subject line: dear stranger. July 21, 2015 by Hannah Brencher I have rewritten this letter countless times. I did not know where to start, or maybe I just do not know where it is supposed to end. Perhaps I have been holding on to hope that as the days go by, it would not have to. What if you call, what if you tell me you miss me, what if you decide to fight for me? All I long for is you - so I would not have to string words together, so the pain would go away.Earlier, someone was asking me a lot of questions and then she told me, ‘it’s good that you’ve got your shit together.’ I looked at her strangely. ‘You’ve got a job, you’re in a program you like, you’re in a stable family. You worked hard for the things that you have and you can decide things on your own. That’s more than anyone else your age can say. If there’s anything people in their 40s, like me, wish they knew when they were in their 20s, it would be that spending all your time having fun does you no good. Yes, you enjoy and escape for a bit, but when you get somewhere, you’ll regret that you didn’t try to be more,’ she rambled on. She told me how smart and lucky I am, how good of a kid I must be. I wanted to scream at her, ‘but I’m sad. I’m sad. I’ve got my shit together and I know what I want but I’m sad.’ I blushed and stared at the floor instead. ‘I feel too deeply. I have this void I can’t fill because I lose people as much as 5-year olds lose toys, and I just lost a blanket I can’t sleep without after only having it for a couple of nights.’ I told myself I would be okay if I let you go. Yet here I am, still waiting by the phone when I said I wouldn’t. I don’t have my shit together. I have got a broken soul and empty habits I have yet to unlearn. I give smiles that don’t reach my eyes. I write words that don’t matter. I am so close to giving up. Tell me again that I have my shit together.