Author : Jake Lane

You’ve never been the most outgoing person, Sam. It’s not your fault, I’m sure, but that doesn’t stop it from being the truth. As wonderful as you are now (I love you, Sam, you know that), you could be so much more wonderful.

From the moment we met I could see that you were a slave to your own insecurities. When you spilled your coffee all over my briefcase you self-consciously apologized to me for hours. You apologized for hours and then we dated for months because, well, a flawed diamond is still a diamond. I married you.

Even now, I’m just barely able to see beyond the sheen of your sun-speckled surface into your concealed depths. But what depths! Oh, I have no doubt that you are as magnificent as you are repressed. Peel away your cocoon of complexes and you would become the perfect person, the person that I met, briefly, after you returned from your mission.

As you strode out of the starport terminal I could see a confidence in your swagger that betrayed the extent of your transformation (or should I say “emergence”?). As you strode out of the starport terminal I knew that everything would be different. I was standing face-to-face with the hidden person I always knew you were just dying to let out. When your friends come by to fry fish and crack beers and stargaze, they talk about being transformed out there in the void. The dusty amber dye-drop hurricanes of Jupiter are said to be unparalleled by our terrestrial standards. At first, I thought that was it: That you’d seen the silent, stormy beauty of the outer planets and it had changed you, Sam. You opened up, you calmed down. Sure, you’d occasionally drop plates or stumble on the stairs, but you maneuvered around these minor slips with wit and casual grace. The Sam I’d always loved, the Sam I married, no longer felt the need to hide behind awkward apologies. You had this inebriated joviality and this nonchalance and this debonair aura that just turned me on. You had fire and you had edge and you had sly humor and motivation and nosebleeds…

Those damn nosebleeds.

The doctor said they were superficial, not necessarily a sign of any permanent damage. But those nosebleeds gave us away, or gave you away. Gave it away, the goddamn stealthy little helper curled around your brain stem. When the doctor pulled the needle-thin, noodle-thin parasite from your skull, I knew I’d lost you. The moment you blushed and kneaded the back of your neck and awkwardly told me it must have, ‘Uh, climbed in there while I was down on the surface, I guess, I don’t know, weird huh?’, I knew I’d lost you.

I wonder if you miss that uninhibited, charismatic self? In fact, I’m almost sure you do. You’d have to. Because for all the nosebleeds and the twitching and the fumbling, that worm was the best thing to happen to you, Sam. Well, this fight isn’t over. As weak and insecure as you may be, you’ve always looked out for me, and nothing in this world or others is going to keep me from looking out for you. There’s a parcel in the mail, hermetically sealed, atmosphere regulated, temperature monitored, express-shipped from the frigid planes of Io. I’ll see you soon, Sam. I love you.

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