To my ex,

It’s been a while since we last spoke. I see you at parties now and then, but we avoid each other’s path. That’s fine by me. It’s been four years since we broke up. We’re both in new relationships. We’re both happy now, the way we never could be together. So why is there still so much resentment between us?

I was happy to move on, but there’s always one who is still stuck in the moment. I guess that was hard for you. You saw me find love with someone else, and there was nothing you could do about it. You got together with someone new, and yet, I still felt the hate radiating from you. Why?

I realised something before I met you. Your first broken heart hurts the most. First loves are a killer. Someone broke my heart before you, but I was the first to hurt you. I guess that’s why every time you see me, your face turns cold. Maybe that’s why after all this time, we can’t just get along like we used to. I’ve tried my hardest, because even though I made terrible mistakes, I feel like four years is enough time to heal over them. You don’t feel the same, I don’t think. I’ve heard things you’ve said about me when you think I’m not listening, a casual insult shared with my old friends at a party. It hurts to hear you talk about me that way. Even though I can understand why, it still knocks me down each time I hear it.

I think all break ups leave a scar. Even if you break up amicably, or you both want it to happen. Somehow, there’s always hurt left behind. Maybe it’s because where love once was, you replace it with anger and hate. I think it changed you. We broke up because I didn’t feel the same way anymore, but that was because you changed. You became selfish and cocky. You developed a superiority complex. Maybe I did that to you. But when I look at you now, I don’t see those things. I see bitterness and anger, but I also see the man I used to know. You have a sweet, gentle side that I always loved about you. If you could’ve stayed true to yourself, I could’ve stayed with you.

Did we move on to new people out of spite? Maybe at the time. But you’re so happy now. Your girlfriend is beautiful. She makes you laugh. She reigns you in when your ego takes over, the way I never could. She’s independent and strong and I admire her. She’s kind to me even though she doesn’t have to be. She once was scared that I hated her for taking you on. But quite the opposite. I love her for bringing the old you back.

Do you see the same when you see my man? You’re in the same circle of friends, but you don’t talk much. Do you get angry when you see him, even after all this time? Do you still let that bitterness consume you? I hope not. I hope that we can begin to look back and laugh at who naïve we were back then. I hope we can be happy for one another, now that we’ve grown up and found something real. I hope we can begin to talk as friends again someday, and forget all the mistakes we made. Dear ex, we were a mess, but we’ve found the light. Don’t let anger cast a shadow over that.