I recently heard a song by Alanis Morrisette titled "Unsent." It was a series of verses directed at various past acquaintances. It had the feeling of being an honest cleansing, a revelation of thoughts and emotions long kept pent up. It was a beautiful and moving example of writing from the heart, and I have no doubt that the song was a work of non-fiction. In that vein, the following comments are addressed directly to certain people who have been a part of my life, large or small. By the way, as the title implies, these are like "unsent" letters. Unless one day these past acquaintances look back and accidentally discover these words, they will never know these writings exist. And that's okay. Part of what inspired me to do this was a feeling of incompleteness. This is a kind of "closure" with these people who I don't have contact with anymore. Wherever they are, I wish them all well.

Dear Aimee,
You're first here because I'll always be shaped by the time I knew you. You surprised me with your maturity and experiences, and I think we shared some similar ideals and a sense of humor. We exited each others lives with a hug which I treasured. That should have been all, but somehow, through some strange twist of fate, you came back into my life. We were never extremely close, and trying foolishly to fight against the tide of time, I unwittingly drove you away. I'll always be sorry for making you uncomfortable, and I hope you are happy in whatever you're doing now. A quick postscript: You entered my life a third time, for one brief moment. I will always regret not asking you to lunch that day. I honestly wanted to know what had been happening in your life, and I didn't consider asking until you had walked away. I suppose that served me right. And may you always remember... there are no roaches in Shakespeare.

Dear Anne,
I think you and I had more in common than I realized. We knew each other for quite a while, and we discovered Rocky Horror together, which will always keep you in my memories. I am sorry for any hurt feelings I may have caused you. I've been spurned many times over, and that may be some kind of karmic revenge. Good luck wherever you are.

Dear Joy,
In my immaturity, I treated you horribly and cheaply. I will be eternally, deeply, sorry, and I wish you more success than is humanly possible.

Dear Renee,
There is that place that people put their memories as they move on to another stage in life. I never once wanted to put anything insincere in that blue book, and what I wrote to you was no exception. Others committed empty sentiments, but I confessed a deep one. You meant something to me, and I will be eternally sorry that I didn't meet you sooner (because I could have). You may have forgotten, but I remember a day I mustered up enough courage to suggest that we spend time together. We never did. I doubt I could have offered you more than the person you were seeing then. I envied him badly, because even though you may have thought I was guaranteed success, being able to experience warmth and beauty with someone like you was all the success I hoped for then.

Dear Cindy,
Of all my friends over the years, I think I felt closest to you. The moment we met, we immediately clicked, an experience I haven't had again. We spent a lot of time together despite our difference in years. I'm sure some people thought it odd, and I did sometimes too. You shared freely, and you introduced me to many new sounds. We both loved movies, and I bet I remember every single one we saw together. Ironically, one of our greatest collaborations led to a situation which started to split us apart. Our roles forced us to realize that difference in years. We grew apart, and I suppose that was for the best. I'll always remember you for the person you were then, which I'm sure has been eclipsed by a new, stronger, mature person. I don't know if you noticed, but I betrayed a confidence you revealed once. In my adolescence, I did many stupid things like that. I can only rest in the knowledge that it did not cause any lasting damage.

Dear Carrie,
Together, I felt like we were two against the world. I have never felt like I fit in, and the people we worked with insinuated behind your back that you were doing wrong. I felt like we were allied against those petty co-workers, because I never believed their gripes. Some people just don't know how to deal with a good person, and they will make up things just to make you seem bad. But I could tell what kind of a person you really were. You kept me company and made me feel special. You got me to dance in public (quite a feat!). You gave me a one in a million Fouth of July. You were just drifting in for the summer, I suppose, on the way to getting married. I respected that, so I never suggested you could be more than a good friend. I wanted to do so much for you in return, and I never hesitated when you needed a ride or anything else. I don't know where you went - you disappeared out of my life as fast as you appeared - but I'm sure you're making someone else as happy as you made me.

Dear Kristin,
I don't think I ever would have made sense with you, and I'm sure you knew that. I must have been striving to attain something great, but I learned that trying too hard to make someone else happy is a selfish act. I admire your strength in character for letting my failure be a noble one. You are kind in your assessments, and I believe you are always honest. You are a pure soul, and I hope that you remain uncorrupted by the world.

Dear Dawn,
We were two different kinds of people, but you epitomized many qualities I can only hope others I meet will posess. You are a mature woman who is in touch with the little girl you used to be. I regret embarrassing you in a game which I should never have played. My flustered, confused answers to the questions made my pure admiration seem cheap. I hope you knew what I really meant. We spent moments alone purely platonically, and they were very special to me.

Dear Rosie,
I fell for the enigma that you were to me. You gave of yourself many times and listened honestly. I remember talking late at night in your car, and I always hoped to see you on Tuesday nights. I think you wanted to let me down easy by avoiding that issue, but I took it hard. There are many things I remember you for, especially Disney World and the phone prank we pulled on a friend. I envied the fact you once met "Weird Al," and I hope one day you do get to meet Mark Hamill.

Dear Kelly,
You were another person who somehow, due to a twist of fate, re-entered my life. I don't think we had actually spoken when we first knew of each other. But had I known the kind of person you were, I think we would have hit it off well. I got to know you as we both were reaching a time of great decision in our lives. Much like other people I knew years ago, you sincerely believed I could achieve greatness. For that belief, I thank you. I hope you understood that I believed in your talents, too. You have the skills to achieve unlimited successes. I felt I missed a great opportunity on the last day we saw each other. When we prepared for the commencement of our new lives, I passed up the chance to spend a few more moments with you and the others who I had met in my training. The people I chose to share that moment with are still in my life, while you and I have never been in contact since. You were heading off to the big city to make a life for yourself. You said you would be in touch, but I can understand how it didn't happen. You are not alone there, I am guilty of the same neglect, and I can only hope that someday we can meet again and compare the paths we chose.

Dear Jaime,
Of all the people on this list, you have the greatest reason to not remember me. I entered your life for the briefest of periods and then disappeared. I doubt it was long enough to make a lasting impression. You did not know this, but I overcame a great deal of fear by asking you out. But in the end, my fears overwhelmed me again. You were the most attractive and interesting woman I had met in some time, and I hoped we could relate to each other. But we were at different stages in our life, and anything we did would probably have ended badly. I felt I was trying too hard and it was best to let it go. I hope you have grown as a person but retained the qualities that attracted me in the first place. Those will serve you well.

Dear Julia,
You gave me reason to let my logical mind believe in fate. It all turned out to be in my head, though. During one year of my life, I started to question the irony of you turning up in some of the same places as I did. Of course, neither of us planned it that way - it just happened. Could it have been fate, I thought. You were from a different world than I was, even though we shared one major interest. We had one great conversation on one special night, and I was ready to persue you. That night was the beginning of a major week in my life. I would rub shoulders with one of my heroes that week - a meeting which led me to attend an event where, again, you were in the same place as I was. But this time, it was as if something was intent on breaking my confidence. You were there with someone, and I was crestfallen. But even though I bounced from emotional high to emotional low that week, the conversation that started it all still has a special place in my mind. Good luck to you with your writings I never read but really wanted to.

Dear Alicia,
I can remember the first time I met you. I say that because no matter how close (or far apart) people become, I believe their first meeting is an elusive memory. But something made me remember that day. It might be the incredibly lame attempt I made at trying to amuse you with an impression. But my interest didn't die with that disappointment. I tried to keep my distance, but I had feelings for you. You have an incredibly contagious sense of humor and a friendly nature. We had different circles of friends (with some small overlap, however), but we were physically and emotionally different. Outside of our casual meetings, we never got to share any special moments, but I will always remember you. I wish you success in the field we have both chosen to pursue.

Dear Kira,
I'm sure you eventually realized just what a stubborn person I was. I did everything to try to win you over except spell out my emotions. We humans play funny games. Mine was trying to do everything I could to make you more than a friend without just asking. I think your game was trying to tolerate my blatant shows of affection while never letting on that you knew. You were involved already but you didn't let on. If I had known, I would have reconsidered my attempts. I didn't want to hurt you, and you didn't want to hurt me. My biggest wish was for you to have a better life, one you could be proud of. But that wasn't my business - you are smart enough to change your life if you really want. But while I knew you, you made me laugh and I enjoyed your company.