Even after every day you didn’t talk to me. Every day you told me you hated me. That I should leave and never come back. After every day I tried to say I was sorry for my shortcomings, and every day that you never forgave me. Every day you never apologized for your own shortcomings, for the bullying and the heartbreak, for every time I tried to share my life with you only for you to throw it back in my face. Every day you told me I looked like a whore when I put on make up when I didn’t feel confident; every day you told me my interests were stupid and weird, even though sometimes they were the only things that made me feel alive; every day you made sure I knew that I was just as much as an outcast as I felt.
But your name was always at the top of the page, even after every time you turned your crappy country music all the way up when we were driving, just to piss me off. Every time I asked you to lunch and you told me you weren’t hungry, even though you went out with your friends an hour later. After every time you told me to fuck off when I told you I was worried about you, every time I tried to offer you advice. My suicide note was always addressed to you, even if you never cared.
And then I left. I went to college and we never talked and I took little white pills that made me sick and tired and made my hair fall out and I stopped writing suicide notes in my head sometimes, but when I did they were still always to you. I grew up fast and life got hard even faster and some days my suicide notes were my only source of comfort. They were an out for a game that I was losing, a game I had never wanted to play in the first place.
You called me for the first time three months in, and we talked for two hours. After drinking myself sick on weekdays and running out of shirts that didn’t show my arms, I realized that there was more to life than mothering you; I knew that’s what had always pissed you off the most. After all, you were probably doing a lot better than I was. I didn’t tell you that but you knew that I had changed. You were always smart like that. You told me that I was like a “new person,” I was cooler now. After years of trying, you finally told me you trusted me, you forgave me, and we spent hours making up for lost years. I didn’t want to write suicide notes to you anymore.
Addressing a letter to someone is like looking them in the eye while they read it, and I knew that when I died, I wanted to look you in the eye when I said I was sorry. Maybe I was hoping that in my final words you’d find something redeemable in me, that if I left the culmination of my life addressed to you, you would finally love me the way that I had loved you all these years. That it would make up for everything I had done. Maybe I was just a little bit bitter that everything I had ever done to mend our relationship was in vain, that you never gave a damn about me, and that you never would until the day I died. But now it feels sharp and cold, it stings with betrayal, and I couldn’t look you in the eye even if I wanted to. It hurts too much. I am too afraid to break the trust you had finally given me. The trust I worked so hard for. The trust I would die for.
I still write suicide notes sometimes, but they’re never addressed to you. And if I ever do write one, I can only hope that you would forgive me one final time.