Elizabeth's Letter, March 16

March 17, 2008
By Amanda Arnold, Lee's Summit, MO

We were never more than deranged teenagers.

That never stopped us from labeling ourselves: we were lovers, we were best friends, we were haters and enemies and hippies and future presidents and taste-testers and historians and the world.

But none of that was true.

We were also the best liars.

We could look into each other’s eyes and swear everlasting love. For the occasions, I would put on the prettiest dresses and you would rent out a suit to look sharp. We would get the pictures and the envious comments about how in love we were, how did we manage it?

But by the end of the night you were groping the girl in that skimpy black thing and I was kissing that boy underneath the stars.

We would meet up at your car at our appointed time, you would drive me home and kiss me on the doorstep for good measure, I would let my fingers linger in your hair, and you’d be off again.

My mother would burst out in that annoyingly-excited-screech thing that I hope never to do and say, “Oh, Elizabeth, he’s really the one for you, isn’t he? I bet you two had the time of your life!”

I would hang up my coat and while my face was turned I would smirk and say, “Yes, I do love it when we go out.”

You would only call me at either four or seven, but never in-between or after those hours. This frustrated me until I got my work schedule changed, but we always managed to talk everyday. We would lie sincerities to each other and pretend to know and care about personal lives, and every once in a while we would plaster the word “love” over a few sentences.

We were liars.

We were never more than deranged teenagers.

Now I am twenty-three and you are too, as I assume you aren’t dead since I haven’t received a funeral notice.

The other day my daughter (yes, I have a daughter too, but you needn’t know her name, you never cared much for that stuff) found an old high school yearbook upon my bookshelf. I had completely forgotten about it and frankly I would have trashed it had not she expressed interest in going through it with me. Even though she is only five I find it difficult not to do everything for her, so we opened it to the first page and a piece of notebook paper popped out. Fascinated, she waved it in my face and demanded that I read it to her.

Sometimes she is so much like you.

I read it, and it was just a stupid ditty of a poem that you wrote for me to keep up pretenses in high school. Everyone thought it was so cute how you rhymed “Elizabeth” with “brunette” even though I am blonde.

After I read it, my daughter immediately lost interest and became intrigued with the next new thing, as per usual.

Then again, she is also very much like me.

Reading the poem reminded me of you, seeing as I haven’t thought of you in years, and I decided it would be fit to write you a letter, seeing as everybody saw us as high school sweethearts. Besides, I am suspicious that my husband has a mistress and this would make him rightly jealous.

I do hope you’re in a good time right now and please right back with utmost urgency with your news and thoughts. My husband would hate that.



ps: I do wish you could see her. You would like that, I think.

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