By Fabia Morger

This is the first in a series of fictional break-up letters, which will be published under the new category “The Nature of Human Cruelty”.

Dear X,

I’m breaking up with you. I guess I should be sorry for doing so but, honestly, I’m not. Being with you for a second longer would be a fatal betrayal of my feelings and everything that defines me. But I think that I should at least take the time to tell you why.

I can assure you that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, in your power that you could have done to make me stay. My decision to leave you was made as soon as I met Madeline. Aaah Madeline! You have to understand that when we got together I was less experienced with people than I am now. I couldn’t have pictured that there would ever be a person in the world as perfect for me as Madeline. Her energy, her charm, her humour… It’s irresistible, you have to understand that. It’s not that there has been anything fundamentally wrong with our relationship. All in all, I’d say that we were relatively well-matched. We have been speaking the same language, to express it that way. But, you see, Madeline and I are speaking the same dialect! It would be betrayal to be with you once I knew that Madeline existed. Our relationship would be an insult to true love.

Of course, Madeline and I will never be together, for obvious reasons. She is as inaccessible to me as I am to you. But, you see, her mere existence has given me hope. Hope to find something worth more than the mediocrity of our relationship. If Madeline exists, that means that there might be other people who are like her! And I have to find this person. The hope to be one day loved by someone like her, will, from now on, be the fuel of my life. I’m not usually a perfectionist but in this aspect of my life I cannot be otherwise.

So, I’m leaving you without regrets and hope that you will understand. And if you won’t – all the more reason why we can’t be together anymore!

Yours sincerely,


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