“Distance” by Antonio Del Pozo

I love and care about him, but does he love me back? It’s like he is scared to admit that he has emotions, and at times I don’t even know if he really even cares about me. Ever since he moved to Okinawa, he has slowly been getting more cold and distant. I don’t get it. Did I do something wrong? I try so hard to show him that I care. I draw art for him, I show him songs that remind him of us, I just want him to be there for me. I know Tony isn’t always like this, he can be a very loving and affectionate person, but that’s not how he’s been lately.

We can see each other through Skype, we can talk on the phone until we fall asleep. But it’s not the same. I can’t hold you, hold you when I can’t hold myself together anymore. Long distance sucks. I’m getting tired, really tired of it. I think I could still put up with it, still work through it, if you just communicated with me. If you just let me know you care!

No, I don’t think he will. He’s too busy. He’s busy working, and trying to find his place in his unit, and be a good Marine. “A good Marine is tough. They show no emotion, they just get the job done.” I get it, I really do. He needs to present a certain image to others… but not to me. I’m not one of your fellow Marines; I’m vulnerable with you, be vulnerable with me. Where it really hurts is when he chooses to go out with his friends over me, especially when I need him to be there for me. I had a panic attack last night, I’m still mourning my mom’s death, and it really hit me hard, but he was out with his friends with a dead phone, I couldn’t get a hold of him until he got back home. That broke me, I spent the whole night sobbing my heart out.

If he’s going to harden his heart and struggle to show emotion, I have to do the same to protect myself.

I don’t think I can take it anymore. I’m feeling miserable and helpless. I need to get out of this situation, I need to get away and do something to improve myself, instead of slowly dying day by day. I’m going to join the National Guard. I don’t really want to, but I see no other choice. I still have hope for us, not much, but some. I’ll give him one more chance. Please, once I’m in training, all I want from you, Tony, is a letter. A simple letter, telling me that you miss me, and that you’re sorry for how callously you treated me. A letter that says you love me, that bares your heart to me. That’s all I need; that’s all that it takes to keep me. Tell me you don’t want me here in training, and that you miss me and you’ll be waiting for me on the other side, waiting for me to graduate so we can be together again. Why can’t you see that?

Antonio Del Pozo is currently a senior at UC San Diego majoring in political science and international relations with a minor in theatre studies. He is a Marine Corps veteran, where he did four years as a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense specialist.