I'm hurting. But you won't know it and I won't show it, not to you anyway.

I like to create scenarios in my head of the "what-if" moments and I like those better than reality. I'd rather assume things that never happened to keep a little bit of hope that maybe something will come back, but it doesn't. I've written to you before, but I was still fresh off the wounds - I'm about to be 20 and I still can't seem to shake you. Why?

I've heard you get to experience people and you were quite the experience.

I was able to spend most of my teenage years with you and that was the best feeling in the world. Seeing you made me feel like there was nothing in the world to hurt me — I felt protected because that's what you were to me. You were my protector, my security blanket, and everything in between.

Little do you know, you kept me busy and always thinking about anything else that wasn't bad. I only saw the good in the world because that's how you lived. You didn't see anything in a negative light and you always had a way of making someone laugh. It was your specialty.

You cared so much for others and asked for nothing in return.

A genuine guy unlike all of the B.S. of today's relationships — or confusion that comes with them. You were simple and that's what I needed back then. My life was filled with chaos and heartbreak. I never had a moment to be a kid and just enjoy the simpler things in life until I met you.

Sounds very Joe Goldberg creeper status, but it's true.

You taught me to be a kid again and not to be so serious and uptight. I've tried and tried to find others to replace you, but I can't. I don't know if I'm not trying hard enough or if I'm not looking deep enough, but nobody compares to you.

I still love you and always will, but with time, I think I'll be OK and accept that you were an experience that was placed in front of me for a reason.

So, thank you for giving me my childhood back and being the reason I am who I am today.

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