PART 5: Dear Charlotte - Chapter 2

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I can do this.

I've had a whole week to think about all the things I love about her and all the things I miss so much now she's not around, I've had a whole week to mope around like a soppy, pathetic, romantic bastard, I can do this.

It should not be this difficult.

Dear Charlotte – I...

Dear Charlotte. You're not perfect, but you're perfect for me, and –

Dear Charlotte, this week has been hell, and I don't...

Okay, it's impossible, and I absolutely cannot do this.

I scribble out the latest stupid line I just tried to write out, sighing and burying my head in my hands. Eight pages in, and I can't come up with a single entire sentence that doesn't sound completely cringeworthy or even comes close to telling her how I feel about her.

You'd think, after four years, I'd know what to say to her.

This is useless.

I'm never going to figure it out.

She deserves better than this paltry attempt. I should be singing 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You' with a marching band as I dance down the bleachers in front of a crowd of all her friends. I should be kissing her in the rain after writing her a whole bunch of letters. I should be climbing up a fire escape with a bouquet of roses after pulling up in a white limousine. I should march through a field in the pouring rain to tell her I love her, 'most ardently'.

God, all the romantic movies we've watched together, and I can't even come up with a single line to express how much I love her, never mind some outlandish, unforgettable display of showboating.

Who am I kidding?

The good news, I guess, is that Charlotte knows I'm not that guy. I'm awkward and shy and introverted and I look like the nerd I am. Something tells me a dorky, gangly guy with wire-rimmed glasses and puffy hair singing tunelessly along to 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You' won't have quite the same effect as when Heath Ledger did it, and that if I walked through the rain to meet her in a gazebo, I'd look less Mr Darcy and more drowned rat.

"Come on, Ethan, get it together," I mutter, dragging my head up out of my hands and shaking myself. I stand up, pacing around the room, and it's official: the cabin fever is bad enough that I'm officially crazy, and now I'm talking to myself. "Alright, alright, focus. You got this. Charlotte's not expecting Ryan Gosling. She'd expect it to be you. It doesn't need to be a showstopper performance, just you. Honest. Real. Authentic, yeah, she loves 'authentic' stuff... What else does she love?"

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