This entry is (probably) the last entry in the series of "Getting Over Someone I Loved." As I am typing this now, I realize that this entry, as with many entries, will take several days (or weeks) to finish. At the moment, I cannot accurately approximate the final length of this entry. It might drag on more than is due necessary, so have some of my apples (apple-ogies) in advance.

As you may guess from the title, this entry is an open letter to the current No'C. It might be hard to grasp the concept that I view my No'C and the living No'C as two different people, but please do try. My No'C would never do what the current No'C has become accustomed to doing since the death of my No'C. I used to think this was unfortunate, but as the days pass, the current No'C becomes more human to me. There's oftentimes a bittersweet air to the friendship between the current No'C and me, but... there's a friendship, nonetheless, and that friendship has, and is inevitably affected by, a history (ck x hc).

I suppose what's left for this entry is my actual letter to No'C. *needless inhale in preparation*





Heyo, baaaaka!

I'm tempted to skip everything and just write a casual letter to a friend but... you're not just any friend. Arguably, you never were. We kinda went from strangers to une chose pretty immediately, I think. I need to... get these thoughts out here in this journal, No'C. I wonder if you'll ever read this and if you'd do anything about this.

Currently, both you and I are growing up real fast. Life's pushing us to become adults and I'm happy to see that finally, finally, finally you have opened your eyes to the reality of things. I find myself guiltily wishing you had reached this epiphany a year ago. Heh, how time flies, eh?

But, rewind a bit with me, okay? I have some praise, some questions, and some confessions for you. Those may or may not have been listed in arbitrary order. I don't know yet, aha.

I'm tempted to take you on a guilt trip, but that won't liberate me as I have hoped for this journal series to do. Instead, I'll say what I can say and let you feel whatever you feel. Should I offend you, I apologize here in advance. *deep breath* And if you feel guilty, it will hopefully be due to your own conscience. Perhaps I will feel justice retrospectively.

I kind of want you to know that my mind has been twisted and that my heart has been made colder, but that simply isn't the case. I am... a cupcake now; short, soft, sweet.

A cupcake who needs to write this entry to free herself from the consequences of your... untimely departure.

Let's rewind to the end of July 2015, shall we? I just finished taking Bio 30 in summer school and you were preparing for your month-long trip to the Philippines. Do you remember? And on the 28th or so of the month, you held a little get-together at your house. This was going to be the last time I ever felt your honest warmth. If you believe you loved me (I don't believe so anymore), do you think you loved me then? You took me from your friends and we had some alone time, something that was always rather rare, something that we would have had a lot more of if not for your trip.

I thought we were ready to be tested. In sooth, a month of long distance seemed very doable. It was lonely and slow, but I made it to the end with a better appreciation of you when you returned. You... seemed to undergo development in the opposite direction.

I guess while you were in the Philippines with your family and friends and family friends, you didn't have a lot of time for me. I liked to assume you stayed with me out of your own will, and so you didn't even need to contact me. Meanwhile, here in the city we met, with few real friends of my own yet, I had a lot of time for you. I thought about you always and missed you buckets and buckets. The time difference and the poor internet connection between here and there made it inconvenient for us to communicate live, so I was always so grateful when we even just tried! But I was aware that you were busy and I spent a lot of that month letting myself cry a bit.

Heh, I remember my sister walking in on me during one of my quiet crying sessions. I was sitting on my bed, facing the window with my back to the door, just... letting the tears fall. It wasn't a breakdown. There were no hyperventilations, no aches in my palms, no urge to lock myself in darkness. I just missed you to the point of tears. When my sister walked in, she said, "What are you doing?" and I quickly wiped my tears away and played it off as nothing. I wonder if she knew I missed you. I wonder if anyone knew.

And then, very shortly before the first day of our senior year, you returned! And I was so happy, I was so so so happy! And I was so excited to see you again! And to hear you again and to touch you and be touched by you again! I was so glad that you came back.

I thought that your absence taught me to appreciate you more. After all, absence makes the heart fonder. I... wish it was a mutual joy.

I don't know if you knew that you'd eventually break up with me when the school year started. I remember you saying you enjoyed the sense of being single when you were in the Philippines. That kind of hurt a bit. To think that our relationship brought you so little happiness that you enjoyed a break from it, oh dear. But, back then, I didn't take that remark to heart.

When the school year started, you began hanging out with your friends a lot more than you used to prior to your summer trip. I didn't know this, but you started to skip class, I heard. You dropped full IB because you seemed to be struggling and I respected that. I respected your decision to diverge into a more relaxed stream of academics. I thought you knew what you were doing. You said it was to lessen your stress and workload so that you could more effectively focus on the courses you did have, and that is wise.

You told me you'd try hard in school. I tried to encourage you by proposing a bet to beat my grades, aha.

But you didn't try hard at all, you liar. You practically gave up! Dropping one course to complete another, dropping one course to redo another, dropping courses to drop them again when you didn't finish them (and we know full well you could have). What became of you? I'll admit that you were, for months, a disappointment to me. To see someone I admired beyond all else fall to the level of walking flesh I lightly detest, how... disheartening.

I heard things every now and then, y'know? I heard that you were cheating on me. I heard that you had flirtatious tendencies. I brushed it off and didn't believe it. After all, I didn't see anything like it. While I was in class, I couldn't see you being with... her in the basement.

Oh, I was curious for a while, but did she know about us? Did she know you were in a relationship? Did you tell her? You must have, but how did you tell her? I bet you forgot to tell her all the details. I bet you yourself forgot the extent of your feelings. I bet you forgot how we started and why we stayed. I bet you forgot our promises and I bet you forgot that I trusted you enough to be utterly crushed by your infidelity.

In September 2015 was when I started having breakdowns. It started off as a breakdown every week and a bit. Sometimes it was because I missed you. You had returned, and yet you still felt so distant. Other times, it was because I was lonely in my classes and because I was lonely at home and because I was lonely...

*inhales*

It all seems so silly now. I was lonely, vainly waiting for you after school everyday. I was lonely walking to the train station by myself after you never showed up. Why didn't I leave earlier? Why did I always wait? Did you have a spare last period or did you ditch your class to go home early? And did you intentionally never tell me that you went home before me? Did you want me to wait? Did you know I always, always waited?

I didn't even know how pointless it was. I would never wait for more than an hour, but somehow, by some mistaken stroke of hope and faith, I found the energy to wait for you
every
single
day.

Do you feel honoured that I did such a thing? I wouldn't think so. Sometimes, I'd start crying because you didn't show up again. Sometimes someone random would show up and ask me, "Are you waiting for anyone?" and then rescue me from my loneliness. Sometimes I would go to the swingset because I love swings and I needed to be with something (if not someone) I love.

Since we came back from Whistler, BC for the Con Brio festival of our grade ten year, we've been having nightly calls. I reckon, in those twenty or so months, excluding your trip to the Philippines, we missed no more than three nights. Remember our calls? Insightful, entertaining, worthy of chuckles and painful laughter, sober, silly, and reliably comforting. I cherished our calls and I loved our commitment to them. I'm certain they forced us to communicate and thus ultimately led to the seeming stability of our relationship.

Eventually, however, those calls became worthless. When you returned from your trip, we resumed our nightly calls. They started taking place at later and later times throughout the night. Eventually, we'd always share a call after midnight. As a night owl, I typically don't start my work until midnight. For months after you broke up with me, I took the blame for the deplorable condition of our calls. I thought that my busy nights were why our calls suddenly lacked so much substance, but I no longer believe so.

First of all, I have been a night owl for as long as I can remember and I have used my nights working for as long as I can remember and so these conditions were present for the twenty or so months of our relationship. "I should've made more time for you," I used to think, but I always accepted our calls. In fact, I prioritized them. I looked forward to them, especially after you came back from your trip because a call was a forced connection and I just wanted to feel close to you.

I realize now that even though we had a commitment to call, we never established a commitment to honesty. Or wait, we did, you just didn't honour that until it was pointless. Eventually, despite our calls, we stopped having conversations. Eventually, the calls felt less like a gift and more like your chore. I didn't want you to call just for the sake of calling. I wanted you to call because you wanted to, because you wanted a conversation with me. That's how we started, after all: deep talks through a call throughout the night.

*ring ring ring*
And I'd pick up.
"Good night," you'd say
and then you'd sleep.

Sometimes, I would work while keeping the call on for that nostalgic white noise. Eventually, however, the frequency in my breakdowns increased and I would mute myself so you wouldn't have to hear me in pain. On especially bad days, I'd wait for you to fall asleep and hang up because the calls were just a reminder of how much you weren't telling me.

When you were in the process of breaking up with me (...there has to be a better way to word that), you said that you were offended that I muted. You said that you knew when I'd mute (but I assure you, you only knew some of the times). You said that we were hiding our depression from each other, but to this day I struggle to believe you were depressed at all. It's a tentative acceptance of the fact that you were depressed.

Then, later, a week or so after we broke up, you called me because I requested that we continue the calls for some time (I don't regret this request). But, as you called, I was in the process of approaching a breakdown and you know what you told me? You said that listening to me cry was painful

and then you hung up on me for the first time.

Ironic, isn't it? Or is hypocritical? You say you don't like when I mute, and then you say that it's painful to listen to me when I cry.

Up until last week (NOTE: inaccurate if referenced from time of upload), that day was the worst breakdown I have had to date. Was it the 7th of December, 2015? The major breakdown I had right before university classes started (I classify breakdowns as major and minor based on the severity of my symptoms) is perhaps for another journal entry.

You lied to me. You said you wouldn't fall for her. On occasion, you said you hated her. One night, you said you were in a bad mood, mad due to something she had said or not said to you.

You said you wouldn't fall for her and gave me so many reassurances that I believed you. I actually believed you, dear. Aren't I just so incredibly pathetically gullible?

Did you eventually assume that I would come to know of your betrayal? (Is betrayal too harsh of a word?) Did you two assume that I would just accept the new state of things? That I would be okay with it?

I assure you, I was not okay. Did you know how not okay I was?

Were you as scared of my depression as I was, No'C? Because I was scared. I was always so scared, except when I was grey.

I hate being grey.

You lied to me, withheld your truth from me, made me succumb to the devil of my assumptions, made me a slave to my false hopes and fragile dreams. I lied to you, too. Or rather, it feels like I did.

November 19, 2015. We broke up. You had told me you were confused and that you needed to find out where you stood. People have asked me if I fought for you, if I even bothered to keep you, and I can't remember. I think that I didn't because I think that I couldn't have. I was a dead soul, and ghosts can't do much. Instead, I asked you, "Is there a chance of us getting back together?"

and you said, "Yes, of course."

But, what I didn't tell you was that I never honestly intended to renew our relationship. On my own time, I had decided that if it ever got to the point where you could no longer bear with me, if it ever got the point where you wanted to give up on me, if it ever got to the point where you can no longer say you love me and can continue to love me, then there was no point beyond that. If we broke up, if we could no longer convince ourselves that we should not break up, then it was time to let go. And if we broke up once, what's to say we wouldn't break up again if we got back together?

So yes, I asked you if there was a chance of us getting back together, but I had already resolved on an answer and that answer was and is "no."

For me, that question felt like a lie. It felt like I was giving you hope when really I just wanted to have hope in a hopeless situation. It felt like I was telling you I would be here for you when you decided to come back to me, but I knew and I know I couldn't and can't accept you like I did again.

Do you know when I finally found out about her? January 13, 2016. I found out she was the cause behind your departure. I found out that she was your temptation and that you were too curious to stay with an old soul like myself. I finally had what I deemed to be a valid reason to be mad at you.

And boy, oh, boy, I was quite mad at you. I was mad at you not because you essentially replaced me, but because you couldn't tell me about her. I was mad that you felt like you could no longer confide in me. I was mad that you forgot how we ended up together and why we bothered staying together. I was mad that you no longer honoured the sanctity of our night calls.

It helped, y'know? It helped to be mad at you. After nearly two months of trying to defend you, it helped. "He's a good soul," I used to say about you. I used to say that you didn't want to hurt me and that you really were confused and that you had valid reasons to do what you did, to make me feel like I did. People were saying it was time to give up, time to stop dreaming, time to realize that I was a victim and that you didn't deserve my favour. I always defended you, y'know? I blamed myself, my depression, and you were my idol, y'know?

I said that you couldn't love me because I couldn't love myself. I believed that if I became a better person, you would come back. It was hard to improve myself, not because there was little room for improvement (since there's probably a universe worth of space in that regard) but because it was hard to do anything at all. "Crippling depression" earned an honest meaning to me. I didn't want to go to school because I didn't want to face anyone, and yet I didn't want to stay at home because I know that's when I'm most vulnerable to the Shadow. I was lonely no matter where I was. I was fragile no matter who I was with. I was in a state of constant deterioration.

"I don't love you," you told me, "but I care about you." Oh, No'C, how cruel your form of care can be. I started counting the days between my breakdowns. Sometimes I'd reach past five, rarely past ten. I remember I was so proud of myself to reach day fourteen without releasing tears, and then your new intimacy with "her" was mentioned in a group chat and just seeing your name triggered a breakdown. Oh, how you'd do this and that with her, oh, how you'd go here and there. It hurt, y'know?

And yet you still claimed you cared about me. You didn't make me feel better at all. You couldn't save me, you hardly even paid me any attention. Well, I s'pose, how could you? It's not like I was in a position to matter to you anymore. It's not like you were obligated to care about me. It's just that because you said you still cared about me, I couldn't find it in myself to deny you.

Perhaps it would have hurt less if you "cared" less. Maybe if you disregarded my feelings, I would've found out about the truth sooner. Maybe if you weren't so scared of hurting me, I could've begun my healing sooner. But you, you and your care, it just prolonged my pain.

On the bright side, however, it was due to my deplorable state that I finally accepted the need for my own friends. It was because you could no longer support me that I was able to arrive at my personal form of support. The friends I have now, I can talk to them like I couldn't talk to your friends.

On the dark side, we have cookies. Aha, I kid, but I felt incredibly crappy after we went our separate ways. I wonder if you knew just how broken I was.

Remember THE staircase? Where you confessed? It was way back in grade ten. I was probably wearing the same jacket as I wear now, actually. I haven't grown much. Not physically, anyhow. We used to joke about the staircase, remember? Even potato cats. We shared intimacies in that staircase, remember? Hugs and kisses. Since the start of grade twelve, I wonder if those kisses meant anything. I don't like empty kisses, but I lived you so much that I couldn't tell if they were empty or not. For over a year, the staircase became our staircase. I thought about you every time I was in that staircase, even after you left me. Sometimes I'd wait for you in that staircase. I always expected you to appear in the staircase.

And then you started fading. I saw you less and less, so I went to the staircase more and more. I love that staircase, y'know? I loved what it meant to me because it used to mean you to me. It used to mean comfort and intimacy, reunion and warmth. That staircase, the staircase, I loved it.

And then you were gone. The staircase never abandoned me. It became my... cave. Instead of needlessly waiting outside for you after school, I would wait for myself inside the staircase. I got used to seeing the janitor come around to clean my cave. Sometimes, I wouldn't wait too long. I'd just wait for the traffic of students to die down completely. Other times, I would sit myself down and write in my journal. Other times, a lot of the times, I would whistle my cares away in that staircase. Nearing the end of the grade twelve year, I built up the courage to start singing by myself in the staircase. The staircase was always there for me.

You might think it silly that I confided in something as inanimate and cold as the staircase, but I didn't have much else. I used to give all my free time to you, y'know? And your friends, by default, became my friends, but they... didn't really know me. And honestly, how could they? They were your friends, ultimately. You were my friend in that bunch, and when you left, I didn't feel like I had a reason to stay. I didn't feel like I had the right to stay. It was cruel of me to myself to be around you.

You... made me into another "her." Another story to add to the many. I used to love your stories until I became one of them. I wonder how much you talk to her about me. The best I can do now is be honoured that our history might be worthy of your discussion.

Do you call her every night? Does she appreciate you like I did? Does she need you like I needed you? Does she make you happy? Do you make her happy? Do you love each other?

Does she help you on your homework? Does she want to sing with you? Does she want to learn how to play the ukulele so that you two can duet? Does she try to motivate you to be the best you can be?

Does she live for you? Does she try hard in school so that she can support your future? Does she support your gaming? Does she leave the dinner table when you're crying so she can go to her room and call you and try to calm you down? Does she trust you to the extent that the thought of you brings her happiness and not insecurities?

Is she convinced that you two will stay together? Does she want a forever with you?

Of course she should, to all of these. If she doesn't already, she must eventually. I can't do much now except wish you two the best of luck.

Do I hate her, you might wonder? Heh, I'll confidently say that I don't. I will say, however, that seeing her reliably triggers my instability to some extent. It's... kind of like post-trauma, I suppose. Being actively conscious of her existence makes me want to lock myself in a dark room and let the Shadow have at me, but I don't want her dead or anything. After all, ultimately, if she makes you happy, then who am I to stand in your way? If she makes you happy, shouldn't I support you two? Because even though you left, dear, I must still support your happiness.

Do you remember, No'C, how I'd occasionally ask you if you were happy? And you've yet to tell me that you are. Granted, it's been a few weeks since I last asked. Would you be able to say you're happy if I asked you right now? At this very moment? At the very moment you read this if you ever read this? Feel free to literally send me a message in response to this, cootie-kun.

I'll tell you now that your happiness used to frustrate me. If you were happy, it wasn't because of me. If you weren't happy, she should've been making you happy. I'll admit I was bitter that she didn't (and perhaps still doesn't) meet my standards.
Here's where I turn into a loser. Bear with me for a while, won't you?

I don't hate her. One day in December 2015, likely after a night with the Shadow, I got to school as a fragile sheet of glass. The slightest touch may have sent me home. She asked me if I was okay and hugged me. That was so cruel, but how could I hate her? That was before I found out that she was my replacement.
She was nice, y'know? She was... She couldn't pick up on social cues but she was much more sociable than I was. She wears colour. She knows how to touch up her face. She...

I'll admit I pondered the possibility that I subconsciously looked up to her. I had my intellectual capacities, I had my artistic inclinations, I had my love for you and a dream of a future with you. I didn't have the care to pretty myself, nor the effort to consciously expand my social life. I didn't need to dress to impress anyone since I already had you, and if I were to make more "friends," I would end up forgetting them anyway. But, y'see, I was happy and I thought you were, too. I s'pose I thought wrong, hey?

Remember studying together? Remember reading together? Remember Oedipus Rex and the Bio textbook? Remember staying up late to do Math 31 homework? Remember, No'C? Did you forget me...?

I wanted to do well in school to support our future, but I also wanted you to do well. Did you know that? I wanted to help you take care of your academics because I could! And she... couldn't. I don't know if she can at the moment. Is it wrong of me to doubt her?

Instead, you skipped classes and dropped classes. You gave me false reassurances and said you'd try. You asked for my help and gave up in the end anyway. I'm not mad at you, but I was disappointed. I was rather disappointed in her, too, because while she was with you, I had to watch you degrade to... someone I wasn't proud of having loved. If she was going to replace me, I had hoped she was better for you. I wished she could have helped you in your classes. I wished she could motivate you to do well in school.

I... s'pose I wished her to be more useful to you. I think usefulness is something I strive towards, and being with you was no exception. I lived for you, working to optimize your life and in doing so feel useful and pleased. She is... clearly not me, and perhaps that's why I was so dissatisfied for so long.

*sighs*

I've got very little ill will left, No'C. It's been over a year. I don't hate you. I don't hate her. I'm not mad at either of you. The disappointment has faded and I am doing alright. I hope you are, too.

[TO BE CONTINUED BECAUSE I'M LAZY BUT WANT A SPECIFIC UPLOAD DATE]