Dating : The Woman in the Letter

h2>Dating : The Woman in the Letter

Nikita Mélusine
Photo by on

By the time you read this, you’ll probably be on the plane to Cali, about to begin the next leg of your adventure. This is the beginning of the distance between us; soon, you’ll lose my face in mist of the rainforest. In a few year’s time you’ll be searching for the name of that Canadian girl in Quito.

That’s I want to record it now, while it’s still fresh. The way you got up with me in the mornings before I worked and we’d drink coffee on the balcony, when our conversations carried the drunken haze that can only be reproduced by fatigue. Running for the bus that would take us up to the mountains for the weekend. The all-nighter we pulled by the beach in Puerto Lopez, drinking cheap rum by the fire and telling as many stories as we could cram in before sunrise.

That urgency is part of what made this so beautiful. There is no moment that hurt, nothing I regret.

Because of you, I’ll remember the roosters crowing in the morning as the most mournful of love songs. You changed the landscape of the city for me. You poured romance into the streets of Quito.

Our love can’t cross borders. It won’t transcend distance and make its home in reality. It will always be trapped here, frozen in time.

I hope you look back to it sometimes and that when you do, it makes you smile. If you’re ever feeling sad or lonely in snowy Michigan, read these words again and remember someone loved you.




I found your letter, Jeff messaged Brynn once he connected to the airport wifi.

Was it too much? It felt like a bit much.

You made me blush.

Good. I’ve always wanted to write a proper love letter, on paper and all. And I thought you might appreciate it.

I’ve always wanted to receive a proper love letter on paper and all, so that worked out well.

Look at us, being this in sync to the end!

Jeff hadn’t ever thought about receiving a love letter. He’d never given much thought to the ways in which love was expressed until he met Brynn, who was obsessed by human connections or the lack thereof, and the role language played in everyday interactions. She was living in Quito as an ESL teacher and slowly learning Spanish, and was consistently fascinated by her loss of ease in communication.

“It’s almost nice to have this language thing as a crutch,” she told him once. “I never manage to make myself understood either way. Now at least I have an excuse.”

“How can you not make people understand you? You’re a writer!” Her speckled brown arm still held the warmth from the sun. He rested his head against it.

“Yes, but the speaking words are harder.”

Jeff chuckled. “Oh wow. Yeah, I can see that.”

“Shut up.” She pretended to slap him with her scarf, but it barely brushed against him. “I wish I could just write out everything I wanted to say. And pass it through at least seven edits.”


“That’s the magic number.” She shrugged. “I’d end up saying a lot less, but my words would all be true. Or not. But they’d sound better.”

“I think your speaking words sound fine.”

“You would.”

Jeff couldn’t remember the context of that conversation, but he wished he’d told Brynn how lucky she was to at least have one method of communication that worked for her. He had nothing. His thoughts just gathered in his mind, shapeless, until they faded. He’d never been able to express to someone how he felt; he couldn’t even find the words for himself.

That always made their relationship feel unbalanced.

He still kept her goodbye note in the top drawer of his nightstand. He wondered what she’d think of that, whether she’d be flattered or accuse him of holding on. Brynn had an almost religious respect for the transience of things.

Most of the time it stayed there. He brought other girls back to his place and never gave a second thought to the person trapped in the letter. But on his lonelier nights he’d take it out and reread the dog-eared page for the thousandth time.

Remember someone loved you.


“Let’s not fall in love,” Brynn said after the first time they had sex.

“Sorry, what?”

“I’m sorry. It might seem a bit presumptuous to assume you’re going to fall in love with me, and I don’t, but I want to get this out of the way just in case. I mean, you’re going back to Michigan. I don’t even know if I could get a work visa in the States. And I can’t stand the cold.”

“Why are you thinking about this now?”

“Am I freaking you out? Sorry. I just think all the time. And I don’t know about you, but that was some fantastic sex for me.”

Jeff smiled. “Yeah. Same.”

“Seriously. It’s usually not that good.”


“And I like you.”


“Hey.” Brynn punched him lightly. “Stop stealing my thoughts.”


“You’d better be. Anyways. The next step from here would normally be getting to know each other better in hopes of falling in love and starting a life together. I’m saying, let’s not do that. Because it doesn’t really make sense.”

“Because of the visas.”

“Because our lives don’t line up. Would you wait around Quito for the next six months while I finished my contract?”

“I mean… I only have a three month leave from work, and money’s pretty tight, so…”

“Exactly. That’s fine.” She wrote something on his chest with her fingertips. He couldn’t quite make out what it was. “So let’s make this easy. No long-term expectations. Just the fun stuff. You down?”

“Who wouldn’t be?”

“Excellent. So do I get to see you again?”

“I was planning on heading to Quito after this.”

“Perfect. You can stay with me. If you want.”

“I want.”

“Good.” She rolled over onto her back and stared at the ceiling. “Is it weird that I just said all that?”

“A bit, yeah.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it. I liked it. It was honest.”

“I try.” She turned back to him and propped herself up on her elbow. “I just don’t want you reading too much in it if I start saying romantic stuff, you know? I’m very capable of caring without committing.”

“Good to know.”

“I’m sorry. I’m talking too much.” She marched her fingers down his stomach. He bit his lip. “Our days are numbered. We shouldn’t waste them.”


Jeff didn’t fall in love with Brynn, but he got used to waking up next to her. He learned to identify when she was having a moment and needed to disappear into herself, or when she’d worked herself into a frenzy and needed an adventure. He heard stories of her friends and family back at home until he knew who was who by name. He could remember her smell the second he closed his eyes.

He cared for her, but not enough to miss his flight to Cali. Not enough to follow her around the world, or to beg her to move to Michigan. He reread her letter over and over again on his flight and mourned the ending of their brief fling, but was satisfied with how clean the break was. No unfulfilled expectations. No bitterness. It was over. He’d loved her, and he didn’t anymore.

Brynn wasn’t his only romantic entanglement on his three-month South American trip, but she was the only one who wrote to him, so she endured the longest in his mind. She was the only one he kept in touch with when he got back home. She sent him long messages dripping with poetry and longing, painting a picture of her life in Quito, and her sad relocation to Vancouver when her mother’s dementia worsened. He’d saved all those messages. He still poured over them sometimes, when he was feeling a bit lonely. She’d trapped herself in her own words to the point where he didn’t even want to see her again. He preferred having this version of her, the one that simultaneously was and wasn’t real.

She’d deleted her Facebook eight months earlier. She sent him a message saying goodbye.

I just can’t deal with this social media shit anymore. I hate feeling like I always have to be available for everyone. And having daily access to these idealized versions of lives I could be living, while I’m trapped here in rainy, expensive Vancouver… It’s just too much. It doesn’t bring me joy. Feel free to send me an email if you want. I’d still love to keep in touch.

He’d tried writing to her a couple times, but erased everything less than a paragraph in. Everything he wrote made him sound boring, and he couldn’t deal with the fact that she may find him boring. Every now and then he googled her. She’d been trying to get her writing published the last time they’d spoken, and he kept hoping to see her name pop up as the author of a piece, but all his searches for Brynn Taro brought up were websites about gluten-free biscuits.

It was better this way. They’d had their moment, and now he was forced to let go.


Brynn bent over to pet Ferdinand the cat when she walked through the front door, and banged her head on the doorframe getting back up. She mouthed a couple curses, then unlaced her boots and walked into the kitchen.

The night had made her melancholic. She blamed Lucy for bringing up Ecuador. “Isn’t it wild that this time two years ago you had a whole other life there? It must be so weird for you.”

Yes, Lucy. This is weird. In the most boring way possible.

Brynn was glad she could be around for her mother as her illness progressed, and she couldn’t be chasing freedom forever. It made sense for her to stay in Canada. But her heart ached for Quito. Sometimes it was easier to pretend that part of her life had never happened, so she didn’t contrast Quito’s colourful Old Town and coconuts on the beach to the drab Vancouver skyline and overpriced beer at whatever knock-off Irish pub her friends had chosen.

This is my life now.

Whenever she thought of Quito, her mind inevitably drifted to Jeff, even if he’d only been around for a month. She hated herself for placing such importance on him. He’d affected her a lot more than she liked to admit.

Jeff made her feel comfortable and loved. But more importantly, he’d been around while she was the best version of herself.

Back then she romanticized everything, from solo sunsets to makeout sessions with strangers who hadn’t taken time to learn her name. Life felt alive then, that was the best way she could put it. Everything made her tingle with emotion and excitement. Jeff had walked in at the perfect moment, when she could shower him with love, then send him away with a smile.

She was glad he couldn’t see her now that her spirit was trapped in the mediocrity of the day-to-day. He probably wouldn’t care for this version of her.

She wondered how he was doing. He’d never emailed her, and while that hurt, it was probably for the best. Neither one of them should be clinging to an idealized love that never would have held up against the brutality of time.

Sometimes she wished she’d tried to make it work for real. When that happened, she googled the weather in Michigan and the feeling went away.

“Bedtime, kitten,” she cooed to Ferdinand. He wriggled away when she tried to pick him up, so she walked into her room alone. She lay in bed and behind closed eyes, tried to piece together Jeff’s face.

Remember someone loved you.

Read also  Dating : Everything You Need to Know Ukrainian Women

What do you think?

22 Points
Upvote Downvote

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Dating : Why do people fall out of love?

POF : Today is a good day.