This crap email was less "crap" than "pure gold." I mean, there's definitely something crap about the way that even when they are doing ostensibly good, like expressing sincere contrition, dudes have this mindbogglingly conceited ability to overestimate their importance. So yeah, if you, like Anne, broke up with your high school boyfriend Brad in 1998 and maybe it ended badly but you hadn't really thought about it much since, you might feel a twinge annoyed if he sent you some slobbering apology via MySpace nine years later. But then you'd read the email, and you'd fall in love all over again because Holy Fuckery you cannot FAKE poetry this bad. It comes from the heart. Oh, Brad. Sigh.

Hey Anne,

don't be bitter,
don't hold a grudge.
i'm a different person now,
please don't judge.
just want to bury the hatchet -
and hear you say you're fine.
i was a selfish person back when i knew you,
just a teen, and for you i did pine.
i was stupid and careless.
i made decisions I regret.
baggage we both will carry forever — and never forget.
if given a do-over, i would make wiser choices,
i would want to honor you, and respect your parent's wishes.
being a father to my own daughter now,
i see things from a wider angle;
i want the best her her and
i can't bear to see some guy, take her from me and bring her back with feelings mangled.

i'm writing tonight because i wanted you to know i care,
in hopes that someday your wrath i may spare,
in case we see each other in passing —
at a reunion or the K State 4H fair.
please let down your guard, this ridiculous cold front, you're not carly simon, and I'm no Joe Dirt,
you can't truly say that there was never nothing — you can't tell me you were never hurt.

honestly, i don't remember under what terms we parted,
but i thought we were fine, then apart we started.
i somewhat recall saying goodbye for the last time in the kohl's parking lot.
maybe it was games, maybe for your heart's resolution, but mostly i'd say it was the distance, trust issues and vulnerability restitution.

the fond memories, they're golden.
random recollections of time spent with you are still with me, but please don't confuse this with jealousy or envy. it's just that you were so damn funny, witty and spry.

i'm happily married, and I see you are too.
so i don't expect friendship or chatting over long distance phone calls,
just want to hear we're cool, we're exes, i'm forgiven, thats all.
i want to clear the smoke, toss the letters and put this smudge in my history to bed.
You were my first everything and now, a decade later, still rattling around in my head.

-Brad

P.S. Bonus fun fact: Back in high school, Brad once apologized to Anne for some grave offense by building a doghouse (he worked at Home Depot) and placing a love note and a stuffed dog inside. "Even my parents thought he was pathetic." Awwwww.

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