A Letter to Charlie K.

3 min readFeb 12, 2021


by Athalia Elvis

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

Watching The Perks of Being a Wallflower during the summer of my sophomore year changed my life. That one hour and forty-five minutes made my life stop for a second, just to think. Like a snowman caught in the arctic tundra or a rat stuck on a pad of glue, I watched everyone pass me by and move, but I just couldn’t. I didn’t really want to.

Often, in relationships, it doesn’t work out if you don’t love yourself. If you don’t love yourself, how could you ever love someone else. You become dependent on the other person and ultimately lose your individuality as a person and slowly, you kill your relationship. The small exchange of words between Mr. Bill & Charlie are the most powerful words I’ve heard.

Love is a strong feeling and can make people act out in irrational ways, but the people we choose to share these feelings with also reflect how we love ourselves. If we lack love and value for ourselves then we lust after people who would do the same: not love us in the way we love them, nor value us as we don’t value ourselves.

So, the question is: what do you deserve?

In my imaginary world, I like to believe that I’m worthy; worthy of finding someone whose heart stops at the very mention of my name, the very glimpse of me, the mere thought of me. I like to imagine myself crusading the foreign lands of Europe, lost in my own bubble, time non-existent, as Elio did with Oliver in Call Me by Your Name. So in love, we have our very own language: I’d call him by name as he’d call me by his because our love runs so deep that we’ve become each other. Our love would be much more than physical, but spiritual as well. It would be painful to think of a world where the other didn’t exist.

I like to imagine that I’m in a movie. I’d meet my soulmate on the cobblestone streets of Manhattan, only to feel the world around us freeze as we share a passionate kiss under an umbrella because the world is our oyster.

If I can imagine that, watch it, and even read about it; why can’t that be my reality? What do you deserve, Athaliah? What is stopping you from living this fantasy? None the other than yourself. Somewhere out in the world, a Charlie Kelmeckis is desperately waiting for you to realize your self worth, and realize you deserve far better than what you’ve gotten; because you’re worthy.

“A Letter to Charlie K.” was published in Much More Than a Thought. Written by the students from the High School for Fashion Industries, Much More Than a Thought are a collection of poems, letters, short stories, journal entries, and more on living in New York City in 2020. Click HERE to download your digital copy!

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