She sighs as she reaches into the rusty old box and pulls out a note. Spring was a time for new beginnings, and yet she focuses on the old, failed beginnings. What else do you do when there are no new beginnings, just memories of better times?
She unfolds the note, slowly, knowing that reading it won't make her feel wanted, just forgotten. With the note unfolded she runs her fingers over the words, wishing them to still mean something. Her eyes follow the lines, trying to remember the feeling she had when she first read them, when the author had wanted to preserve them on paper. As she reaches the bottom, her eyes linger on the ending, on the one word she hasn't heard in too long. Love. She sighs again, knowing it's foolish to reach back into an empty past, but she hopes that maybe, just maybe, this time she'll grasp onto something. She rereads the note over, and over again. Trying to look for the problems that caused the letters to stop between the lines. There must be something she missed during the good times, to foreshadow the breakdown. She sighs again as she puts the letter down again, there is nothing between any line or word that could have foretold that she would be sitting on her bed reading a note from a lover she thought would never leave.
She grabs another letter from the box as she lays down on her bed. Written on yellow paper, she reads the letter with less thought than the last. This one is simple, she doesn't think about anything heavy with this one. She just closes her eyes and remembers. The good times were so good.
But the bad times were so bad.
She sits up, puts her head in her hands, and cries. Her thoughts race in her head with the force of a hurricane, she knows what's coming, she's been through this before. First, sadness sweeps over her, causing her to cry harder. Second, doubt, she thinks what she could have done better, how she could have changed to make everything better. The tears continue. Third, regret, she never should have loved in the first place. Fourth, anger, she never deserved this, she is better than he treated her. She never should have let him, she should have been stronger, should have known better. The mixture of emotions bounce and collide in her head until finally, nothing. She sits in silence. A feeling she hasn't experienced before sweeps over her. She reacts the only way she knows how. She lays back down. She looks at the letter. She feels nothing. Clarity.
Amidst the tears, she smiles. Slowly the smile gets bigger, and turns into a laugh. She rips the letter. Once down the middle, then again, and again. She does the same to every letter. She has never felt this release before. She stops at the last note. A small folded up post-it note stuck to the bottom of the box. She doesn't remember it. She picks it up, unfolds it. She reads it slowly, letting the words sink in, feeling free. She does not rip this note up, she does not throw it out. Instead, she places it on the corner of her mirror. She wipes away her tears, and walks outside, quickly engulfed in sunlight. As Spring unfolds around her, her mind repeats what was written on that sticky note. She feels as free as she ever has, released from the grasp of her past.
"We accept the love we think we deserve" she thinks
"I deserve more" she whispers.