Chapter 11 - Cameron's Letter
Let me start by saying I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for what happened five years ago. I’m sorry for what I said the other day. Heck, I’m even sorry Sam and I followed you around with roses while you met with your clients just to get your attention.
But most of all, I’m sorry I let you down.
That’s the truth that’s been gnawing away at me since I saw you in Aspen Beach. When you ran away and yelled at me, I had no idea what I had said or done to warrant that and I feared the worst—that I had hurt you in some way and I had no memory of what I had done. And then when you told me what happened and that Chloe was mine, I felt even worse.
I let not only you down, but her down as well.
You needed me and I wasn’t there. Now, Chloe needs me and I want to be there for her. I want to be there for you too if you let me.
You’re amazing. You’re amazing for overcoming all that you have. You’re amazing for picking yourself back up after I left. You’re amazing for carrying a child within you—our child—giving birth to her, and raising her. You’re amazing for doing all that on your own when I should have been there by your side through it all.
I understand your hostility toward me. I don’t blame you for trying to shut me out of the life you built for you and Chloe. When I put myself in your shoes, I completely understand and I’m very proud of you for standing your ground and doing what you think is best.
But I need you to put yourself into my shoes now and hear me out. This is the least confrontational way I can think of and I hope you will take my words to heart and not only give me another chance but to also get a better sense of who I am as a person so you can do what’s best for you and Chloe.
As you know, my name is Cameron. Cameron Zhimaagan. I was born to Lara and Blair Zhimaagan and will be twenty-seven in a few weeks. Family is very important to me. I have an older brother, two older sisters, and a younger sister. I grew up in the countryside between Aspen Beach and the city. My last memories before the accident are of my graduation from high school, so I lost four years worth of memories as a result of my amnesia.
What you didn’t know, as I also found out the day I woke up from my coma, was that I also lost my best friend in that accident. I had no idea you existed and lost my best friend all at once.
That’s me and Andrew in the high school graduation picture. Proud. Excited. Eager to start our lives. One of my last memories of him and my life before the amnesia.
I was devastated by the news of his death. Andrew was the kind of guy who could make you laugh. The kind of guy you trusted with your deepest, darkest secrets. I could tell him anything and knew he would always have my back. Without him, I felt so alone. So pitiful and helpless. As a result of being comatose for five weeks, my body was as weak as a newborn’s and I needed my parents to nurse me back to health. I could barely lift my arm. Can you imagine that? I couldn’t feed myself, brush my teeth, or piss on my own.
I hated myself. I hated my life. There were so many times I got frustrated and wanted to give up.
My mother cried so much. Begged me to stay strong and keep trying. Can you imagine Chloe being in my shoes? Fuck, just thinking about that kills me. I have a whole new respect and appreciation for my parents and all they have done for me. They always believed in me. I realize now how much I needed that.
They brought Sam to me and I learned that he had been struggling with his brother’s death as well. Andrew was my best friend and his brother. Sam was only thirteen at the time and in the same sick and twisted mental state I was in. He wanted to give up too. I told him he couldn’t. He was still a kid in my mind. Too young and innocent to even think about giving up on life.
It became clear that we needed each other to pull through this stage in our lives. We both needed to be better, to encourage each other, and stop each other when we mentally berated ourselves with survivors guilt.
I knew I had a choice on how to live after the death of my best friend. It was hard, but I always believed that I could be someone great if I worked hard enough for it. I couldn’t spend my life wallowing in pain and sadness—that’s no way to live. Andrew would have wanted me to live.
So, I tried my best not to dwell on my lost memories or let his memory hurt me. I had to keep living. I had to regain my strength, rebuild my life, my purpose. My life didn’t make sense and I needed to create a purpose. At that time, it was Sam.
But now I realize that you are my purpose. You and Chloe.
You probably won’t believe me, but I have no memory of having sex. Ever. Clearly, I’m not a virgin if Chloe is my daughter, but in my mind, I feel like a virgin. You probably think that’s funny, but it’s the truth. And for some reason, after I woke up from my coma, the sight of other women… did nothing for me. I didn’t understand it then, but I do now. My brain may have forgotten you, but my soul has not. It still remembers you. And I can’t look at anyone else but you.
Maybe you’re the same way? I wouldn’t blame you if you had boyfriends in the last five years, or had sex with someone else. I get it. You moved on. You had to. You thought I left completely, and while it seems I did, fate has brought us back together.
I believe that. Fate brought you to me not once, but twice.
The last thing I want is to scare you away because of what happened in the past. I can’t change that and I can’t change the feelings I have for you. It scares me that I can’t get through to you and I keep saying and doing the wrong things. It fucking scares me that I’ll lose you again and this time I know you and Chloe exist and no amount of alcohol I drink to numb the pain will erase you from my memories. No amount of alcohol will erase the fact that I hurt you so bad that I will never earn a place in your heart.
I fall asleep with you on my mind and what I did and it fucking kills me. I drink more and more just to be able to knock myself out. I’ve fallen right back into my self-destructive tendencies and poor Sam is taking the brunt of it. I don’t fucking deserve him, like I don’t fucking deserve you.
Dammit, I shouldn’t be telling you this. I sound like a raging alcoholic now. Just told Sam to take this beer from me. My head is swimming. This paragraph is taking me an hour to write. It’s floating on the page. I can’t concentrate on what to write now. I just keep seeing your face.
Goddess, how you must hate me.
I hate me too. I’m so fucking lost without you.
This is why I need a second chance. I don’t know if I can pull myself out of this rut on my own. You’re my soulmate. My everything. And I can’t fuck this up. I can’t pick up the pieces on my own.
I need you to forgive me so I can forgive myself.
I need to make it up to you. To Chloe.
I want to be in her life. I’ve missed so much it makes me sick.
I don’t just want to be with you, I need to be with you. Both of you.
Please? Let me make it up to you.
I need you.