by Melissa Treglia
My most cherished friend,
This is not the last promises of a would-be lover who is leaving, but the embrace of a companion that remains with you in spirit. The feeling I have for you is too beautiful, too pure, too sweet for me to ever let any harm come to you on account of my nature. I can only hope that my memory will not spoil the pleasures life has in store for you, nor that you will grow to hate me for the path I have chosen at this crossroads, the crossroads in which our lives briefly intersected.
I want you to be happy, and be loved, dearest Natalie. How could you not be? I only hope that you may keep me in a small secret corner of your heart; a place to go in times of sorrow, to find solace or encouragement.
The heart is such a fragile thing, when not made of ice or stone. It is made either to love sincerely or to wither on the vine. There is no middle road, and it cannot know a middle path with the intensity into which you give yourself in all things. It has been said that only love can truly exist, and I know this as well as you know it. It is something I have oft repeated to myself, and is something I can never forget.
Love so truly, my sweet, to last your lifetime. Find a man, a young man whose heart beats clear and strong, who has never known such love as only you can give. Seize the riches that such a new love can offer, and don't allow yourself to pity what might have been.
It is only with pain and sorrow in your heart that you have loved me. It is far, far better to love with joyful surrender. Perhaps, the one who will find you will love you more than I ever could, and perhaps he will be happier and more loved in return. Maybe that one will be your fondest and sweetest love of all.
But don't let your good and loving heart die, I beg of you. Instead, let it be consumed by all the loves of your life, so that one day, you can look back and realize: "I suffered, erred, and knew trials at the hands of love... but I have truly known what it is to love."
Be well, Natalie, and never forget that you are worthy of the same selfless and pure love that you have given. I shall remember you forever, with nothing but great fondness in my heart.