Dear Stranger

I thought about this letter for a long time. Does it need to be written? Is it obsolete? The truth is, I think this will be the last letter because you are not a stranger anymore. And I could write so many things to you and about you now, but I won’t. There is no need, and most things just matter for a moment anyway. So much has changed in only a few short months – I know, I mentioned change before, but this time, everything is different.

I thought I understood what you were going through, but I did not. I had no idea about your struggles and how they impact every part of your life. I had not even scratched the surface of your demon-iceberg.

In recent months, you opened up to me in a very honest and fragile way, all while putting me in my place too when I became too needy or too demanding when I asked questions that weren’t mine to ask.

It became clear that there can’t be anything romantic between us. We would be perfect together, but right now, it is impossible. And that is okay. You need to heal first, and I have a lot of work to do too. It became clear when we started to talk about therapy sessions. Months ago, when you were very low and told me we could not be in touch anymore because I was too tempting for you, you insisted that we could not be friends, not with our history, and yet… it seems as if we cannot be without each other. Time and time again, you got in touch again to ask for support. And in the end, without consciously trying to establish it, a bond was formed between us. It’s a bond not many will understand, and they don’t have to. It is very layered and laced with memories and mutual care. We know exactly what we are. At one point, you were concerned about sending mixed signals, but the truth is: I am not confused. Not anymore. I know who I am, and I know who you are. I am one of the very few who know every truth about you. And I did not run. I don’t know why I did not turn my back on you as many did. I just didn’t. I couldn’t.

As I am beginning to question my motives; the why’s and how’s, I wonder if I wanted more of you for myself than I knew. But honestly, I don’t know. I just wasn’t ready to give up on you. And I will never give up on you. I see you, dear Stranger.

You deserve people in your corner who support you unconditionally, who give you room when you need it, and who take care of you when you can’t.

What bothers me though is the reason why you are in my corner right now. For the same reasons I mentioned? Do you feel like you have to? Do you feel trapped or guilty? Are you scared and afraid that I could betray you and share your secrets if you walk away? I gave you money. Lots of money; almost 800euros in 8 weeks. Don’t worry, I will not ask for anything of it back. I know money is tight for you and I know that your financial management is not the best. But I definitely cannot afford to keep giving you that much money every month. Also, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth: do you keep me around because I offered to help out financially? No. I want to believe that there is more. After all, there are goodnight texts and good morning texts too. There are the I can’t sleep texts and the I just meditated ones. All these moments did not exist three months ago. And now they do. No, dear Stranger. You are not a stranger anymore. I don’t need to write any letters to you anymore. Because now we talk. We found our voice and nothing is off-limits. But there are boundaries.

Dear Stranger, I will never stop loving you in my unique way. I promised you many things and I intend to keep every one of those promises.

Goodbye, and hello.

Forever yours,

Sweetie

Dear Stranger

I had six missed calls today. They say if a man don’t want to talk to you, he will not call. You called and sent messages, and even a selfie. I have been waiting for a selfie for a long while. You look tired but so handsome. You know that I don’t love you for your looks. I love you for your mind and soul. Six times you tried to reach me, and once I told you that I couldn’t take your call. You tried again and again. I stayed headstrong; you did too. We are weird together apart. And I wish that I could just come over and hug you. But, that cannot happen. You’ve changed, though. A lot.

Two years ago, I lay on my back in a field at night on a warm August night. I wished upon many stars for you to love me that night. That year, nothing happened. Nothing at all. The year after that, you started being there at the end of the year. The first half has been challenging for you, I learned since. My heart broke for you when I heard what you had to go through – mostly alone. And this year, out of the blue, really, I became marriage material. You said you love me. You said you trust me. And while I believe you, I am weary. Weary, because I know you. I know you all too well. And I am trying not to hurt you, because you are a fragile mind. And I worry so much about you. So so much. I am afraid that you become dependent on me and my presence, and that’s when I fear that I am not good enough, and I want to retreat. But I will not. I will be strong for both of us.

We deserve each other. I think we do. But Stranger, what are we doing? We are wasting time, and we are wasting our lives. Will we ever be more than voices on the phone? Words on a screen?

I love you, Stranger, and I will take your calls tomorrow. I promise. I want to be there for you. I’m doing my best to be there for you.

Yours, Sweetie.

Dear Stranger: 15 things I love about you

Lately, you’ve been on my mind day and night, every waking hour and every sleeping moment too. I think it happened. It finally happened. And I am sorry. I apologise.

There are too many reasons for me to love you.

  • I care and never want to see you hurt
  • I want to protect you and keep you out of harm’s way
  • You act strong for everyone else, but I’ve seen you, and I understand
  • I like you; you are my person
  • We have a past, a present, and a future
  • Your presence in my life helps me grow
  • You make me smile, even more so when you realise what I am made of
  • When I hear your voice, there are butterflies in my belly
  • I trust you, so much so that your is the only number that can call me at any time of the day and night
  • I see the potential in you, the creativity that knows no limits
  • I cannot fix you because you are not broken, but I can love you
  • I get jealous when you interact with other women
  • I cannot think of anything that I detest in you; nothing appalls me, nothing makes me want to abandon you
  • You deserve to be loved by me
  • I deserved to be loved by you.

Or as Martin L Gore wrote and sang:

Depeche Mode – somebody

Goodnight, dear Stranger,

Your Sweetie

Dear Stranger

The clock shows 1:23. I cannot sleep. Again. It must be the moon. Or the longing for you. Or the thoughts in my head. I am tired. Very much so. And it makes me grumpy. And depressed. I get depressed when I didn’t sleep enough.

You are an insomniac too. And I saw that you are online on WhatsApp. But I can not get in touch right now. I am in one of those moods when I would twist the nicest things you’d say into something bad.

You see, I am not a good person. I am just tired. I want to take you up on an offer you made last week (or the week before), but I don’t know how to do it. It is very difficult for me to ask for help, to admit that I need help.

Can I sleep next to you? Do you remember that time when you went to take a shower, and I was still on the line? Can we do that with sleeping? Would you sing me to sleep?

During a fight, I once said that I don’t want to end up in one of your songs; the truth is, I want to be in every positive song you’ll ever write. I mean, you are in everything I write too. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but your life is eternal in my poems.

I want to cry. I need a hug and someone to caress my hair, saying that everything will be alright.

Lock your green eyes with mine, and then put your arms around me. I want to fall into you. I want to fall asleep, safe, and home.

These letters are terrible. I am sorry that I make you sound like a bad person. You are not. You are perfect – for me.

Goodnight,

Sweetie

Dear Stranger

Whenever my thoughts are jumbled, my mind wanders to you. It’s not that you can help me much, but it feels like it. You never judge. And I never judge you either; you know and appreciate that. I am scared about the future and what is to come. But I am strong, and I can succeed with everything I want to do. Right?

We spoke every day for a few weeks. And then I pulled away. For no other reason than my moods. I didn’t want to bother you with my negativity, and I think I cut our frail bond. And this time, it is on me. All me. And I miss you, but I am too anxious to even send you a simple text.

Last night, I dreamt that we went for a walk. Very simple. We walked and talked, and you smiled at me, and I smiled at you. Such a simple dream, and yet, it was peaceful and exactly how it was these last weeks between us.

And for the first time in our almost 6 years together apart, it felt as if we have a chance at a future together.

And if I ever find my big girl panties, I stop whining so much and act more. You are such an amazing human being, and I am complicated to no end, and best of all, we always respected one another for and with our flaws or eccentricities, and we both have buckets full of those. Right from the start, we took each other without nagging or need for change. The only thing we never seem to get right is us.

Our time will come… Let’s wish upon the full moon.

Forever yours,

Sweetie

Dear Stranger

I had almost 500 words written for you before I deleted it all again. I am projecting what I think you need or want and don’t allow you any space to be more than what I know.

I am aware that there are many layers to peel away from you, but you never allowed it. Now you seem to be there and ready for a deeper connection and it is me who is stuck in old patterns. It feels as if I should apologise about that.

You deserve better.

If we could stop walking on eggshells around each other and allow each other to see everything there is to see, everything would be easier. We would be free. But I am probably over-analysing.

Often, I say that I am not the romantic kind. I am a bit special in my thinking and in my needs. And yet, here I am thinking about you first thing in the morning and as a last thought before I fall asleep.

In bad moments, my mind tries to convince me that it is obsessive. In good moments, my mind tries to convince me that it is love.

Rationally, I know that it is none of the above.

Sometimes, I forget who you are. I forget that everything between us is make-believe and a fantasy. And I am scared that you don’t like me at all. I am afraid if I try pleasing you too much, you end up hating me. And I desperately need you to like me. Love me. Just a little bit.

A friend of mine told me about a Hindu meditation. During this meditation, you ask yourself if you would mourn the loss of this or that person in your life. If you don’t get sad over the emotion, it is time to let go. If you feel sad thinking about anyone’s loss, they are allowed to stay in your life.

I tried it with you, and I was devastated thinking of a life without you. I almost panicked. I got that same constricting feeling when you left the first time and also, a couple of months ago when I dreamt that you had died.

That dream of you passing away, I remember it, sort of, because I was shaken the entire day. And then in the evening, you got in touch and ever since you haven’t really left again. The distance between us changed.

And every time you’re near, a warm sensation travels through my body. Would it be the same if you weren’t who you are? Would it be the same if you hadn’t kissed my starving teenage mind with your art years before we even met?

Dear Stranger, you have that very special gift to make me feel happy and sad at the same time. You make me confident and doubting at the same time.

And tonight, I don’t know what to think.

Goodnight,

Sweetie

Dear Stranger

Already? Yes, there is a new short letter waiting for you. I don’t know who to tell that I am worried about you. I am worried about your health – physical and mental, and I am concerned that the recent happenings in the world are not helping you at all. I know you are alone in your apartment, probably half happy to be on your own and half needing someone to be there.

As so often, I tried to be there, but our schedules clashed. When you called at 5:30 this morning (my time), I was still asleep. I know, last time we spoke at that time – but I am not working right now; I sleep.

It was a weird coincidence that you called though – okay, yes, there was a message I’d sent yesterday and yet. Why weird? Well, I did not sleep well. I had vivid dreams of you.

In my dream, you simply appeared on my doorstep with two bags, a guitar, and a smile, declaring that you were here to live with my family and me. And you did. You just fit in. And when we had alone time, we’d kiss and fuck. It was not making love in my dream – it was fucking. The way we both like it. And there was that green hue in my dream, the one that always makes me feel as if you are there with me, ever since the very first time we spoke on the phone in 2015.

And a particular image stayed in my mind. You were pushing me against the nearest wall to kiss me… It’s a longing deep inside me, I know. I am yearning to be touched and to be kissed sensually.

I guess what the dream means is that I want to take care of you in my own unique way, while I know that I am only needed for you to feel less alone or to have your kinks tickled.

I know all that, and still, I miss you,

Sweetie

Dear Stranger

Happy New Year

Another new year for us isn’t it. Oh, and how this one started. You and me on the phone. I did not even think too long before sending my message to wish you a happy new year. And I did not expect to have an immediate response. And wow… It was an amazing start to the new year. And I just kept on floating on that feeling all day long. Parts of me hopes that it will set the tone for 2021, and part of me hopes that we can finally meet. I want to bury my nose against your neck and breathe you in until you become a part of me. I love you, stranger. With all my heart. Every day you are on my mind. And every time I write, you become a part of it.

Happy New Year, Stranger.

Forever yours,

Sweetie

About these letters to stranger

The first letter to stranger was written in 2015. But it was a one-off. In 2017 I took the idea up again, and since then, I regularly send a virtual and fictitious letter to stranger. I know exactly who Stranger is and I know who Sweetie is. But it is my creative choice to keep everyone in the dark. I don’t want to give more backstory than the one that can be found in the letters. At one point, I wanted Stranger to reply, but I decided against it. It is an unreciprocated love affair, about co-dependency too. From Sweetie’s words, you will probably assume that Stranger is a narcissist, and she is an empathetic people pleaser. Both of these characters are filled with qualities and flaws. And for people who know me or my words a bit, they will recognise some of me in Sweetie, mostly in the last letter I shared. (the shoulder pain, the Myers-Briggs test…)

I decided to give the letters more visibility with an own category and menu. If you click the menu, every letter will be displayed, in reverse chronological order – the last letter first.

Here’s a link for you: https://micqu.wordpress.com/category/letters-to-stranger/

I invite you to revisit these very short letters, I would love to have some feedback.

Dear Stranger

Dear Stranger,

Five years ago, you entered my life and changed everything. Months of euphoria and months of suicidal depression followed you. I don’t give you credit. Not for the good and not for the bad. It was all in me from the start. We haven’t been in touch since last May, but I never forgot or forget you. You are still under my skin, and that is where you belong.

I am not as influenced by your presence or lack thereof as I once was.

In hindsight, I think I made peace with you when you said I should use cocaine to lose weight, and once achieved, you would make love to me on your piano.

The fantasy of this is beautiful to be honest, but there is one hitch: I am not willing to change for anyone. Not anymore. I will not bend backwards to become something or someone I am not. Love me for the person I am. That was all I ever asked. But I was never enough… And now, I think, finally, I moved on. I still care about you and your well-being but not enough to wait for you.

And so, dear stranger, on our fifth anniversary, I will tell you one last time how much you mean to me and how much I love you. But I will also tell you: goodbye. See you in another life.

Your Sweetie