I don’t even have an introduction to this because I’m just so… in awe of how much passionate heartache I was capable of feeling all by myself.

Oh, man. Here we go.

8 Nov 1990

It doesn’t matter what I try to do. Every time I try to do something you start to take control again. You creep into my soul — you’ve perfected it by now — and occupy my every thought, every move, every emotion.

What is this, five weeks later? You guys, I’m talking about a completely different boy here. A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT HUMAN BEING.

You make my pulse race, my stomach jump, my eyes roll back in ecstacy [sic] as I think of the feeling of your body twined with mine and your voice filling my head, pounding, twirling, twisting and whirling until I want to scream.

That sounds awful. Again, it’s important to note that in this case, as in most cases of my unsent letters… this boy has not only not ever kissed me, he most likely has no idea I even like him. Yet, I like him enough that I volunteer to have the experience of his voice whirling in my head until I scream.

Also, for the first half of the last sentence it sounds like I’m describing a key scene in The Exorcist.

But I can’t.

Can’t what? Can’t scream? I don’t understand why not.

I’m afraid. It hurts to say the truth.

Wow. Well, it does hurt to say the truth, particularly when you are screaming it.

I can’t tell you how my heart cries when you aren’t near me.

Which means my heart was crying pretty much any minute of my life other than the forty-three minutes of homeroom. No wonder I wasn’t participating in sports, you guys. My heart was weeping. How can I be expected to run laps when my aorta needs a Kleenex?

I can’t tell you how my ears long for the sound of your voice.

“–because you don’t pick up the phone when I call.”

I can’t tell you how my mind yearns for your wit.

Shut up. My mind yearns, okay? For wit.

And I sure can’t tell you how much my body longs for your touch. Your kiss. Your breath from your whispers dancing on my neck.

Hee hee hee. Hee hee heeeeeee!

I need you. I want you. But I can’t tell you. Why can’t I tell you?

Because he keeps running away? If only I could catch him! Damn this weepy heart!

You asked me if I knew what love is.

I have a feeling his question was either sarcastic or rhetorical. Or both. Also, never ask a fifteen-year old girl if she knows what love is. Well, don’t ask fifteen-year old me. It appears to cause some problems. Know that I want to interrupt every sentence that’s coming up in this next little batch, but I think I should just let it all come out at once here, like a Band-Aid that was taping up this teenage mortification gash.

I don’t know, is this feeling love? Oh, no, it can’t. Love is supposed to be this amazing, glorious feeling and all I feel is pain. Agony. Torture. I feel it when you are gone. I feel it when you are near. Because all I can think of is how much I want to take you and hold you close forever.

Three years later, Sarah McLachlan will compose a hit song using only these words.

But I can’t. Not yet. Not until I know you love me too. Do you?

“Well, I–”

Wait, do I love you? Is this love?

“–Oh, dear.”

Is it love when you always want to be by that person’s side? Or maybe love is measured on how much you know about a person.

Uh, I thought we already covered this five weeks ago, LP!

Do I know you? Oh, but I do. I know your smile, your laugh, your humor. I know your name, your family, your house.

Okay, the thing is I really did strike out those words in the letter. I had to, because even back then I couldn’t somehow live with lying in a letter nobody was ever going to see but me. I am sure I agonized over striking out the words, which is probably why I didn’t scribble over them until they were illegible, but rather drew a single, solitary, sad sad line. It must have killed me to do so. Because the truth is, I didn’t know his full name —

And you guys, remember: knowing someone’s full name is important when determining whether or not you have enough information on them to determine whether or not you love them.

–had never met a single member of his family and had no idea where he lived. I like how I started with like these driver’s license facts, “Well, I know where you live and I’m practically a member of your family,” and then was like, “Except I don’t know any of these things at all, but I do know your humor, so we are soulmates. Now get in my arms so I can commence holding you FOREVER.”

Again, please remember: it’s possible the only relationship I have with this boy is that we do our homework together over the phone. … You know what I mean. We work on declensions. Every night!

This next passage is absolutely humiliating.

I know what you do during the day because I talk to you all night. I know how you think. I know how you work. I know how you feel. I know what you like to do. I know what you don’t. I know what you love. I know what you hate. The only thing that I don’t know is the feeling of your lips against mine or the touch of your hands or heart. And for that sensation I would kill. Is that love?

NO.

Actually being able to kill, steal, lie, die for a person. Oh, God I’m in love. With you.

If love is the end-all, be-all feeling, why do I feel so horrible?

And the letter just ends here, like I threw down my journal and wandered off into the woods, searching for an answer, or perhaps to go kill someone, steal a wallet, and then die.

I don’t know how many of you out there are fifteen. I don’t think it’s too many, at this point. I must be pretty boring to fifteen-year olds. But if you are and somehow you’re unlucky enough to be like, even a third as dorky as I was, please know that it gets better. Life does get better. Just not for like, a bajillion years. And I know it’s SO NOT FUNNY right now, how you feel, and everybody who laughs at you can just go suck it. And know that in like, ten years you’ll find these letters and it still won’t be funny, and in like, fifteen years you’ll find them again and someone will laugh and you will be like GET OUT OF MY ROOM, but right around the twenty year mark you might see a couple of these letters and be like, “Wow. Okay, maybe that one went a little too far.” (But PS– I know, it’s still not all that funny because your feelings are real and true and deserve to be validated and you deserve to be heard. You are a good person, and boys can be so mean.)

I just glanced down at the stack of letters to see what’s coming and saw that the next two letters are written in red pen. That can’t be a good sign.