it.
Okay, so keeping those two things in mind, here’s my question: would you like to be friends with me? I know it sounds cheesy and more than just a little bit pathetic, just like the rest of this letter, and I know you’d probably say we already are friends, but hear me out. I don’t want to be acquaintances, where we hardly ever hang out and when we do there’s only small talk. I don’t want to be “sort-of friends” either, where neither of us are sure where the other stands. And I’m not asking you to be my girlfriend or anything like that. I just want to get rid of the Not Knowing. Because it’s the Not Knowing that kills me. The back and forth hesitations every time I want to text you, the fear that I’m coming on too strong, trying too hard, pushing you away. I just want to talk to you, for heaven’s sake. That’s all I want. It’s all I can think about, every waking hour of my day; how badly I want to talk to you, to see your face, your smile, to hear your voice, your laughter. Even just to be in your presence is enough to put me in a good mood. Every time I get a text I immediately think of you, and when it is from you it automatically brings a smile to my face. And I know I said I wasn’t asking you to be my girlfriend or anything, and that this sounds exactly like what I’m leading up to, and admittedly I would love to be your boyfriend, but I can honestly say that it would be enough just for me to be your friend. A real friend, mind you. Someone who I can text without feeling any kind of hesitations or fears.
I feel like it’s important that you understand where I’m coming from, so that you don’t think I’m just making a big, weird, awkward deal out of nothing. A significant symptom of my being a mess is that my self-esteem is so low that it’s essentially nonexistent. In fact I’m writing this on one of my better days, which explains why I’m even considering the possibility that I actually do have low self-esteem and I’m not just very aware of all my shortcomings and failures. It’s also why I’m allowing myself to act upon the hope that when we hang out it’s not simply a case of you tolerating the weird kid. Every day my actions, decisions and thoughts are questioned, criticized and insulted by the voices in my head. Whenever I feel like texting you (which is always) a voice in my head suggests the very viable possibility that hey, maybe she doesn’t actually like you. And it hurts. And it’s very persuasive. And I’m not going to apologize for saying that, or for not pretending that I don’t have feelings. Because I do. I’ve worn a mask for nineteen years; today I want to take it off and raise my face to the sky. Regardless of whether I’m met with sun or rain.
I guess in conclusion, if you don’t want to be me friend after reading this I completely understand. I’ve lived all my life concealing my feelings and shying away from others; I can understand if you still feel awkward with this… this bold naked honesty, just as pretty much anyone else would. I get it; it’s just the way the world works, the way we’re raised to think, to act. There’s something in you though, something that begs me to think you’re different. I can see it sometimes; in the things you say, or the glow in your eyes. It was the first thing I noticed about you, and the last thing I think about before I fall asleep every night.
Again, if you don’t want to be friends, and if you don’t ever want to talk again, I understand. No hard feelings. Sad ones, definitely, but no resentful ones. And you can believe me when I say that, because I’ve decided never to hide my feelings again. Not for the sake of avoiding awkward conversations, not for the sake of conforming to social guidelines, and certainly not for the sake of protecting myself from what could be painful truths about what other people really think of me. When I drop this letter into the mailbox I will walk away a different person, for better or worse. I just hope you’ll be there when I come out on the other side.
Sincerely yours (if you’ll have me),