subject line: Just a New Year's Kiss. December 25, 2015 by Hannah Brencher elmira, new york When you kissed me last New Year’s, my world shifted. I knew I wouldn’t leave that spot without my whole world changing because I felt it happening. A voice in my head said, “Finally. This is it. He’s the one you’ve been waiting for. Finally.”And then I watched you get upset because I had plans to leave that town after graduating and we waited so long to admit that we had feelings for each other. I sat there crying when I got the text saying, “We should just be friends.” I drove away crying after we had a conversation in my car a few days later, that time I told you that I would rearrange my plans and you told me that you didn’t want me to. I cried when I was offered a job and faced with the decision to stay or leave and suddenly I got a text from you saying only, “Stay.” I cried when I stayed and realized that nothing was going to change. I cried when I finally decided to leave. I cried when I told you I was leaving and you said, “But I’m here,” and followed it with, “Are you mad at me?” I cried when I told your mother and she said, “I was just hoping that he would grow up and you two would end up together someday.” I cried when I left your house for the last time after I hugged you for a long while and handed you a letter that was an extremely long way of saying “I love you.” I cried when you told me how much that letter meant to you and thanked me over and over and over. I cried on Thanksgiving when you said, “I miss you dearly. I love you. Happy Thanksgiving.”But last week, you couldn’t hold back your excitement on social media knowing that she was coming back into town for winter break. You said, “I can’t wait to see her when she gets home.” And once again, I cried. That next day, I deleted my social media.Christmas is coming up, and I know you’ll send me a short little text saying, “Merry Christmas. I miss you. I love you.” And I’ll say something along the same lines back. And I’ll cry, but that will be the last time. Because, they say, “If you love someone, let them go.”So, Merry Christmas. Here is my gift to you: be free, be happy. I hope she is everything you’ve ever wanted and more. And know that I am in love with you. I probably always will be, and that’s okay. It is Christmas, after all. And at Christmas, you tell the truth.And my gift to myself: Be free, be happy. I think it’s time we moved on.