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Dear Ishmael – Snow Falling on Cedars – David Guterson 

November 9th, 2010 · No Comments · Dialogue, Love, Writing

Dear Ishmael,

These things are very difficult to say—I can’t think of anything more painful to me than writing this letter to you. I am now more than five hundred miles away, and everything appears to me different from what it was when I was with you last on San Piedro. I have been trying to think clearly about everything and to use all this distance to advantage. And here is what I’ve discovered. I don’t love you, Ishmael. I can think of no more honest way to say it. From the very beginning, when we were little children, it seemed to me something was wrong. Whenever we were together I knew it. I felt it inside of me. I loved you and I didn’t love you at the very same moment, and I felt troubled and confused. Now, everything is obvious to me and I feel I have to tell you the truth. When we met that last time in the cedar tree and I felt your body move against mine, I knew with certainty that everything was wrong. I knew we could never be right together and that soon I would have to tell you so. And now, with this letter, I’m telling you. This is the last time I will write to you. I am not yours anymore. I wish you the very best, Ishmael. Your heart is large and you are gentle and kind, and I know you will do great things in this world, but now I must say good-bye to you. I am going to move on with my life as best I can, and I hope that you will too.

Sincerely, Hatsue Imada