Dearest Jenna,

I don’t even know how to begin to respond to that lovely letter I found underneath my door as I came home from work the other day. Maybe I should just come right out and say what we’re all thinking.

You’re a fucking lunatic.

You know exactly why I left you and it has nothing to do with Alicia. Sure, she makes me happy now, but I had it in my mind to leave you way before she and I got together.

How else did you expect me to react when I came home to my clothes soaked in bleach? And for no reason! Did you even take your meds that day?

You used to be my partner in crime: the one I trusted with my deepest secrets, the fears which plagued my worst nightmares. We made some beautiful memories—our vacations to wine country, Wednesday night trivia competitions at DeLuca’s Sports Bar, and spontaneous road trips across California freeways where we’d just drive with no destination in mind. God, I miss those moments. Arms full of each other, the taste of your lips like raspberry sorbet beginning to melt on a humid summer day.

But then, our intimacy became almost non-existent, and Alicia began to provide me with what you couldn’t anymore.

I blame myself. I should never have voluntarily discharged you from the hospital. I tried to convince them—and myself—you were okay. I was hoping I could keep an eye on you, make sure you took your meds every single day.

I really shouldn’t place all the blame on myself. You’re an amazing liar.

Imagine my shock and disappointment when I discovered the piles of baggies filled with Seroquel buried in the yard. I’ve never felt a worse betrayal. I trusted you, Jenna.

I should have taken Roscoe with me, but I know how much you love him. It would tear you up inside if he was no longer with you, and I’m afraid you’d do something irreversible. I’ve heard horror stories from people who’ve dealt with bipolar disorder, and it scares me to think what you could be capable of. I know you despise the thought of listening to anything I have to say, but I hope you’ll at least listen to this: whatever you do, don’t hurt yourself or Roscoe, please.

I tried my hardest to keep my relationship with Alicia from you. It was the last thing you needed to see, and I apologize. It was never my intention. I wish I could take it back, erase the pain from your memory. But I’m afraid I may have broken you forever.

Please get better, Jenna. You deserve to be well and happy. Perhaps you can find happiness with another person, one who will know how to show you the love you crave as a smoker craves another life-sucking drag of nicotine.

Sadly, I don’t know how to love you like that anymore.

At one time I did, but it disappeared a long time ago when your mind sort of slipped away from you, along with the love once present in our lives.

I know the right guy is out there, Jenna; someone who will be able to understand you in ways I cannot.

I’ll never forget the good times we shared. They’ll always be special to me—and so will you.

One of these days, perhaps our paths will cross again. But for now, just focus on you.

I love you,

Derek

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