My own boy,
Funny that I should still call you that. It was already devastatingly presumptuous before, when I thought I was still allowed to deceive myself that there was a chance that we might kiss. The allusion to Bosie was, of course, deliberate and it was in full cognizance of his infidelities that I thus compared you to him; perhaps I was also aware, on a less conscious level, of the impending imprisonment.
A lot has happened since the last time I wrote to you as Iris, a lot whose significance you naturally do not suspect. We had that dinner together by the sea. We met each other's friends. We talked about our lives. I talked about my feelings. I explained, in so many words, that I love you, that I am in love with you, that my life was meaningless before I met you, that there is no other body I have ever really wanted to be in. You did not respond. I did not seem to mind.
And then, you said it was final: we were not to meet again. I smiled. I said good luck, then, with your life. I meant of course your life without me, because clearly there would be no more hints of my existence.
So now. These portraits are the only hint of my existence. I shall continue painting them in fond remembrance of what might have been. I shall continue painting them in murderous recognition of what was not. And if I should die, it will make no difference: I have always been the misplaced ghost of someone who only caught a glimpse of existence when somebody else claimed that a telegram was her portrait.