Letters from Lockdown 96: Aimee Dyson

To the girl I left behind,

I’m sorry; for leaving you when you needed me most, for giving no warning, for abandoning you.

I didn’t leave through choice; I was ripped away. A global pandemic decided I had to go and I couldn’t really argue with that. We worked together for so many months and we were making good progress too. I was forced into a hurried goodbye before making the 100 mile trip back home but not a day goes by when I don’t think of you.

Just as you were blossoming, preparing to take on the world again, it came crashing down all around you. There was nothing you could do but accept this new world, full of uncertainties and despair.

I’m sorry I couldn’t stay with you and I wish we had a bit more time together. Instead I returned to my hometown, haunted with ghosts and lonely nights. I was happier with you, a changed person, but I always knew it wouldn’t last.

To the person I could’ve been if I had stayed, I grieve you. You still had so much to learn and your healing was not done. But perhaps that city too became a place of ghosts, where unwanted memories hid behind every corner, tempting you with sadness.

I see myself now as a shadow of you, an incomplete version and I am left wondering how life might be different now if I had a few more months with you. I wonder if I had continued to flourish or if I would have tempted me to revert back to old habits. But there is no point wondering. I am only me now, in the present. That old version has gone.

You’re not dead; just buried, for now. I don’t know when I will see you again but I must live in hope that I will. I need the certainty that you’ll return, with that sparkle in your eye and the love in your heart.

You were a different person there and that wasn’t a bad thing. You grew and learnt so much and you’ve definitely come out stronger. You’ve changed in ways you never thought you needed to. I wouldn’t be me now without you, and for that I will always cherish you.

You were strong when I needed you to be, sometimes vulnerable, but mostly, happy. I’m holding out for the day I can be like you.

Thanks for all the lessons but it’s time I said goodbye. You aren’t there anymore so I must move on. But I am better now and I see your strength in my bad days, your smile exists in numerous photos, you are alive in my memory.

I know you aren’t gone, just hiding.

Come out soon please.

Love from the girl who had to leave x

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