The Letter

by Audrey Lynne

There's so much I want to say to you. I know, you're expecting some comment from me about how words always get in the way of telling you how I really feel. Well, that's the truth. I may have told you that before in jest, but I'm serious this time. I don't think I'd ever be able to say any of this to your face, so I'm trying to get it down. If I keep feeding myself the psychobabble about how much this will help me, maybe I'll believe it.

I know it's over, and I'm not begging for you back. I'm not going to say I'm over you because that would be a lie. I'm not. I don't know when I will be. Maybe not for awhile. But I couldn't be everything you needed. We had our basic differences, but we could have overcome those. For awhile, we did. In the end, though, I love my job and my friends too much to give that up. I know you weren't asking me to give it up entirely, just to cut back. And I know you said you wanted me to do it because you were worried about my safety. But I couldn't do that either. What if one of the guys got hurt when I wasn't there? It's bad enough when I'm not there because I can't be. I can't ever picture myself choosing to stay away. I'm not the marriage type, either, and I know that's what you wanted. But I'm not ready for that, not just yet. Maybe someday. As a great TV show once said, "I'm all for weddings, as long as they're not mine."

I'm sorry if this is making you uncomfortable. We decided that it was through and we were going to break it off, just like that. But I seem to be having trouble doing that. There's so much I want to tell you, but I'd be breaking my own self-imposed rules, Number One being that I can't talk to you anymore, can't see you. Number Two is that I shouldn't mention Rule One. So I suppose I did just break the rules. That must sound harsh and inconsiderate, but it seemed the only way for me to get over you-which, of course, I still haven't done. In denying myself you entirely, I've also denied myself closure. I miss you. I think a part of me always will.

Maybe I was right. Maybe this has helped. I don't need to see you-in fact, I think it would be harder if I did. If we meet on the street, don't be afraid to say hi. I'm not going to make a point in life of ignoring you. I wasn't lying when I said I loved you, but I'm not going to be hung up on this forever. I'm going to move on. Starting now.

I wish you the best, Dana, because you deserve it. You're one special lady and, whoever you do marry will be lucky to have you. Make sure he knows it.

If you ever need me, you know where to find me. And if you ever have another ghost problem...well, you know who to call.

Love,

Peter

Peter Venkman sighed heavily, dropping his pen, and quickly reread the letter he had just written. "There. I did it."

"So you have." The speaker pressed a steaming mug into Peter's hands. "It's late. You should get to bed."

Peter raised his eyes to look into his friend's face. "Tell me, Spengs, how long were you standing there?"

Egon Spengler shrugged, taking a seat beside Peter at the kitchen table. "Long enough." He glanced in the direction of the letter. "Is that for Dana?"

Peter nodded. "Yeah, if I get the guts to mail it." He took a sip of the hot chocolate Egon had handed him. "I wrote it because I wanted closure-but I keep thinking that if I mail it, that'll make things final. I loved her. I still love her, but..."

"But you're from different worlds," Egon supplied.

"Yeah, that's it exactly." Peter sighed; his heart had been broken before, but never like this. He'd really thought that Dana was "the one." Despite his confessed reluctance to commit, Peter had discovered that Dana Barrett was the only woman who could get him wondering what it might be like to settle down and have a family. He wasn't ready to do that, but he could at least consider it.

It had been a month since he and Dana had decided to call it quits, but the wound was still fresh. He couldn't think of her without missing her desperately, if only for a few moments. It hadn't paralyzed him; he was still functional, but it always felt as though something inside of him was missing. It wasn't for lack of support-his friends had been more than wonderful. Peter didn't know what he'd have done without them. Peter sighed. "You guys have been great. I know I've kind of been a jerk lately..."

"We understood your reasons," Egon replied gently. "And, believe me, had you overdone it, we would have been among the first to let you know."

"Yeah, I can always count on that," Peter agreed, "but I need it. Thanks."

"Anytime, Peter."

"I really loved her, you know," Peter said, folding the letter.

"I know," Egon said. "I could tell that early on. Your need to find closure is only continued evidence."

Peter couldn't help but laugh. "Evidence? Must everything be scientific with you?"

"Yes."

Peter had somehow known that Egon would say that, and wouldn't have had it any other way. He sipped again at the cocoa. "It's a funny thing, love."

"Indeed," Egon sympathized, taking a drink from his own mug.

"And I'd bet that you know the Sumerian word for 'love' off the top of your head," Peter accused playfully. He wanted their normal banter-no, he needed it.

"Arammu," Egon replied smoothly.

"And to think that I could have lived my whole life without knowing that," Peter mused.

"You asked."

"That doesn't mean you had to tell me. A simple, 'Yes, I do, Peter' would have sufficed." Peter wiped a hand over his face to hide his smile, but his lifted mood began to fade again as he caught sight of the folded piece of paper. "Do we have any more stamps? I think I might have used the last of them yesterday, but if I don't mail this now, I don't know that I ever will. And I'm sure not gonna deliver it in person."

"We purchased more today-they're more downstairs, on Janine's desk," Egon told him. "Did you want me to mail it for you?"

Peter genuinely appreciated the offer, but he knew that he had to do it himself. "No...thanks, but it'd defeat the purpose. I've got to do this." He stood, heading for the bedroom to retrieve his sneakers and a coat.

Egon nodded. "Would you like me to walk with you?"

Peter opened his mouth to protest that he was a big boy and could certainly walk to the mailbox down the street all by himself, even in their neighborhood, but he had to acknowledge to himself that he wanted the company. "Yeah... Thanks, Egon."

"Not a problem." Egon's hand came to rest on Peter's shoulder. "After all, what else are friends for?"

The End