a farewell letter to the city i didn’t love

Hello.

Yes, it’s me. I’m still here. It’s been a long time since I last walked the strees of your hills. I haven’t cycled along the river recently. I haven’t taken you photographs.

I’m sorry. It’s been almost two years since the day I arrived in you, a big rucksack on my back. I apologise. I failed to love you. And now it’s too late…

Forgive me that when I walked on you I was somewhere else. Flying with the music in my ears. Sinking into my tears. Laughing at my dreams and plans which never came true. I walked but didn’t see you.

It was not meant for us to be.

We didn’t mean it to be.

It’s been almost two years but I haven’t really lived in you for more than a week. Who’s guilty – I or you? Or neither, perhaps? Maybe there were never promises between you and me. You and I were probably indifferent from the very beginning but still gave each other a chance.

I remember your chance. A gift for my birthday. A too warm and too sweet-scented April day. I remember your twilight-coloured quiet streets, the windows left ajar, the smell of moist and coming rain. I swear, in this brief moment I was happy. I even wore a dress – remember? – and I never wear dresses in you.

You can’t deny there was something between us. In the spring nights I was the only one walking under your trees, eyes lifted towards their streetlamp-lit crowns. In those moments I completely trusted you. In those sad times you were the only place I could go. And yes, in the very beginning you would give me comfort – a kiss which smelled like spring night – but then you’d turn your back at me. You’d leave me to your dark corners and to people with unfamiliar faces until fear could bring me back home.

Now I understand. The only way you could save me was to wake up my survival instinct.

I didn’t love you. But I won’t forget you. We’ve been together for too long. And, you know, even now, when my things – too many to fit into my old bag – are still lying on shelves or hangers, I feel sadness for our short spring nightly love. Nostalgia. I promise that among all memories you created in me the only good one will be the strongest. A few days in the spring can be more than two years. The few songs I listened to while walking on you will always have you in the background. They’ll always send me back to you, no matter where I am. Notes and smells.

I don’t love you. But I won’t lie to you – I will remember your springs, I’ll imagine your painfully bright greens, I may even walk your rain-soaked streets in my mind the same way I now walk others. Dear city, never become mine, perhaps our love was and will always be spaciously doomed. Perhaps I can only love you from a distance.

I am leaving you and I fear it. I admit to you that I’m afraid. So far it had been easy to blame you for my unhappiness. But what if…

what if the problem  was never in you?

What if my happiness is spaciously doomed?

What if this spring I walk the night streets of another city

and I’m just as lost?

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