Dear Lara Jean,
When you walked into a room, all shy and bashful with quiet eyes that took in a lot more than they let on; when you let Gen belittle you and stuttered as you made eye contact with strangers, I didn’t relate to you at all. You were the inconspicuous middle child and I was the bossy older sibling. Honestly, you’d probably be the friend I would get into an argument on behalf of.
But then, I began to understand you. I felt myself nodding along to things you said, sighing at their accuracy, smiling as you gradually grew out of your shell. I understood your wariness, your anxiety at the thought of vulnerability, your discomfort at being the centre of attention, most of all, your fear at the thought of falling in love.
When you said, “because the more people you let into your life, the more they can just walk right out”, I felt that. When you were too afraid to stop living in your head, in the security blanket of your secrets and musings and perfect, picturesque daydreams, I related.
When you were filled with angst, and thought to yourself, that for once, you didn't want to be somebody’s second choice, I understood.
But the line that really hit me was “But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just clutching air and grit.” Because for once, I felt like someone else understood how it felt like to want to hold onto every good moment while it was still in the process of becoming a fond memory.
When you said, “My life was a mess, but I could clean my room”, I smiled, because who else’s coping mechanism is putting on headphones and sorting out their mess of a room, so as to assert a semblance of control and feel like they’re one step closer to getting their shit together ?
And of course, I related to your obsessive love for romcoms and persistent fangirling, your unrealistic expectations (which were fulfilled by the way, because have you seen Peter Kavinsky ?), your dramatic reactions and facial expressions that always gave it all away.
Yes, at times you made mistakes along the way, but I think we forget that you’re a confused teenage girl with a penchant for the dramatic. Most of all, I love how you grew from a reserved, self-conscious girl to someone who wasn’t hesitant to make the harsh choices; to someone who could speak up for what they really wanted even though it could uproot their entire world as they knew it. You became more trusting, more confident in your abilities and less afraid to seize opportunities. You finally stopped dwelling over the perfect what-ifs in your head and grew less reluctant to face reality.
Lara Jean, sometimes I want a friend like you, someone who’d understand my silence on days I’m upset, just sit with me as we listen to music, eating cookies you’ve baked as we stare at the sky. Someone with whom I could have tons of movie marathons and most importantly, someone whose clothes I could borrow because let's be honest, your aesthetic warrants heart eyes. Not to mention we could buy each other endless amounts of teal gifts as you give me tips on how to not dress like a twelve year old.
Here’s to your writing journey, as I begin mine.
Always and Forever,
(a fellow self-proclaimed daydreamer)
Author: Ananya Chaure Editor: Eeshpal