Dear Russ,

I don’t know how to say this but I think we should go on a break. I know there was a time that I said we could make this arrangement work. I agreed last summer to let you go. The timing felt right. You deserve a ring and I didn’t feel like that was something I could give you. Not then anyway. We had a good thing together and memories we’d always share.

But can I be honest? This season has been tough. People ask about us and I always say that we’re more than just friends. It’s not like Kevin and me. This is different. With you, it’s always been different. They don’t get it. But they’re from Cleveland so you can’t blame them.

When you came to town in January, things felt normal again. I took a few pictures down but that’s about all I changed. Deep down, it’ll always be your house. But long distance relationships are complicated and it’s becoming clear that we both want different things this summer.

I saw you from a distance on Saturday night and it reminded me of old times. I didn’t have the courage to say anything out loud so I held my tongue the same way I used to hold my breath when we were together. Then you rocked the baby. And it was just too much.

It helps knowing that you’re happy. You and James are good together. I’m glad he’s learning to involve others. I think you’re making him better. He still spends a lot of his time traveling and I wonder how you feel about it. You deserve the best.

I’m not over you and have decided that I’m never going to let you go completely. But when I see you out there, I am going to pretend that I don’t know you. I think some space would be good for both of us. I can’t quit you but I’m going to try.

Just through tonight, though.