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With Love And Regret

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Dear Jared,

I am so, so sorry.

Since I am currently not welcome in your physical presence, I thought I would write this letter to express how sorry I am. That way, you can just crumple it up and throw it away if you want.

Jared, I've always known you had some sort of feelings for me. I was never really sure if those feelings were friendly, romantic, paternal, or somewhere in between. Not knowing made me uncomfortable. I struggle with expressing emotions, and the way you have always treated me has been very intense.

But I accepted it. At first, I needed your business skills. After awhile, I just needed you.

When I moved to California after dropping out of college, I was alone, a thousand miles from my family, just Bighead and me and a bunch of scary new roommates. And as much as I like Bighead, he can barely take care of himself most days. You filled a huge hole in my life. You made me feel ... loved. That's really the only word for it.

I did not do the same for you. How could I possibly, even if I tried? You're like a triathlete of love. You deserve so much more than I could possibly give you.

Yet, I accepted your kindness that could not be repaid, even came to take it for granted. And that was so shitty of me, so selfish. As soon as you left, I realized what I had lost, when even a little bit of effort could have allowed me to keep you.

I didn't think it would be that hard to get you back. I just had to offer you what you wanted. After all -- and I don't know when I realized this, but it's true -- you were in love with me.

There's no other way to put it. For the past five years, you have showered me with the purest love I have ever experienced. And you left because you thought I didn't love you back. I can't fucking believe I didn't see that coming. I deserved everything you did to me the last time I saw you.

It wasn't until I saw you caring for someone else that I considered my own feelings toward you.

It was jealousy, pure and simple. I shouldn't have made fun of Gwart; that was rude. It just hurt to see you with someone else like that.

All I want is to love you like you loved me. To make it up to you.

Do I feel romantic feelings for you? That's a tough one. I grew up in Nebraska, where acting on those kinds of feelings was not acceptable. But when I look at my romantic history, or lack thereof, it's hard for me to pretend it was just bad luck and not active self sabotage. Jared, I broke up with an attractive woman who liked me because she used spaces instead of tabs. What does that say about me? All I know is, when you left, I cried like I've never cried over a woman. So there's that.

It's just that I don't know how I feel about sex, like, at all, with either gender. I've wondered before if other people were exaggerating about how good sex was for them. It's never not been a train wreck for me. Melchor's fiancee told me I was the worst she ever had. Even if I wanted to, I have no idea if I could, well, satisfy you in that way. And when I think of all the other things people in healthy relationships do for each other, I see just how unprepared I am.

Also, I know that you have a traumatic past. I've never encouraged you to talk about it, because I'm the shittiest of friends, but I've heard you. I know you were a foster kid, that you suffered abuse and homelessness, that you were an unwilling sex worker, and that Gavin did terrible things to you. And after all that, you probably need someone more sensitive and nurturing than me to heal you. The last thing I want is to become a disturbing offhand comment you make to other people in the future.

And that is why I can never be with you. There is a 0% chance that I wouldn't fuck it up. My ego has ruined a lot of things in my life, but I will not allow it to ruin you. I want you to be happy more than I want to be able to take credit for it. So instead of continuing to beg your forgiveness, which I don't deserve, I am going to try to give you space. You should get over me. You should do whatever it is you need to do to be happy, man, with Gwart or whoever else crosses your path. No one deserves it more than you.

With love and regret,

Richard