Completed December 22, 2015

Everything I Never Told You - Celeste Ng

Dear Louisa,


I think you knew, back then, that my fractured heart was not yours for the keeping.  Thank you for backing off and making it possible for me to reclaim my life.  Shattered by loss and grief, bewildered by the evaporation of my most cherished dreams, I turned to a familiar face when looking in the mirror could have provided greater insight.


My remaining children have never quite emerged from their sister's shadow.  Nathan - focused, driven Nath, who sought to avenge his sister's death, only to find there were no easy answers - was hired by NASA in the late 1980s and holds the distinction of being the youngest astronaut ever selected.  He now specializes in space tourism, and is currently hosting a group of travel agents who want to check out the amenities available on Mars.  He is more comfortable on another planet than he is in our home.  Hannah - intuitive, sensitive Hannah, the child most affected by the sins of her father and her mother - became a child psychologist and a professor at Columbia University.  She is adored and respected by her patients and her students, but does not plan to have children of her own.


Why am I telling you this?  Louisa, I am an old man now, and Marilyn was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  While her condition has (ironically) granted her the peace of mind and serenity she sought for so long, it has also meant the deterioration of her brilliant mind.  When she looks into my eyes, she sees a stranger, and I, gazing at her, am once again reminded of the years we both wasted.  I cannot change a thing, but what I CAN do is offer you my sincere apologies for using you so blatantly and then discarding you so abruptly.


I wish you well, Louisa.  I hope you found what you were looking for.  Most of all, I hope it was all that you thought it would be.




James Lee