To The Girl I Left Behind
You disappeared not too long ago. But sometimes I think you never even existed. Like you were a fragment of a daydream. Or an idea I never wrote.
Sometimes I feel guilty for leaving too soon. Without a goodbye or a warning. Because one day, I just decided that I never wanted you anymore.
The girl who wore you now feels too far away.
To the girl I left behind, this is the letter I never got to write:
You were that black dress I decided to shelf for another time. Every day you sit in there collecting dust, and I pass by unbothered. You hang in my closet unopened. Your fabric sagged and lost its structure. Your threads became loose. Each new dress erased what was left of you. And as my clothes piled up, I lost sight of your presence.
As I took you out today, you weighed heavier than I remember. I struggled to put you on. You fit differently now. Your fabric clings to me like a stranger that I’ve met before. Tighter in some places, and loose in places that shouldn’t be. The girl who wore you before feels too far away. She had a different style. She was a different me. She loved you way more than I ever could.
I just want to say that I'm sorry.
I’m sorry that I left you hanging. I’m sorry that I let you collect dust, tarnishing your fabric. I’m sorry that you sat in the closet for too long and I have forgotten to pick you up again. That I left you in the corner unknowingly. That I couldn’t bring myself to let you out again. And you’ll stay on the hanger untouched.
I’m sorry for moving too fast. That I changed pace without letting you know. I lost myself in a different world, leaving you in another. I’m sorry for not ironing my creases and leaving some holes unpatched. I’m sorry for all the coffee stained tears and all the dirt I left unwashed. You hid them well. I’m sorry for almost ruining you one too many times.
I’m sorry that I never wear you anymore. I’m sorry that I’m different now.
And I’m so sorry that I got a new dress even when you still fit.
But know this:
Know that you weren’t just another passing trend. You are a classic. And you are irreplaceable.
Know that even when my body forgets, my heart never will. Know that every crease will never lessen your worth. You were handmade. And your stitches will never rip because you were built strong. Know that I’ll always be grateful to you for being my go-to. For handling the wear and tear every day. For getting through the scrapes. For never unraveling as I pick on your loose threads.
It was a privilege to have had worn you.
Dear little black dress, you will always be my favorite. But I want to wear colors too.
And though you fit me well before, I couldn’t stay the same. I had to grow.
You will always be that one piece in my closet that I could never bring myself to throw out. I will always keep you even if I could never wear you again. I wish I had longer, but it’s time to take the hanger and put you back.
I have to let you go.
To the girl I left behind, this is the goodbye I never got to say. It was a privilege to have had worn you.
And I hope I wore you well.
© 2020 Kate Galvan