Dear Molly

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Dear Molly

It’s that time of night when fear grows tumours. But it’s also when I find a mental clarity which often eludes me these days.

Before I woke I dreamt of the day we met. Once again I saw you, walking towards me through the mist, your face, unaware of watching eyes, wrapped in a dream. And just as it had all those years ago, the veil of your hair, dew-laden, shimmered as if with a thousand tiny pearls. As soon as I saw you, Mol, I swear – the minute I clapped eyes on you – I said to myself: That’s my girl; that’s my girl.

My heart was racing when I woke and there was an ache I’ve not felt for years.

So here I am, writing a letter I won’t send like an old fool. What happened, Mol? What went wrong between us? We were great at first, you can’t deny that. Those early days, when the bed was our universe, was that love?

Having written the word ‘love’, suddenly I’m not sure what it means. I read somewhere that Eskimos have over fifty words for ‘snow.’ If that’s true then ‘snow’ becomes a generality, the heading to a category, like ‘plant’ or ‘animal.’

Maybe ‘love’ is the same.

I’ve got down the thesaurus you got me that Christmas because you were sick of me saying that everything was ‘great.’

Here are some words for love: attraction, desire, passion, adoration. And yes, in those early days we ticked all those boxes. But what about later?

There are other words in that old thesaurus: affection, kindness, friendship, treasure.

It seems to me, Mol, that friendship and affection somehow got lost along the way. How did that happen? Was it laziness? I think on my part it was stupidity. I guess I thought that as we were a couple it was job sorted. I kind of stopped seeing you, if you know what I mean. You were just a necessary presence in my life, like air or water.

I know now you tried to pull me back. ‘Listen to me! Why don’t you LISTEN to me!’ God, how many times did you yell that at me? But why did I need to listen to what I’d already heard a thousand times or about something that didn’t interest me?

That’s the problem, I switched off sight and sound so what was left?

I’ve just thought of Dante’s Inferno. Didn’t he have different levels of Hell? Well maybe there are different levels of love and if you don’t move from one to another you get stuck in a groove until it becomes unbearable. Once kindness, affection and friendship have been worn out there’s nothing left but indifference and ritual.

I’ve heard that you met someone else and are doing just fine. I’m glad, you deserve it. I met someone too and, yes, I’m very happy. Because I learnt my lesson, Mol, I’ve moved to the next level, to the treasure at the heart’s core.

Kath Sunderland

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