nasty, brutish, and short

Dear A___,

When last you saw me it was at my going away party. I wanted to say that I had a very nice time, and that I feel very bad for not being entirely straight with you. I said that I should be returning at the end of the summer.

I lied. I may be gone for some time.

I meant to tell you that night, but I couldn't. Going away parties are meant to be happy. If there are tears, they are tears to celebrate all of the excellent times we've had. They should not be maudlin, and seeing your tears convinced me that I should become very maudlin indeed if I had to tell you. So I am writing you this letter now, removed from your smile and your tears and your questions.

I want you to know that I appreciated every moment, and I wished there had been more of them. But such is the way of things. The best of times are rare and impossible to appreciate until they are gone, and in my case were the only thing that made an otherwise intolerable environment bearable. And I know you would never permit me to be so dramatic in person, and that is precisely what it is about you that made me enjoy every moment so much, and precisely what it is I will miss so dramatically.

I wish very much that we had been more than what we were, but apart from everything else being so perfect, the time was too short for that. But perhaps we'll meet again, some other time in this fleeting life.

Think of me when it snows, will you?

R__ M____

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