Letters of Hope: For Your Sake

Words by: Andie Perez
Art by: Lauren Gallina

My dear friend,

The last time we saw each other, your feet were perched on the seat as you smoked a cigarette in my car. I tried to hide my grimace as the lights of passing cars played shadows on my face. The tobacco was bold and all-consuming. As I spoke about the turmoil of my schedule, I caught your bored gaze, wandering eyes and pursed lips. You wanted to keep talking about yourself. A heaviness latched inside me as I realised that I was not your friend, but merely a confidant. A sister. A therapist.  

The last time we saw each other, we didn’t hug like we usually did. Perhaps by intuition, we both knew we wouldn’t see each other for a while. This was the painful truth: the honeymoon phase of our friendship had ended. The distance between us became palpable, and we both began to accept it. 

If it was so easy for us to become friends, is it just as easy for us to break apart? I find myself guilty over this, as if I let you peek into my life and then forced you out with the slam of a door. But I also believe that you would understand me and say: It’s okay, Andie, it’s not your fault. I know that distance and breakups don’t always need to have a negative connotation. None of us did anything wrong — our compatibility had simply fizzled out. 

Although our last meeting had been slightly wistful, I had never once regretted having you in my life. I am brought back to being  eighteen again, of our unrestrained laughter and feet in the sand. How we traded social media for library books. Our midnight calls about the pleasures and problems of our lives. I laugh at our gym sessions that were later contradicted by Maccas for lunch. We lived life freely that summer.

Perhaps, we can grow as individuals, even if not alongside each other.  I have faith that our distance apart can remain civil and respectful. We can still wish the best for each other without talking every day — that we’ll still have the occasional meet-ups, birthday messages, chance encounters. Though we may never be as close as we once were, I’ll always be down for a catch-up. 

I want you to know how much you have taught me in becoming my biggest supporter when nobody else was rooting for me and to screw the people who didn’t recognise my self-worth. You showed me that this world isn’t bleak at times and that we could slow down and celebrate our youth. I was amazed by your ability to take opportunities and learn something different. You hated your hands, for they were calloused and rough from work, but I saw the hands of a person who was courageous amidst challenges that most of us do not face. 

I think about you constantly. I wish you could be kinder to yourself and take the advice you gave to me. Even if I am watching from a distance, I cannot wait to see you continue to flourish and thrive — on your own path, at your own pace. 

All the best, 


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