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The Stray

By AlySimmons All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Drama

Chapter 1

Dearest James,

You didn't have to let me in that day, but you did, and for that, I am grateful.  Your letting me into your apartment – and eventually, your life – offered me a chance to recreate myself into someone better, and it felt good to try and start healing.  However, as time passed by, I realized, I may be healing, but not in the right way because the more I heal, the more I run.  I was - am - running away, and I cannot fathom why, but it hurts.  The pain escalates every moment I spend not doing anything, and I now know that in order to make the hurt go away, I have to face and fix my problems.  That is why I have decided to go, as painful as that decision is.

When you confronted your father a few days ago, when you stood your ground, when you vehemently fought for what you believed in, when you stayed true to yourself and when you finally made amends with the people I know you love deep inside, I felt something run up my spine.  It was unnerving yet bewitching.  It seemed like a calling of sorts, a calling I cannot just simply ignore.  I could feel the tension and the pressure rising and building up within me.  It was as if an invisible force was pulling me backwards, tugging onto me, trying to direct me back to the place I once called home, to the people I once called family.  You see, James, I am like you.  You told me you were broken; so am I.  You told me that once, you felt so hopeless that you wished to end your life; well, my thoughts didn't stray too far from yours.  You told me that you needed to put your life back together; now I know that I have to do the same.  It's funny how being with another broken person can lead me to certain realizations.  I don't like the idea of leaving, but I've run away far too long.  I guess there's a point in every person's life when he or she finally turns around and takes a stand rather than run.  You have already reached that point, and you have also successfully overcome it.  Now, it's my turn to reach that point and emerge victorious.

I understand that this is quite insensitive of me – leaving without saying goodbye, but I feel that this is also the best way for me to go.  Furthermore, I am bad at communication, especially goodbyes.  I can't seem to easily let something, or in this case someone, go, but I also know that this is something that I have to do, else I'd suffer more than what I am already suffering now, and I'm afraid that someday, the pain may be unbearable that I may actually kill myself from the grief, the guilt and the regret.

I apologize for leaving you like this so suddenly, but please understand that this is something that I have to do, for my sake and for yours.  I know it sounds foolish, but I cannot be with someone who can drag me down.  Neither can I be with someone whom I can drag down with me.  For me, the both of us have to be at par with one another, steadily healing each other and constantly happy with what our lives have become, and sadly, I am still not satisfied with my own self, so for once, I have to take things into my own hands.

Know that I care about you.  Know that my feelings for you are nothing short of sincere.  Know that what we had last night was very true and genuine, at least on my part.  Know that our kiss has nothing to do with me leaving.  Most importantly, know that I am so proud of you for being so brave, for facing your demons despite the hardships, but your being brave made me realize that I cannot escape who I am any longer.  I fully understand that now.  You and I really are the same, James, though I don’t know whether that's a bad thing or a good thing.  I guess the fact that we're not that different made me understand things, made me see my own life from another point of view, and that made everything absolutely clear.  I will come back.  I don’t know when, but I will, and when I do, I just hope that you would have forgiven me by then. You fought your demons; now I have to fight mine.

Always, 
Anika

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