I never thought it would be this difficult to write a letter to someone I know so well. From the very beginning you’ve been a constant and consistent partner. From my very first steps you took the lead and from then on we’ve been dancing a rhythmic and expertly choreographed waltz of anxiety, cha-cha of doubt, salsa of worry and ballet of isolation.
In the strong hold of your shadow I felt home, safe, secure, protected. We left everybody else eating dust while we twirled away into empty corners, slid behind solitary walls or quick-stepped deep within myself.
I was never truly alone. For you followed me everywhere. A familiar presence. A reliable companion.
Yet, in the blink of a eye you turned from a partner to a master. I had fallen into your spell; the lone prisoner in a jail without walls. I gave you complete power, complete command. I gave you the key to my heart, opened for you the gate to my mind. You conquered, you settled, you ruled.
I was never truly free. I was the tiny plastic ballerina inside the music box. Always in darkness. Always waiting. Waiting to dance. No longer with you, but for you. I let it happen. I let you take over. It was comfortable. It was easy.
I scurried away when you weren’t looking and I wasn’t thinking. I danced with joy, optimism and hope. I danced outside; everybody was looking right at me. I was happy. I want to keep dancing with them. You may hang around, we can twirl for a minute, but then, I will open my hand and let you go.
You won’t go completely. But you will rest, you will sit this dance. I will look your way, I will read your eyes, No! Run! Hide! you’d be volunteering the songs you know by heart. I know them too. But there are new songs I want to sing and dance to.
My old friend, I’m both sorry and glad to let you know you can come to the party, you can hang around and dance by yourself. And you won’t longer be my master.