A letter to “the one who got away”


I have been craving writing lately since I’ve submitted my manuscript of Florid Eyes to the editor. I need another way to channel all my romantic thoughts. It suddenly comes to me that I should just write unsent “letters” to the men who broke my heart as long overdue closures. This particular one is to “the one who got away”.

Dear _____,

It has been six years since we have broken up. I know you’re getting married soon. To be frank, I cried a little when I found out. Remember that stupid message I sent you telling you I still loved you? I kept thinking–it should have been me. All this time I was thinking if I had made a different choice six years ago, we would never have broken up. We would live happily ever after. No matter how many guys I’ve dated since you, you were always “the one who got away” in my mind. I have always wondered if I missed my only chance of happiness. I even Googled “Do people ever get over their first love?” More than once.

Until recently, I’ve been confused by how you could meet another worthy woman. I thought what we had was irreplaceable. That’s what we said, right? When we parted, we agreed we’d always, always love each other. I tried to justify your action by telling myself, “He doesn’t love her the way he loves me. She just happens to have come into his life when he is ready to settle down. It could have been anyone. She is nothing special.” I was in denial. I didn’t think you could be happily in love again because I wasn’t able to.

Until now.

I checked out your Facebook not long ago. The bears are still there–a symbol of our love that perhaps you’ve already forgotten. I swear I would have interpreted it as your hidden feelings for me but not anymore. I am surprised I can finally feel so unaffected by the sight of your happiness with her because I’ve finally regained my faith in love again.

You were the first man who taught me love and showed me how a happy, healthy relationship should be like. It was drama free. It was trusting even thought we only got to see each other once every 2-3 weeks. When I was with you, I had no other couples to envy because I was perfectly content.

However, you spoiled me so much. It got me into thinking every guy should treats me like a princess the way you did. I never had to compromise when we were together. You were always making concessions for me. We worked because you were just a very, very accommodating and wonderful guy, but the way I acted when we were together did work in my other relationships. I didn’t know know then, but I know now.

I never thought after so many years, I could still take a leaf out of our relationship. I will learn from you, not from my former self, on how to compromise for the person you love in the future.

Thank you for giving me such beautiful memories. I still smile every time I think of the good times we had together.

After six years, I can finally feel genuinely happy for you for finding your true love.



About Nicky

Nicky English is a journalist, an educator, a podcaster, a couch potato, a dreamer, and a child at heart. Learning is her passion, so is the English language, which she believes is the tool to unlock the door of knowledge. Born in Hong Kong, she received intensive writing training at The University of Iowa, where she double-majored in journalism and political science. Apart from the Hawkeye State, she’s lived in Chicago and Philadelphia. When she was a guest student at Georgetown University, she fell in love with Washington, D.C. She also has a Master of Arts in Communication. A little side note—she cannot imagine a world without her Mac and iDevices. Like many crazy ones, she hopes to change the world one day at a time.
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2 Responses to A letter to “the one who got away”

  1. Pingback: A letter to my “toxic love” | Half an ABC

  2. Pingback: lessons learned from my heartbreaks | Half an ABC: Nicky English's blog

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