I hope this day finds you well. You don’t have to read a word of this, you know. I don’t want to make your husband nervous, or to embarrass you, or to make you remember things you’ve decided are best forgotten. I’ve come to the end, finally. Not of love. But of my power to say another word. I’ve no more need. My life is taking shape. I’m living with a woman and maybe someday we will marry, though I doubt it. She paints, too, by the way. Even better than you used to. She teaches at a university and is a full inch taller than I am. I won’t bother to tell you where I’m living now; it makes a more perfect sense for you not to know.

I don’t want to say it, I truly don’t, but if you’ve gone this far I suppose it’s obvious that what was ignited when I loved you continues to burn. But that’s of small importance to you now, and that’s how it should be.

Everything is in its place. The past rests, breathing faintly in the darkness. It no longer holds me as it used to; now I must reach back to touch it. It is night and I am alone and there is still time, a moment more. I am standing on a long black stage, with a circle of light on me, which is my love for you, enduring. I have escaped — or have been expelled — from eternity and am back in time. But I step out once more to sing this aria, this confession, this testament without end. My arms open wide, not to embrace you but to embrace the world, the mystery we are caught in. There is no orchestra, no audience; it is an empty theater in the middle of the night and all the clocks in the world are ticking. And now for this last time, Jade, I don’t mind, or even ask if it is madness: I see your face, I see you, you; I see you in every seat.

From Endless Love, by Scott Spencer. Copyright © 1979 by Scott Spencer. Reprinted by permission of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.