This is for my dear friend Original Groffette (MissTrubiex) and to all the others that inspire me with their writing everyday. I admit up front, I am not a writer. However, sometimes there is something that is begging to be said. This is unedited. I apologize up front for any errors. Song is As You Turn Away by Lady Antebellum.

Rachel isn't sure why the little envelope in her hands scares her so much. It's only paper and she knows logically it can't hurt her physically. It's the emotional repercussions of opening that envelope that fill her with so much dread. She was happy – she had Finn and she was going to New York in a year.

Gently tracing the address on the outside, she takes a deep breath and tries to center herself. Somehow, she knows that she won't be the same after reading this letter. With one more deep breath, she slowly and carefully opens the envelope.

Dearest Rachel,

First of all, breathe. It's not as bad as you think it is. You are such a drama queen – it's one of the things that I love about you. I know you worked yourself into a tizzy before even opening the envelope. So just breathe.

I'm writing this to say goodbye. I'm heading back to school to see if I can salvage my academic career. I am not a quitter and I need to do this for me. Plus, I can't stay here and watch you with Finn. I want you to really enjoy this year with him and I wish you both the best.

That doesn't sound like me at all, does it? Well, I've been doing some soul searching recently and I think I have figured out a few things. I am a couple of years older than you, I have more life experience than you, and I'm at a different place in my life than you are. Even with all that, it took me time to realize everything that I had thrown away when I egged you and went back to Carmel. I didn't lie to you this year, I came back for you because I realized that you complete me in a way that no one else can. You are the yin to my yang. We understand each other in a way that no one else possibly can.

Now, I want you to enjoy this time you have with Finn as his girlfriend. I can see you looking down at the signature right now, yes, I did write that sentence. Sometimes I forget that when we met you were only 16 years old. You are more mature and dedicated than people twice your age. You've had this crush and been half in love with Finn for the longest time and I think you really need to live out the experience. You have lived this in your head for years and I think you need the reality. Realistically, you and Finn are too different. You both want vastly different things out of life and you won't be able to love anyone else until you let this run its course and see that for yourself. You're in love with the idea of Finn, not the real Finn.

So, I tell you to enjoy this time with him because I realize that this is not our time. We aren't ready for each other yet. Neither of us is in the right place in our life to be with the other. We both have some growing up to do. That is hard for me to admit, but it is true. I need to deal with my stuff first and you need to do the same.

So this is my goodbye – for now. I can't be here to watch you grow and I don't think you would grow as much if I were here. So, for now, I'm heading back to California. After that, who knows? I firmly believe that there's a time and a place for us. Yes, I just quoted West Side Story to you. I won't be there as you head forward on your journey, but just because I'm not there doesn't mean that I am not thinking of you and wishing and hoping for the best for you.

If you ever really needed to get in touch with me, you know how. I am not going to write or call to try and keep my memory alive in your head and your heart. I believe in what we share deep down inside and we don't need that. We both need this time and this space apart to do what we need to do.

I do believe we are inevitable, just like you starring on Broadway in Evita. Can you believe that they cast Ricky Martin as Che in the newest version coming to Broadway? Sorry, I got carried away there.

Music will always be our thing and so I think this is the perfect thing to say what I'm thinking. You turning away and turning to Finn almost broke me, I'll admit that. I think you need to though, so this is our goodbye. Next time we meet, our slate will be clean – we've each been responsible for heartbreak in the other. Hopefully now we can both heal and in the future we will be able to leave the past in the past.

Standing face to face
Wrapped in your embrace
I don't wanna let you go
But you're already gone

Now you kiss my cheek
Soft and bittersweet
I can read it in your eyes
Baby, this is our goodbye

Nothing more to say
Nothing left to break
I keep reaching out for you
Hoping you might stay

Nothing more to give
Nothing left to take
I keep reaching out for you
Reaching out for you
As you turn away

Let go of my hand
So I can feel again
Nothing's gonna hurt as much
As that final touch

No we can't be friends
Cause I don't think I could take seeing you
And knowing where we've been
I hope you understand

Nothing more to say
Nothing left to break
I keep reaching out for you
Hoping you might stay

Nothing more to give
Nothing left to take
I keep reaching out for you
Reaching out for you
As you turn away

One step my heart is breaking
One more my hands are shaking
The door is closing
And I just can't change it

Nothing more to say
Nothing left to break

Nothing more to give
Nothing left to take
I keep reaching out for you
Reaching out for you
I keep reaching out for you
Reaching out for you
As you turn away,
As you turn away,
As you turn away...

Good luck, Rachel. Go out there and achieve your dreams. I'm always proud of you. Please always remember just how amazing you are. Here is just a bit of fair warning, I'll see you in New York in a few years.

All my love,

Jesse St. James

With a soft smile and with tears falling softly on her face, Rachel folded up the letter and carefully placed it in her diary. While it does hurt, she thinks it was the perfect way for him to say goodbye – for now.