It's been a long time, Esme, since I felt this happy. This peaceful. I'm still a poet torn between shadow and flame, earth and sky, but something has shifted on the inside. I can feel it. I know it. I guess when you carry something in your heart for so long you forget how well you've adapted to its literal absence. But more than this, you kind of forget how powerful the truth really is. The simple truth, shared openly and plainly between two people. It can be brief – mere moments – or it can last an entire lifetime. Either way, this kind of truth – expecting nothing, wanting nothing except a warm, sincere exchange – it is the very basis of affection. And affection is just love by another name, isn’t it? My point is that I've always known the power of words. They're my trade after all, but I suppose I'd forgotten how healing it could be to look into someone's eyes and just state the obvious. I've said it a thousand times in written, gilded ways. Dressed in poetry and silvered prose. But I'd never spoken so openly before. As the mortal, not the angel. Despite being both. And I am both, Esme. I know you grasp this, my wanderer. My delicate, dangerous witch. My heart has been trembling for such a long, long time. Seeds and stars and rings. A magic that defies explanation to everyone but you and me. It needn't be more than this. Who we are, where we've been, together and apart. Because that moment means more to me than words or stories could ever say. I can feel this change within me. Powerful and strange. Suddenly everything is real, and beautiful. I've always been in love but I haven't always been able to look my friend in the eye and tell them honestly how much they mean to me. I didn’t want to overwhelm you. Perhaps it sounds bizarre but I thought I was being kind. I thought I was protecting you by holding my tongue. So, I didn’t speak when I was first given the opportunity. But your work reminded me about the importance of genuine speech. To exhale, and inhale, in truth. That simple act is worth its weight in gold. You touched me, Esme. I hope I’ve touched you too. And I hope you wake with a lightness in your step, full of mirth and mischief. I know I will, soon enough. Kasi can finally breathe and create and enjoy this newfound grace. The weight of each unspoken thing, gone in an instant. I took a chance, by the river. Leaning out for love. It feels like you leaned toward me too. Oh, Esme. I'm so grateful. I'll still have to face those wraiths and demons, but you helped me find something I thought I'd lost a long time ago. A missing piece of myself. And you did it with little more than a smile. A sincere exchange. Thank you for that. Even as a writer I honestly didn't realise the power of my tongue; the impact my own words could have on my psyche. I don't feel so alone anymore. It's so strange, my darling. You've always been here with me, in this stillness of the heart. But now it finally feels like I'm here too. Like I've come home, at last.
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