I went to the grassy area in my neighborhood where they sometimes hold block parties. There’s a wonderful white gazebo and lush green grass, with enough benches for 10 people to sit comfortably. On a bench I spotted an enveloped labeled “Read Me.” This is what it said:
To whoever finds this letter,
I am at a point in my life where I need to escape. I am leaving this letter as a farewell. But not to anyone I know, this is a farewell to you. Maybe we might have met one day… maybe we would have been friends. I’m sure you could have been a good friend. Well stranger-friend, I am tired of being disappointed. In myself and others. Everyone wants me to change, to become who they expect me to be. So in turn I am packing all my things and going away. No one will be able to find me where I’m going. Pass along this message for me, if you please: be yourself and if anyone tells you any different then you don’t need them in your life. I wish I could follow my own advice but I am too cowardly to make these hard changes so I’m disappearing.
Thank you again my could-have-been friend.
The handwriting was elegant and I could see a smudge where a tear had made the ink run. I pictured someone writing this short goodbye, crying with the heaviness of their decision. I felt sadness well up inside me. I suddenly felt a longing for whoever it was that went missing. If only I knew who Anonymous was. I would let them know they are not alone, they did not need to escape, we could have dealt with life’s blows together, as friends.
I took the letter home with me.