Undelivered Letters: Olive

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I had a hard time deciding which person I wanted to affiliate with this name– or more so “character” because Olive holds such a special place in my heart. There are three different people who helped form this character in my head as I started this story back in senior year. Although I don’t really talk to any of these people anymore they too still also hold a place in my heart mainly because of the place I was at when I met them how much some of them helped me either directly or indirectly, and my attachment to Olive as a character and the memories attached with that person remind me of all of them. So I think I’ll try and maybe say a little something to each and every one of you. I got my goodbyes and closures for a few of you, all except maybe one so I suppose this more serves as a thank you than something I need to use to move on from this time of my life because that’s long passed. I just want to write something, and considering the last post I nearly completed (but is still in drafts because at the time I didn’t feel I needed to publish it anymore) is filled with so much depressing irony now that some time’s passed… I just want to talk about something else. I don’t know if I have anything more to say on the past subject other than maybe “feelings are real difficult…”

(just for organization sake, ill be addressing a different Olive in each paragraph so sorry for any super long paragraphs followed by super short ones!)

Dear Olive(s),

Let’s begin with probably the hardest one to “talk to” considering how maybe not so great our friendship was, especially near the end. I don’t think we ever got closure but I’m also not sure if we really needed one. We kind of just stopped talking to each other so it’s honestly still up in the air as to whether you might still be open to talking if I did send a message.. I don’t know. I do know the first thing I’d want to ask if we ever did talk, Olive, was how you were doing. You look happy on social media and I really hope that’s all genuine and things are better for you. I’ve wished for that for so long and I don’t think I fully grasped just how difficult it was for you until maybe more recently when I started having a MUCH harder time dealing with my mental health problems. I never blamed you for it. That I can promise, but then I didn’t fully understand it so it made trying to help you through it on top of keeping myself above water, almost impossible. I remember near the very end of that period in which I considered you one of my closest friends that I was always in a constant state of panic. I don’t remember when I went from being excited every time my phone lit up and it was you, to having a panic attack anytime my phone buzzed after 1 AM. I did what I could, everything I could to try and help you through it each time you texted or called and I don’t think I ever told you, nor did I ever want to.. but putting in everything I had so desperately trying to keep you from hurting yourself (thinking, and in some cases, knowing I was the only thing keeping you away from slicing away your pain). It broke me. It pains me to say that because it feels like a weakness on my part, like if only I knew the right things to say if I didn’t allow myself to panic each time that maybe I’d have more calm and collected responses and perhaps that could have stopped you a few of those times. That’s honestly had a huge effect on how I treated my future friendships/relationships. I started to try so hard to not let my friends hurt, to serve as basically everyone’s therapists so they wouldn’t have to go through that and I just couldn’t do that. It took a bit out of me each time until there was nothing left. I never grew up out of this part of my life and I’m willing to admit that now, that I held on to this feeling for so long, that fear, that I let it control my life and I’ve tended to do that a lot so I could never blame you for that. I just sincerely hope you’re okay. Oh and I really did like you too. Sometimes I beat myself up over saying no when you asked, but I don’t think either of us were in the best place then and relying on a relationship to help mend that would’ve been more disastrous than what we did end up going through I’m sure.

I met you in the same place as the other Olive and I wish I had more to say to or even about you. I mean given the circumstances in which we all met it’s sort of hard to just forget any of those people in general, but you unfortunately fall under the same situation as with Amy.. and I suppose I gave your part in my life more meaning than it actually had. Not to say your part in my life didn’t have any meaning I just know for a fact I really embellished this one and it all has to do with that one moment. I told you about this moment in I’m pretty sure one of our last conversations. It was then at that moment I knew where it was I was at, how badly things must have been for me and for every kid in the room to have gotten there and put in the same situation. I saw you and I saw you so hurt. I saw the physical remnants of your past pain marked all across your person. How could anybody miss it? I just remember seeing you and seeing how beautiful you were yet so deeply sad. As a teenager who’s only real experience with this stuff was through movies.. I hadn’t quite grasped that concept until just then. That mental health affected every single person at school in some way or another and that it was not in any way dependent on your social standing or appearance (I just assumed prettier people were more likely to be popular and less likely to be sad). Man how was I wrong. Meeting you and then later being able to get to know you, those memories hold such a high importance to me because even if it wasn’t intentional you helped me come to terms with this. I hope you’re doing well Olive. I haven’t seen much of you around since but I’d like to think you’re doing well too. I hope everyone from there is okay.

While the situations and sort of narrative beats of this character are much more inspired from my encounters with the other Olives. You tend to be the one I (sort of) picture in my head when I think of this character. Honestly I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I always remember you being very kind and openly optimistic. I think I want Daniel to see Olive in the way I first saw you. Like this beacon of hope and happiness in a world I previously thought was filled with such darkness. God that sounds so edgy but that’s how I saw everything as a teenager. And while this might have just been me seeing you seemingly happy, carefree and oh my god so friendly. I don’t know how you were always so welcoming and caring to those you had just met. Especially since my first meeting you was while I completely embarrassed myself auditioning for the school play and even more so when they made made me do improv with you. Despite that I only have good memories of that day, partly because I actually managed to overcome my anxiety and do something I never thought I’d do (even if I did it poorly), but also despite being so obviously out of place you were still nothing but nice and friendly. Like not just polite friendly but genuinely welcoming and sweet and I can’t be more thankful of that. I’m very glad I met you and Olive, you’re one of the few past friendships where I don’t look back and see any real painful memories. Any painful ones at all, really. And more importantly I also don’t look back with any major feelings of regret or wondering’ss of what if’s. I had a crush on you then but it was very minor and getting to meet and learn about how interesting and cool you actually were, that to me seemed (even at the time) way more valuable. Also we did have like an actual goodbye and it’s such a small thing and probably if this was something that happened any other time in my life I might not give it so much importance but I guess maybe at the time I really needed to hear it from someone that wasn’t already super close to me or that I was desperately pining after… sorry I’m rambling. You said I love you man or something real casual like that but still we didn’t know each other for very long before the year was done and it was so nice to go from being a complete stranger to someone to someone that had enough of an impact on their life to want to say it. And maybe that even alone is what made that final goodbye and that whole friendship really nice and something I look back on fondly. Thank you for that and for everything.

With love,

-T.

 

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