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Dear Caroline,

I thought I would take my lunch break at work to write you a letter. Things have been crazy and hectic and exhausting here and you’ve got family visiting there, so now is as good a time as any to tell you how I feel.

I miss you so much. I remember the first few months that you were gone that I tried so hard never to say those words. At least not to stay them first. I was afraid that if I did, if I said them too often, you would pack up and come home. I didn’t want to influence you in any way.

I could have driven to Florida at any time in December when you first got there, but I was terrified that seeing me might be too much and that you’d want to come back with me. I waited until February, when I thought you were pretty locked in to come see you. When you couldn’t possibly come home with me.

That was the hardest four months of my life. Harder than anything else I’ve ever done, hands down.

I listened to everyone ask me why I let you leave, why I didn’t ask you to stay and all I could say was, “because she would have”. I don’t know how to make them understand that this is bigger than me. That you needed this.

But maybe I did too.

This distance had forced us to talk. It’s made me be open and honest and face some of those demons that make it impossible to sleep without the lights on. I’ve had to tell you my greatest fears and hopes and dreams. It’s made me so grateful for something as simple as holding your hand or being able to kiss your cheek, something I think most couples take for granted.

There really hasn’t been a time in my life where I was really, truly single, but there have been many, many times that I was alone. Even though you are 678 miles away, easily twelve lifetimes, I never feel alone with you.

You may not be physically right here with me, but you are in the spaces between my heartbeats and the pauses between my breaths. I meet you every night in my dreams and I hold you again.

We’ve been together for quite some time now, but it only grows stronger. Exponentially daily.

For all of those reasons and more, I am struggling. I am not good at asking for help, but I am learning.

Help me.

I don’t want to be selfish. I want you to have this time. I want you to go and do. I want you to wander. I want you to be happy and explore and play. I want you to do what your heart and soul need.

For all of these reasons and more, I feel selfish. I am fantasizing about a time when l can wake up and bring you breakfast in bed. When I can lean over and kiss the tip of your nose in that way that makes it wrinkle any time I want. When you are close enough that I can take your hand in mine and confess my love to you while meeting your eyes. When I can write sweet words in books of poetry and leave them for you to find.

Help me. Help me not be selfish.

I love you so much.