Gabriel 

            Gabriel. You will never read this. Because the day you do you will stop being my friend. So basically, this letter is more for me than it is for you. It’s just a way to get things out of my system and pretend that I am getting through to you.

            The reason I say you won’t be my friend is not because you wouldn’t want to be. It’s because you have been told not to be. 

            Let me start by going back in time, again. I never met you but I always knew you. From church of course. I was shy and you seemed to get along with every other kid around. I was so shy that you didn’t even know I was part of the congregation even though I attend the same one as you for about four years. Until later on. When I left for good. Or I thought I had.

            We were in this religion called Jehovah’s Witnesses. I grew up there. Is wasn’t so bad. Until I realized I was gay. I always sort of knew but I never said it or admitted it. So being in this religion was a struggle. Until one day I said fuck it, and stopped going. I was maybe eighteen going on to nineteen. It hurt my mom, she was really dedicated. But yet she never knew why I stopped going to the gatherings.

            Then, my moms ex boyfriend came into the picture. Also a JW (Jehovah Witness). He started dating my mom and started giving me bible studies to see if I would go back. I did end up going back. Why? Well, for my mom mainly. And also because I had no job and no place to go. I went back knowing I was gay, but thinking I could change that. I didn’t.

            Though I did met you. Face to face. You walked into my life and it was great. I had no friends in this religion and you were the first. It was nice. When we went to church I finally had someone to talk to instead of the wall. You knew I was shy but still you wanted my friendship. Thank you. Still baffled that you call me a friend. 

            We did have our fall outs here and there but we are still, friends. But are we? You don’t even know my deepest darkest secret. What would you say if I told you I was gay? How would you see me? Would you tell me to change? Would you stop talking to me? Or would you sympathize and say it’s OK? I’ve gotten to know you all this time yet I have no clue what your reaction would turn out to be.

            You know that I have secrets. But why don’t you ask what they are? Are you scared that they will be too dark? I thought friends share everything? But, yet I know you keep things from me. And do I ask? No.

             Did you ever notice my cuts? I know I was a real professional at concealing them. Years of experience does that to you. But, if you did, why didn’t you say anything? When I was quiet why did you ask if everything was ok? Instead you tried your hardest to keep the conversation going with my one word answers.

            Did you ever notice how I was falling apart? I wanted to tell you so many things. I still do. And I wish I could. I wish I could tell you and see how you would react. If you took everything well, then good if not, then I would rewind it all back and just keep sweeping it under the rug.

            When will this cycle of pretend end? How long will I have to live this lie? Some people might say that I have to start thinking about myself and what’s best for me. And deep down maybe I agree with them. But I am not like that. I’m not like them. I look at others before I make decisions. In other words, I see how other people will get affected. And if I come out, a lot will.

            I want to thank you Gabriel for staying by my side. Because even though all my other friends left. Or better said, backed away, you stayed. You made sure to keep me in the loop. Sometimes I did wish you would stop talking to me but it was good that you didn’t. What will be our future if we continue this way?

Advertisements

Jennifer 

Dear Friend, 

             Jenny. This one is for you.  I don’t know if you will ever read this, or better said, I don’t know if I ever want you to read it. Maybe you should, because maybe you don’t know how I feel or the things that made me come to the point of what I am feeling today. I have spent months trying to write this letter and weeks editing in and out things that I wanted to say. At the end of it all I just wanted to write everything. I needed to write everything. 

             When I initially started work at McD’s I honestly didn’t remember you from school. Yes, you did seem very familiar and yes, you were very kind. I was not comfortable yet with my sexually so I had a hard time talking to people. Then that one girl reached out to me first. Nicole. I thought we would be long time best friends but that didn’t go as planned as I started seeing who she really was. Or mainly, I made up what I thought about her through what people said instead of knowing her myself. She’s actually really cool. 

             After some weeks you and I started talking. But it wasn’t until I started closing and working in afternoon shifts that I started to see what a great person you actually were. I felt light around you. I don’t really know if you understand that. I guess what I mean is that I could open up and all the weight that was on my shoulders would temporarily lift off. 

             You know, you have that thing about you Jenny. You can talk to anyone and be so friendly and make them smile. That’s one of the things I love about you. You always look at the bright side in the darkest moments. Your smile is always warm, and your eyes shine brighter than the sun. Your personality is beautiful and your humor is one of a kind. When you laughed I always wanted to join in. 

            You were a great friend Jenny. I would have never gone to college if it wasn’t for you. Thank you for helping me sign up. Even though I only went for a semester it was the best time I had at school. It was the first time since elementary that I had a real friend at school. And I wasn’t scared of who I was going to hang out with. Because you were there. I always looked forward to art class. I awaited every single time we had a chance to hang out before class. You were my ray of sunlight. Do you remember the fun times we had? Eating pizza? Sometimes just ditching school and going to Disneyland? 

            Oh Disney. It felt like I was a kid again. Never did I think I would go there. But because of you I had the time of my life there. I’ll admit though, you were a bit bossy. Well fuck, I’m telling the whole truth right? You were hella bossy. Sometimes it bugged me. But that’s ok. You knew what you were doing and I didn’t. I followed your lead. It still was the time of my life and I would do it all over again if I could. When can we do it again? 

            I liked working with you. I like going to school with you. I liked hanging out at your house and playing Wii Party. Remember? Chips, Catfished, and Wii Party. I felt like I was reliving my teen years. How they should have actually gone. 

            Let me take you back to the nights we closed together. Those nights were crazy. We did the wildest things. We said the craziest shit. Those nights were so stress relieving. I could not have chosen a better person to spend those nights with. Work was hell but working along side with you make it’s so much fun. At times I didn’t even think it was work. It was just me and my friend fucking up McDonald’s. It was fun. 

            How did things get to this point? This point of us barley speaking to each other? Well, I felt distant. I felt disconnected. And yes I have mainly the blame here, but you could have helped you know. I was waiting for that. But it’s ok. 

            That day I stood you and Eli up wasn’t because I didn’t want to go. I had hell of an anxiety attack. I was under pressure with everything. My life was rapidly turning upside down. Hell it still is. It’s been flipped over a couple of times and now I’m struggling trying to find the person I used to be. Do you remember? 

            I’m sorry I have been so distant. I forgot how to be a friend. To be honest I forgot how to be social. I do miss you though. Everything about you. Your laugh, your jokes, your screams, your fights with Hellen. Just being around you. How can we mend this? Every time I want to I always think of the bad things. Why? 

            I’m trying my hardest to keep my sanity, but with all the things that go on in my life right now it’s really hard. Sometimes I ask myself, how would my life been if I never quit that job? Would we still be friends? 

            When I text or Snapchat you you always say you love me and that you are here for me. But how? 

            Maybe I’m being too hard on you, maybe I’m being too hard on me. Life is hard. Life sucks. But I wish you were in it because it would be a lot better. 

            You bumped into me yesterday, it was nice seeing you. It had been almost seven months since I saw you last. You cried when you hugged me. That made me feel really bad. I wish I was better, I wish o didn’t have problems. I wish I knew how to deal with all this shit. Anything really to make it all better. For you, for Eli, for everyone. Will there ever be a better?

Elizabeth 

             Eli, oh Eli. I have been working on this for quite a while now. Trying to find the right words. The correct, kind, words. The words that will not hurt you or make you cry. Because the last thing I would ever want is to see you in pain. But, maybe your eyes will never see these words? Sometimes I think maybe I should have never walked into your life. That’s the only way my absence wouldn’t hurt you as much as it might be hurting you now, is it? I would have said all this face to face. But the tears in my eyes wouldn’t have let me speak. I miss you.

             I remind you often how well I remember the first time I met you. Because that day something changed. Maybe I didn’t know it, maybe you didn’t know it, but something had changed.

             A shy boy walked in on his first day of work with his hat all the way down his face, trying to cover as much as he could. You, with your warm and kind smile welcomed that shy boy in. You were wearing your black dress shirt, the one with the short sleeves, remember? You told him to tuck in his shirt. He felt so embarrassed. Not even one minute and already he had messed up. But it was ok. It was all for the best. That’s  the way all good stories start.

             I think I’m getting a head of myself Eli. Let me take you back in time. To when I was younger. Way younger. I was a very shy little boy. I’m sure you could tell when you met me. I had no friends. I used to play by myself. I hated group projects. And hated recess. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know where to go.

             Funny story. Well it’s more sad really. Sometimes I would go to the bathroom and sit in the stalls and wait until it was time to go back to class. Very movie like, right? I agree, the only difference is that I was five, and already I knew what rejection had felt like. That was basically my whole first grade. There was a kid I met though. His name was Jed. (Where are you now Jed?) He was my first real best friend. I met him in third grade. I don’t know how we came to be friends but we did. And we did everything together. Until, sadly, I moved away. Never to see him again. Never to have a friend again, until you.

             After that, school was just another obstacle. I tried to fit in as much as I could. Blend in with the right people from time to time. Live unnoticed . And it worked. Until the eighth grade. That’s when my father left us. (Well, got deported). I couldn’t take school anymore. So I went home-schooled . I isolated myself even more. Finished high school at home. So basically I had no high school experience. Along with no friends .

             Take in mind that through all this I was fighting with my sexuality. I didn’t know who I was. I was lost, I was hopeless. I didn’t have anyone to talk to. I was suicidal. I was self harming. All I needed was support form someone. I begged the God that I knew to give me a friend. A friend that would understand my life’s pain. A friend that would not only make me smile on the outside but also on the inside.

Was that friend, you? You decide.

             Let me tell you something Eli. I didn’t think we were going to be friends until that one time I drove you home. Remember? Hmmm. You needed a ride after work and told you I could take you. That’s when I told you I was a Jehovah Witness. Told you how hard it was “living two life’s.”

             When you said “omg, it must be so hard.” You seemed really genuine. Like it came form the heart. Did it? You only had known me a couple of months. Had our bond grown? I met your dog that day. R.I.P. Lady. She was the sweetest. The thought of her brings back so many great memories.

             I have to stop here and apologize for not being there when she pasted away. I know you loved her like a child, and I was no where to be seen when she was taken from your hands. That’s maybe the cruelest thing I ever did to you. But as you know, I was “being a saint.”

             Remember when we worked together? Those times were great. Only, but only, when rarely we got on each others nerves.  I always liked how by being indirect you got your point across. This took me time to understand, remember I had no social interacting before this job, so reading people was difficult. But I always admired the way you talked to people. Always with respect, always with a smile.

             Once I started opening up more and more it seemed like you were becoming that friend I always wanted needed. I told you everything. From my sexuality to my past. We had so much in common. Like that one time when we went to Starbucks and we talked about how much we struggled when we were younger, having to travel on the bus, remember? Dealing with our families. I remember all the stories that you confined in me about your brothers and your mom. Do you remember mine?

             Every time you opened up to me about life, I felt every single peace of pain your were feeling, yet I couldn’t express mine.

             Remember Jesse? Ugh, I have to admit I still have a tiny crush on him. I don’t know why. I don’t stalker-crazy like him, but if he were to walk into my life I wouldn’t mind.  I think it’s his eyes. Maybe his smile? He’s gay. Doesn’t want to admit it but come on! He’ll come around.

             That night of the party you had. The first one I ever went to. With Jenny, Marvin, Lily, Junior,  Gabe, me,  and Julie. Remember? That was one of the best nights I have had in a long time. I drank so much. Through up all over the place, but it was great! I had never done anything like that before it was crazy! It wasn’t me! It was fun! That night made me forget the night I had before where I poured out my heart to the guy from above and it got thrown out the window without a blink of an eye. Still, I’d run to his arms if he’d only let me.

              Imagine how drunk you would be if you had to take a shot very time I said remember?

             Well,  remember, when we were preparing Gabes twenty third birthday party? We were on the freeway headed to the dollar store when you mentioned how coworkers don’t stay friends once one quits working at the same place? I told you that it does not always happen that way and that we would try our best to not make that happen no matter which one of us quit first. But here we are, haven’t spoken for maybe more than three months. We don’t know what we are up to. Don’t know how we are doing. You seem to be doing well according to your snaps. Are we still friends?

              Speaking of Snap Chat, you keep sending these snaps to try to communicate with me. I do appreciate it just so you know. But I wish you would call me. I wish you would text me. Why don’t you?

              How did we end up like this? Ill tell you how. It all started when I quit McD’s. June 12th. I quit because I was under so much pressure. I couldn’t stand the hours and at home my mom dating that guy, my life was just insane at that moment. Now I look back and see that it wasn’t even that bad, compared to now of course.

            I quit not having another job to go to but just relying on Lyft. That didn’t work out. I think I was losing more than gaining. Stress got the better of me. How was I going to pay my bills? My car? The rent? Other necessities? You guys seemed to live life on a regular. Like I had never left, like I had never even been there. I pushed that feeling away and still hoped for the best.

             I was out of the loop. I didn’t know what was going on . I have the most blame maybe on that one. I could have asked. But in my time of despair, Gabriel came along. He is some one from church. All of the sudden I thought maybe if I gave the religion one more try then I could get it right. Yes I was gay, but that didn’t bother me as much as it did before, I had given up on love. At least for me.

              So I went full throttle. I knew I wasn’t going to change my sexuality, I just wanted to feel something. Because at the time I felt numb. It didn’t help. But that made it impossible for us to be friends. At the time I had different views. They weren’t mine but they were deeply implanted in me that I believed them to be. But I missed you guys.

             So I agreed to hang out. We went to Chilies. Well, me and Jenny did. You, never showed up. You don’t know how much that hurt me. I forgave you though, or better said I didn’t blame you at all. Who would want to see a friend who basically disappeared for a couple of months? Maybe that night, October 21st, our friendship started to collapse.

              On November 4th when I finally saw you after so long I remembered why I loved you so much as a friend. I wanted to save our friendship, all of our friendships. So I poured my heart out in a letter, in a letter that I hoped would explain everything that I was going through. What did you do to that letter? Did I just remind you that you had it?

             Writing and giving you that letter made me think that now you would understand me more. That the next time I would have a “fall out” you would do everything in your power to keep me from rolling up in a corner. That didn’t happen. You might say you tried but sending me funny snaps does not apply.

             What hurt more than anything is when you guys never had time to hang out. All you said is that I should understand the crazy schedule you guys had. Which I did. To a curtain extent. But you used that excuse too many times that it lost its meaning. I got canceled on several occasions. Because work was more important than me. I understand you have to pay bills, but at the expense of my feelings?

             That time we hanged out at Jenny’s house with Monique and you said you were going to go but you didn’t. That hurt. What made it sting was not the blade I was sliding gracefully along my arms, it was the fact that you texted Jenny and not both of us. That made me feel like you guys had a much more deeper connection then all of us together. Which is true, but I didn’t want to believe it. 

I needed you there. But you weren’t.

             When we had our Christmas party thing at IHOP I was so excited to see you guys. It had been weeks, again. Did you notice how my eyes shined? How happy I was to be around you guys? I still have your presents in my closet. Will you ever receive them? Almost seven months since that day. Seems like yesterday. I surely thought we were going to be ok.

             You invited me to go with you and Gabe later in January for your dogs first grooming. That was the last time I saw you.

             It was January the fifteenth. I was so depressed. I wanted to tell you. But I had to keep my emotions bottled up because that’s the best thing I know how to do well. I did tell you that we were on food stamps. I thought you were going to say that things will getter better or to hang in there at least, but instead you just said that you and Gabe were once on food stamps. That felt like you were waiving off what I was saying like it was nothing. 

             That day I needed a friend. I needed a hug. I needed someone to tell me it was going to be ok. I needed comfort. Didn’t you notice how quiet I was? We barley even laughed that day. It was so awkward. Gabe told me about his credit card issues and I listened patiently.

             If we were sharing, was I supposed to say how much pain I was feeling? That I was cutting myself? That I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life? That my mom might have cancer? And I needed leg surgery?

             No, I’m not like those people. I don’t like to brag about my problems. I need a very secure place to vent. And a person who I trust in deeply and will truly listen. I thought you would. 

             Let’s flash forward to the night we were supposed to hang out on a Friday February 24. It was the Friday after the Friday I had canceled on you guys. I canceled that day saying it was raining to hard and I wanted to stay home. That wasn’t an excuse. But I’m glad it did rain. I really didn’t feel like going. At that point I felt like I had been forgotten. I had been left behind. 

             The next Friday was a different story. I was going to go. I wanted to go. But then Jennifer suggested we go out to eat I said that I would eat at home. Then she said she would get pizza. I already had doubts of going. But then when she asked you to bring chips. That’s what made me feel bad. I didn’t have money. Not even for the fucking dollar store. And her asking you in the group message hurt my feelings. I was going to go empty handed? Take in mind I was already in my car. Then that made me freeze. And I couldn’t go. My body didn’t move. So I stayed and turned my phone off. 

             I didn’t mean to stand you guys up. But my brain wasn’t functioning how it was supposed to. I was all over the place. You guys were living life here and there and I couldn’t even pay for anything I felt terrible. I didn’t want to hold you guys down. So I backed away. I thought maybe without me you guys would be happier. I’m sure you got tired of hearing I didn’t have money. What a drag. 

             Once our communication came to a hualt I found out my mom had cancer. Where were you? That day I went out side and ran.  I didn’t know why but running out of breathe felt good. Everything was falling apart and I had no one to run to. No one to talk to. I had to suck it all up and play the strong one for my mom and brother. It hurt so much. I might have lost part of my sanity. Things haven’t changed much. They are what they are. But I do miss you. 

              You finally texted. It felt so good to see your name on my phone screen. It made me feel like nothing between us ever happened. Like I received a text from you everyday. Thank you for making the first step. Now On two days when we meet up again how will it be like? Will I be able to tell you everything I feel? Everything that’s going on? What will you say? Will you apologize for not trying hard enough? Will you believe me when I say I’m truly sorry I have caused you so much pain? How can we ever go back to the way it was? When we had 100% trust in each other. Did we ever? Will we ever? Will we now? Now that you know the truth. 

             


             That was a while ago. I haven’t seen you. I have been wanting to. I messaged you and Jenny on Snapchat in group. Told you guys exactly what was going on. Thanks for the support. They you messaged me alone to go to a dog park. Do you still not see it? I want to talk to you. No one else but you. I love Gabe but you were the one that made me feel better. You and Jenny. But, will we ever be better? At being friends? I don’t know anymore.

A Letter To Myself

            I wrote myself a letter because I felt that no one really understands me except myself. I try to communicate, but the only person who actually listens is myslef. I have waited for help from others but it hasn’t arrived, I guess, the only person I can expect help from is, myself. 



Dear Pedro, 

            I can see what you are going through. I can almost feel it. You left social media. Deleted Facebook. Never post on Snapchat and have grown distant with your friends. They must not understand, but I do. I see how every morning it’s hard for you to get up. To face another day with problems. It seems like you can’t get a break. Don’t give up. 

            I understand you have no money. You can barely afford to keep the fridge stocked up for your family. How do people expect you to go out? And have fun? When you could use that money to pay bills and buy food. Survive. No one sees that, but I do. Don’t give up. 

          When I ask if everything is ok, you always say yes. But I know that’s not true. I ask again, surprised you look at me and tell me the truth. No one has asked you twice. No one asks for the truth. They only want to hear “ok” and “fine” to get on with their lives. But I care. I want to know. I can’t fix it, but I can lend my support. If you don’t want to talk we can just sit in silence. I know how sometimes you want to be alone, but not feel alone. Don’t give up. 

            I can see how sometimes you can’t even cry because you see no use in that, you just want it all to stop. But wait, think about your family. Your mother and brother. You have to stay and look after them. Who else will? Don’t give up. 

            I know that your mom has cancer. I’m sorry. Life has treated you very unfairly. Your going to lose your job due to a work permit that has yet to arrive. I know, life is hard. Don’t give up. 

            With all the problems you have, I won’t ask you to come and have fun. I know you can’t. I know that when you go out all you think about is your problems. The how’s? And the why’s? Don’t give up. 

            You can’t focus on anything else. So then I’ll ask you what you want to do. What will help? I’ll give you a warm hug just so you know I feel your pain. I’ll tell you it will get better. That it will be ok. You will respond in a negative way. Saying how it’s not, and I don’t understand. But I do, so I’ll say, “even if it doesn’t, I’ll be there by your side.” That will put a smile on your pale face, no one has ever said that to you before. Don’t give up. 

            I know each day gets harder. I know each hour drags on by. I know every minute is excruciating. I know every second air seems to get thinner and it’s difficult to breathe. Don’t give up. 

            I know how many times you have thought about it. Don’t do it. I know it seems like the only way out. Don’t do it. I know the reasons why you would want to. Don’t do it. Don’t give up. 

Even though you want to do it really bad, and sometimes you are on the edge, hanging on for dear life, and you might think that there is no turning back, I plead and beg you, just don’t give up