Okay, first I should probably explain the picture, which depicts Su Dongpo aka Su Shi, a legendary Chinese poet and Renaissance Man (well, it was before the Renaissance but you could call him a "Soong Dynasty Man" I guess) whose melancholy love poems I vaguely remember reading back at some point when I read stuff, and for some reason I couldn't get it out of my head that I wanted to depict a Chinese poet here, because "Sarah's" friend who sent me this amazing email told me very little about its sender, "Jun," except that he was well-educated and Chinese. And for good reason: this email is so fucking spectacular additional context would almost spoil it, except you should know that they'd been broken up for three months without contact, and that it was preceded an hour earlier by an email casually inquiring about some CDs he'd left at her house. Oh, man.
Subject: Keep the CDs
Thank you for not replying. I've searched my heart and your instincts are correct. I've thought about this also and I cannot be "just friends" with you. I love you too much and it hurts me too greatly to be around you and have you not reciprocate. I feel God has called me to lead a special life and I chose you to be my partner in that enterprise. I gave you my heart, you rejected it, and now I turn away for good.
For the sake of my future spouse and my own personal happiness, I will no longer actively communicate with you, express my inner thoughts, or ever bear my heart to you. The veil that was lifted between us when we first really discovered each other last year—boundaries, as it were—will be put back in place never to be removed.
I am not your friend. I am merely an acquaintance who went to college with you. In the course of our lives—as our respective callings draw us closer to God's plan—I can easily imagine us becoming colleagues and cohorts. And on a professional level, I will be courteous and helpful but that will be the extant of our inter-personal interaction. A supportive and sympathetic fellow traveller at best. We are, after all, working for the same side.
I look forward to being friends with you in heaven. On this earth, however, that chapter of our lives is closed. Life is about making choices and you have chosen not to love me. Thus, I choose to take the story of our relationship—filled with my unconditional love for you—and cast it in fire, destroying any last feelings of warmth and mirth toward you.
I'll be able to begin healing and I would think you would be happy that your former friend is no longer suffering. There is no need to reply to this e-mail. Any correspondence outside the bounds of professional or technical communication is not welcome.
Keep the CDs. They, like my former love for you, mean nothing to me now. Do with them as you please.
I cannot be your friend but, at the same time, I bear no ill will or antagonism. Indeed, your former companionship has been one of the greatest blessings in my life heretofore. I will of course always say "hi," make polite chit-chat, and be socially hospitable when required but at this juncture, there is no need to delve any further than the most basic of social graces.
I know you cannot feel right now. Ashen and fallow. My love for you is about the bear fruit and thus I am about put the torch to the crop in order to prevent any untoward pining for you in the future. Love is patient and I am willing to suffer and wait alongside you but you have made it clear there is no possibility of a future between us. You do not want me by your side to co-endure your travails. I fully accept your decision and now, I pray, you accept mine.
Your future partner will be a magnificent man and your partnership will be glory to God as well as the full measure of what marriage ought to be. When you are well, I pray that you have the courage to accept his complete and unconditional love. And that you give back the same. It's like the Regina Spektor song about taking out your love, sticking it in someone else's heart, pumping someone else's blood—love means giving up a little bit of yourself and becoming something new that is stronger and better than what you are alone. In this instance, that person is not me.
I turn my eyes to the resurrection—the day when these feelings of heartache and pain are erased; tears, dried; when disappointments are removed. With earthly love no longer in the mix—and all the attendant feelings of longing and adoration gone—being "just friends" will be both tenable and normal. I pray on that day, in heaven unlike earth, you will not be a stranger.
Full blessings in your life—you are a credit to your upbringing, your family line, and our Father in heaven. I can no longer bear this burden of unrequited love and must cast it aside for good in this mortal realm.