She’d once heard that time was meant to heal all wounds but Mercedes was yet to see an ounce of truth in that. She still felt her heart break every time she watched the gymnastics portion of the Olympics, she still felt her heart break every time she felt a sharp pain in her leg that brought back memories of the fateful day her dreams came crashing down around her, and she still felt her heart break every time she thought of him. Her first real love and her first real heartbreak. It didn’t seem to matter that it had been a decade since he’d left and it didn’t seem to matter that she’d had two other serious relationships. Liam and Roxanne had meant a great deal to her, but neither of them had compared to him - her first love; her epic love.
It had been almost a decade since she had last spoken to him and it still broke her heart to think about him. Her heart still skipped a beat at the mention of his name and her breath still caught in her throat, but it had been years and she needed to move on, she just didn’t know how to. After Joshua had left, Mercedes had written him a letter every single day for the first year. She never intended to actually post them, but she wanted to express herself; write down everything that she wished she’d had the courage to say to his face, including the fact that she was in love with him. He was her best friend and had been since she could remember, but at some point after puberty had hit, things had started to change. She couldn’t pin point when it started, but she also couldn’t remember a time when she hadn’t been in love with him.
Her letters, all 365 of them, told him how she felt, told him that she loved him, that she missed him, and how her day had been, as if he was still there. But some of them, the ones she had written on her bad days, they also told him that she hated him. She hated him for leaving, she hated him for breaking her heart, and she hated him making her love him. The only way she could move on was if she made herself believe that she hated him. It was the only way she knew of to try and repair her broken heart. One by one, Mercedes put each letter that she had written him into a box that she kept hidden in her closet. She thought that it might help; she could grieve a person that had walked out of her life and once she was done, she could close the lid on that box and move on with her life, but it hadn’t worked and Mercedes knew it never would; every relationship she had was just a band aid.
After a year of writing letters to Josh that she would never send, Mercy tucked the box away and tried to move on. However, even when she packed up and left Savannah with just a small suitcase, the box of letters came with her. She knew that she should have just left them hidden in her closest, but she still wasn’t quite ready to let them go, or Josh. So, when Mercedes ended up in Las Vegas, the letters came with her, but she’d tossed them in a drawer and hadn’t looked at them. She hadn’t looked at them in almost a decade, not since they’d been written, but maybe it was time. Maybe it was time to finally let Joshua go.
Taking a deep breath, Mercedes slowly opened the drawer and pulled out the box of letters. Her heart was racing and her stomach tied itself up in knots as she carried the box over to her bed and slowly took a seat. How could one person have such a huge effect on her? Biting down on the inside of her mouth, Mercedes slowly opened the lid of the box and took out the first letter. She unfolded it and slowly began to read it and before she knew it, she had read half a dozen. Tears began to cascade down her cheeks, leaving a trail of mascara in its wake and finally as she read each letter and as she relived her heartbreak, all she could think was,“How much pain do you have to go through before giving up is okay?”