Roarke Young's Selected Love Letters
and the songs that inspired them
pearl bailey: best of friends - july 11, 1994

dear ella,

hello how are you? i am fine. it's jason from school by the way. my mom says to say thank you for inviting me to your birthday party. it was fun. camilla also had fun but she said your room smells like milk. ok that's it. happy birthday. bye.

jason young
618 w. ivy drive

ashanti: foolish - february 15th, 2002

Dear Ella,

It's been four days since we talked, and I want to believe you're going as crazy as I am. I'm not even mad that you accepted that carnation from Sean W. in Gov, but I wish the school didn't have to send them during a period we had together. Sean's been lurking, waiting for us to break up basically since middle school, so it makes sense that he'd be there when we finally did. I feel dumb for ever thinking he was my friend.

I miss you so much, baby. When you're not here, I feel like I can't breathe. I know your dad got mad, but he only got mad because he's scared. He doesn't get it. Nobody does. Not Sean W., not your dad, not my mom and Tommy, nobody. If they understood how much we love each other, they wouldn't be so freaked out and try to keep us apart. I don't need time to think, I don't need to be young and figure it out. I already did. You're it for me. My whole world.

I hope you feel the same way. Deep down, I know you do. We'll find our way back to each other someday. We'll get married and be a family. If we have to, we can run away. If you need to take your time with Sean W. to see that, I understand. I can wait.

I love you, Ellie. I love you miles and miles. Please write back.


justin timberlake: until the end of time - august 19, 2006

Hey, Trigger,

By the time you get this, you're gonna be two illegal mimosas deep and trying not to spill on your dress. If Camilla tries to slip you one of my mom's Xanax, don't take it. She tried it once, and knocked her on her ass for half the day. You can dance on my feet if you need to, but you and I both know I don't have the coordination to make that work if you're half asleep.

You know I'm not good at this, but it felt wrong not to try. It's weird to feel like something can happen so fast and feel like such a long time coming at the same time. You've always been that something for me, that inevitable conclusion that I'm waiting for that came up on me all at once. I'm not sure, but I think I read that in a webcomic somewhere. Most of the romantic stuff I want to say probably comes from someplace like that.

We have so much time, El. There's so much life ahead of us to be young and dumb and in love. It's so wild to think that I've had more of my life with you than without, and that the time I've had with you is just going to keep growing, until the amount of life I had before you is so small, so insignificant, it hardly counts at all. I'm so excited to meet new milestones with you. Like, just think about the first time you grow a weird chin hair. I'm gonna be there for that. Just like you're gonna be there the first time I freak out because I have trouble peeing.

I love you, El. I love you so, so much. Miles and miles, even. I'll see you soon.

Counting Down to Husband O'Clock,

PS, My mom said that Tommy and his cop buddies would be leaving around 11, so as long as we don't make a ton of noise, we can crack some contraband beers after then. I told you I'd take care of it. Love you!

jazmine sullivan: let it burn - april 20, 2015

Dear Tess,

You're sitting right in front of me, and I know you're gonna hate that I'm reading this instead of spitting it off the cuff, but I had to write down my thoughts or I knew I'd fuck up and I wouldn't know what to say. I'd ask that you'd try to let me finish before we talk this out.

Things have been rough for a while now, and I know that it's been something that's weighed heavily on your mind. You're right to feel like I've been distant, but frankly, I'm at a loss, and don't know where to go from here. You knew coming into this relationship that Ella was a big part of my life. I never tried to hide her, or pretend like she wasn't there. And while I understand and empathize when you say that you feel like you're competing with a dead woman, I've run out of ways to tell you that it's just not true.

I know that it has to be hard to take on loving somebody who's got history. I respect that. But when you tell me not to talk about her, you're asking me to pretend like more than half my life just didn't exist, and that's just not something I'm willing to do. I can't write her out of the story the same way I couldn't write Camilla or any other member of my family out of it, and if you want this relationship to continue, I need you to accept that. Ella was my best friend, the love of my life; she occupied a huge part of me and probably will forever. That doesn't mean there's not room for you there too, though, just like it doesn't mean that my capacity to love you is any less than anybody else's.

I love you. I want to be with you. I've made room for you here: in the house, in bed, in my life, just...everywhere. But you have to be willing to share the space, otherwise, I think we might have reached a point where it's time for us to part ways. I hope it doesn't come to that, but if it does, I understand.


major lazer: run up - july 29, 2017

Day 4: Draft 4

I had a dream about you last night. It wasn't weird like last time, and it didn't include even the slightest allusion to porking. I don't wanna brag or anything, but I think it means I'm getting better at this.

PS, How long until I'm allowed to allude to the fact that, against advisement, I read de Sade and now exclusively want to make jokes about butt stuff? Asking for a friend.