Jodi Lewchuk lives and writes in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her deeply personal storytelling and self-portraits explore the vulnerability, and bravery, of the human heart.

Letters to Lovers: The Magician {1/6}

Letters to Lovers: The Magician {1/6}

Series inspired by Mary-Louise Parker's captivating Dear Mr. You

Hello, X:

I remember the last time I saw you. It was few Decembers ago, and our moms arrived in the city for the holidays on the same train. The four of us stood under a CN Tower lit in candy-cane colours, and as we caught each other up on life lived while waiting for taxis, it shimmered in the dark. You wore it that night as you always have: A cloak of dark magic.

Its fabric is the stuff of your commanding height, your jet-black hair, your cobalt eyes, and the slight, sly smile you wear perpetually. It signals that you know things you will never disclose. 

I appreciate its mystery now, but oh the time I spent trying to decode that smile. It was there with the sideways glances you'd give me as you drove me home from track practice every night after high school. It was there when you'd sit backwards in the seat in front of me to ask what I was writing in my notebook in the minutes before English class began. It was there as we took deliberate routes to pass each other in the halls.

And it was there when you arrived for our first date. The ground fell away from my teenaged feet as you approached, in jeans and a black t-shirt, fingers laced with those of another girl. 

You, X, were the first to shatter my heart.

Though I spent a summer thoroughly broken, I got over it. We never talked about that moment, when you inexplicably showed up at the appointed hour in the appointed spot with someone else at your side, but our connection persisted. 

Years later you spent a week with me when you were in town for an art show. We laid in the grass of the courtyard every night to talk about everything and nothing as we watched the night sky swirl above us. You drew me as I sat at my desk in the late afternoons, writing papers on Victorian poets. And I watched your body ripple through its ritual of Tai Chi as I drank coffee and read the paper each morning before I left for my summer job and you headed to the gallery.

And I kept the painting you gave me for my birthday one year, a woman exploding in a whorl of intense colour. It makes an appearance in this very IG gallery, actually. It's how I imagine you see me, and my heart rests at ease with you now, knowing that you understand who I am and recognize the passion I contain and unleash as I walk through the world. It very much matches the passion within you. 

When you moved here after life had taken you down other paths, we had dinner one night. You said you were curious to see where we might end up since we were finally in the same place at the same time, and grown up enough to explore properly what existed between us. But it was never to be. I ended up following my heart and someone else to Montreal, and you met the woman who would become your wife and the mother of your daughter. 

That was the last time we spent any real time together. Yet you surface now and then. Your name will come up, attached to some eclectic art project. I will come across some memento of time we shared along the way. I'll catch a glimpse of you on television. We'll bump into each other at the train station. 

You still carry your height with majesty. Your hair is still black as coal. Your eyes still glitter like gemstones. (I'm convinced you were a Russian Prince in a former life.) And that mischievous smile lingers.

It was your defining quality then, and it remains. I feel it whenever you appear, seemingly out of thin air. You are a little bit magic. I hope you always will be. 

As ever,

Letters to Lovers: The True Heart {2/6}

Letters to Lovers: The True Heart {2/6}