Dear H,

So this is goodbye, then.

We’ve had a good run, haven’t we? Sometimes I look back upon the years and wish we could have been happier. I wonder if we got to know each other as well as we should have.

I know I’m not easy to love. I’m indifferent and bad-tempered, especially when I’m busy. And I’m always busy aren’t I? Hustling, bustling, milling in and out…always in a hectic frenzy. I don’t mean to be rude though, it’s just that I find the people in my surroundings so ungovernable, I sometimes boil over from the pressure.

You’ve occasionally accused me of being soulless; too vain, too achievement-hungry and materialistic. I paint and repaint myself in garish colours hoping to prove to the world I am cultured or have some sort of history to be proud of. I adorn myself in one glass ornament after another, each one a shinier and bigger bauble than the last, screaming “See me! Recognise me!”

Here’s my confession. Sometimes I think I am running away from who I really am. I often feel that if I look in the mirror too long, it might break. If I bare my memories, my scars, my struggles for the world to see, I’d shatter the precious illusion that I’ve gotten over my past and made peace between my warring selves. So yes, I’m hiding. I’m messy and complex.

What hurts me, though, is that you’ve never tried to understand that. You think I’m just…shallow. Have you even looked deeper, listened harder, tried to read what I’m really saying? I am not faultless but you, you – pardon my saying so – are equally to blame. You return from some great sojourn with your high-and-mighty ideals, demanding for me to meet them without sparing a thought for whether I actually can. And then when I fail, you vilify and shun me. Is that fair? You’re just like the rest of the lot, you know – constantly trying to fashion me into something I’m not just to suit your own purposes.

I’m trying. And if you did too, you would see that I’m a work-in-progress. I’m young and stupid. If you knew my history – how I grew up as a child and the kind of manipulations I’ve been subject to by the ones who were meant to nurture me, you would sympathise.

I’m still finding myself. And I’m not ashamed to say I need all the help I can get. I know it’s selfish of me to ask…but I wish you’d stay.

K. L.

This post was written as part of a series of writing assignments for the Unrepresented KL workshop.