Precious Illusions

By

Samantha Herrington


October 28, 2028

Logan,

I can imagine the hurt you're feeling right now and I hate to know I've caused it. I'll try to explain the best I can, but I'm not sure how much sense this will make. I barely understand things myself.

By the time you read this, I'll be gone. I love you, Logan – on some level I always will - but I'm not *in* love with you anymore. I don't think I have been for a long time.

And I'm in love with someone else. 

There I said it.  Logan, I didn't even realize I felt this way about him. Maybe I've been in love with him from the first time we met – oh God, I don't know. I just don't know how the hell any of this happened.

Alec was in Seattle last week. I didn't tell you.  I don't know why- maybe because I knew you'd be jealous.  You always have been where Alec was concerned. Looking back on it now maybe you saw it … maybe you saw it when I didn't see it, when I was too afraid to see it.

I know this letter isn't making much sense. This is probably the first time I've ever been truly honest with you – hell, it's the first time I've been this honest with myself. I'm not sure how to word everything, but I want to give you the truth.

Anyways, Alec came back to Seattle last week and it sure as hell took me by surprise. Imagine my shock when I opened the door and there he stood.  He looked the exact same even after five years. After I got over my surprise, we went to lunch and talked – actually talked -  with each other.   We even argued back and forth for a bit over stupid topics, but it was….fun somehow.  I hadn't realized how much I missed him until last Wednesday. When he greeted me with that damn cocky grin I'd once hated so much, my heart stopped. Funny, huh?

Funny in a not-so-funny-way.

I know I told you I had errands to run Wednesday night, but I was with him. I wanted to catch up on old times. He was different, somehow, even though on the surface you wouldn't think so. I can't put my finger on what's changed. His heart seemed a bit heavier than I remember… or maybe I had my eyes open for the first time since I've met him. 

I'm such a fool.

Alec was only here for a day.  He had to take care of 'something' -he wouldn't fill me in on what.  I know what you're thinking:   he's running his old scams again.   He's not, Logan.  I don't know how I can say for sure, but there was something in his eyes…

Anyways, I was strangely disappointed in finding out he was only back for such a short period of time. The thought of him disappearing from my life again was … unbearable.  I tried not to let it matter.  I was with you, after all. I wanted to be loyal to you - I've never known how to not be loyal to you.  It's just what I do.

Until now.

Damn.

After a few hours walking around the city and continuing to catch up, we went to the Needle.  The Needle had been 'our' spot years ago, before Alec had left Seattle. I know I never told you, Logan, but it was special to me – to both of us.  It as our little secret.

The night Alec and I finally worked past our differences we'd met up there. Well, actually he more or less hunted me down to make sure I was okay.  It was also the day I'd told you I had been 'with' Alec, which you now know was a lie. Somehow Alec sensed I needed a friend and he offered an ear.  I think I shocked us both when I accepted.

Either way, the Needle became our habit. We'd meet up there by accident – or so we'd tell ourselves. We'd go there to discuss life or love or the good fight, but most times, we just wanted to be near another person. Up there, it was Alec and I against the world. It didn't make our lives all right, but the fear or pain we'd be feeling was tolerable because we were no longer alone. Up there, we truly became friends.

And looking back, I guess up there is where I fell in love with him.

I can't believe I didn't see it sooner.

Alec coming back last week threw everything upside down. This wasn't supposed to happen. I was supposed to love you for the rest of my life. I was supposed to be with you for the rest of my life. I could live a lie – I'd been doing it for so long. Then….seeing him again…I don't know. I guess I just didn't want to lie anymore. To you, to him, to myself. And - I have to be honest Logan - I kissed him last week. I can't even remember how it happened. One minute, we were standing on the Needle looking out over the city reminiscing about old times…the next I was kissing him.  God help me, nothing has ever felt so good. Not even with you. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. I know it's not enough but I truly am.

I did the right thing, though. I stopped it. I pulled back and was prepared to tell him what a mistake it was. I was with you and I didn't want to hurt you. However, I didn't need to explain – he already understood. No matter what I thought about Alec years ago, he's really a good guy. He doesn't want to be the jerk who steals the other guy's girl – hell, he even told me as much once upon a time. I know you're probably snorting in disbelief right now.  Can't say that I blame you. But, Logan, deep down, I think part of me has been his for a long time. Maybe that's why I could never fully commit to you – why I always said no to marriage. Part of me knew.

I'm his.

Alec and I didn't do anything else that night. We didn't want to cross the line any more than we already had. We took the 'ignore it and it will go away approach.'

And everything was fine.  

As if it could ever be so simple.  These feelings didn't go away. Not for me. They didn't go away because they've always been there, bubbling underneath the surface begging for a release.  I was just too stupid to do anything about them.

Alec left the next day.  I knew immediately I'd made a horrible mistake. Not because I'd felt I'd cheated on you, but because I'd let him walk out of my life for a second time.  How fucking horrible is that?  This is why I'm leaving, Logan.  You deserve someone who will love you fully, not love you because you're steady.

There'd always been something between me and Alec, even if I was too blind to see it and he was too scared to say it. But it's been there – real and tangible. Original Cindy would constantly get digs in about us here and there.  She even tried to talk to me about it seriously once, but I blew her off. What the hell did she know about my feelings?

Apparently a lot more than I did.

You saw it, too, didn't you? You saw it all along. And you were right. I'm sorry, Logan. You were right and I hate myself for it.

You taught me to believe in destiny and in fate and that junk.  Because of that, I have to think it was fate which brought Alec back to Seattle and back into me. I'm not always the smartest girl when it comes to my feelings, but I can't ignore *this*, whatever *this* may be. I don't want to. If I did, I'd eventually come to resent you. It's a no win situation for us. With or without someone else, we've been over for a long time. We were just too scared to admit it. Fear of change is so damning, but trapping ourselves into a life we don't want is the most unforgivable of sins.

I'm going to try to find Alec. I have no idea where he went – he didn't tell me, and to be honest, at the time I thought it best I didn't ask. It doesn't matter – I'll find him. I know I will. I have no idea what will happen when I confront him but I can't live my life without knowing.

I love him. I think he loves me.

I'm sorry, Logan. I know I've said it over and over, but I truly am. I think its best this way. There's been something missing from our lives for the past five years. Both of us knew we weren't 'it' for each other… whatever 'it' is, anyway. Apologies probably aren't going to ease the pain but I do mean them. I hope one day – no matter where we are in our lives – we can be friends again. I won't push it. I understand you'll probably hate me for a while – hell maybe even years. But if you ever need anything Logan, I'll be there for you. I really hope we can mend things eventually.

I've left. I've left to find him, find myself and find all the years I've lost in between. I pray my chance didn't pass me by.

I hope you find yourself before its too late.

Max