letters that you'll never read

To S____, who took the last train.

Hey there! It's been some time since I heard from you, so I thought I'd drop you a line. Things have been going well here, and I hope you did all right. Did you survive the winter? I meant to ask you but things have been crazy here--I hear it was pretty bad where you are.

I still think of you at times, but especially when I see your name. It's been a long time, of course, but sometimes late at night I'll be sitting and I can still see you boarding that train, and watching it disappear into the fog, just like in movies. It's a strong image. There's things I still wonder--questions that will probably never be answered. You took that train.

I wonder if you know what you've done. You ruined me. You changed everything. All of my causes and beliefs, I've been denying it and will keep doing so, but it's because of you. We were never meant for each other, but I wish things were different. I wish you'd had the opportunities I've had and squandered--you didn't need them, it turns out, but you deserved them so much more than I.

I wonder if I chased you away or if I fled--or if there's even a difference. If there was ever a chance. I worry about choice and chance and determinism and it's always because part of me wonders if things could have happened any other way. And if so, if you could go back, would you change anything? Would I?

I'd keep going back to the train station. I'd say the same stupid words every time, asking you to stay, offering to come, knowing that neither of us wanted either. And you? I always imagine you doing the same things. Polite, but firm, distant--you were already at the end of the line. Then, just as I can't take it, you smile. There are tears in your eyes.

Then the train leaves and is lost in the fog. The light is cold and grey I wonder if that's your face I see looking back from the windows--and then it's gone and it's the station all over again, where I'm always trying to convince you to stay, trying to give you reasons, and you're always getting on the train.

We're slaves to tragedy, S____. And I know how to make everyone in the world happy except for me. I'm waiting for you at the station.

Patiently yours,
R_____ M_____

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