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Letters

Dear Maggie,
It's been a while--fifteen years, a month and seven days, to be exact. The years haven't been kind to me, not as kind as I'm sure they've been to you. I have my first grey hairs--at thirty-five!--and reflecting on the past has made my eyes older. But then again, you were always the prettier of us. I remember growing up with you at Maidenwood--the way Grandma and Grandpa's large house seemed to be falling to pieces, but we were too young to care. All we knew was that Grandma owned the Maidenwood estate, with all its rolling hills and the grove of trees with trees that magically turned magnificent oranges and reds in the fall. Do you remember the small pond behind the little shack that Grandma forbade us to go near? I remember us jumping in and swimming with our light summer dresses cast by the side of the pond, wearing the bathing suits we always thought stuck too tightly. Grandpa snuck out to the grove of trees with us often and read us adventure stories while we had a picnic--I remember that, too.
And then I remember Grandpa's funeral. We all cried, but we tried to move on. All of us except Grandma. She changed. She turned angry and bitter, and everything she said seemed to hurt us. I remember that her words turned us against each other: she always told me you were so much better, but when she spoke to you she heaped praise on me and criticized you. We were eleven years old when we had our first big fight. Do you remember our teenage years? We always thought we'd do everything together when we were little, but in those years between thirteen and nineteen, we had as little to do with each other as possible--and us, the little twin six year olds who'd beg Grandpa for a picnic and story--we hated each other.
And then, the night we turned twenty, Grandma had a stroke. She died while we stayed in the hospital waiting room, not sure what to think. I remember that we didn't talk, and sat on opposite ends of the same bench, each of us wishing she would die and stop twisting ourminds but hoping she'd live and return to our old Grandma, the one we loved. She died that night and neither of us cried--we stood on opposite ends of her bed and didn't look each other in the eyes.
When her will was read, we found out she'd left everything to me--I was the eldest by a minute. And I saw the hurt and pain in your eyes, but I couldn't reach out to you. I offered to let you stay--the first words we'd spoken in over three months--but you couldn't live off of me. I wouldn't have been able to do the same thing either. You left that night without another word to me, and I had no idea where you went. I was rich, and I went off to college, leaving a caretaker at Maidenwood. When I graduated as an English major, I published a couple books and returned to Maidenwood after having it all renovated. None of the architecture has been changed, but the places where the floorboards had molded or there were leaks have been fixed. I buy your brand of clothes, by the way--you have real talent.
I'm here now, with my two kids and my husband. I've told them about you, and they all want you to come back--I want you to come back. I'm sorry you weren't invited to the wedding, but I didn't know where you were. Remember how you'd always wanted to be my bride's maid? I wish you had been, but that's the past now. If you have family, they're welcome too, you know how much space there is here. It's a big house with life in it again--two little girls just like we used to be, and two loving parents. Please come back, Maggie. I know I haven't told you this since we were ten, but...I love you.

Please come back,
Megan



Dear Megan,
I got your letter today. At first I didn't know what to say or think. You're right, it's been a long time. And you're also right about Grandma, in every way. Megan--Meg--I've read your books. They're good. I always told you you'd be a famous writer one day, remember? Or at least, I told you so before we both changed. I always knew you had a great imagination. You've a way with words...after so long, I felt like I was back at Maidenwood in the summer, swimming with you. We used to have such a good time.
I'm glad to hear about your husband and your girls--I'm glad to hear you're happy, and not alone. You said that you've reflected on the past over the years, and so have I. I understood a while ago that what happened was neither of our faults. If anyone's, it was Grandma's. And doesn't it feel horrible to accuse the dead?
I got a scholarship to pay for college, and I started a fashion line. I guess you know that, if you wear my clothes. I'd have made your wedding dress if I knew...and I wish I had been your bride's maid too. Remember back when we were kids, you wanted a fairy tale wedding and everything, and I didn't even want a husband? Well, I'm married now, and I'm glad you're happy with someone too. I know: me, the antimarriage one. Josh is a great guy, and we have four children: Nadia, Jamie, Jake and Michael. Nadia's the oldest--she's seven. Jamie and Jake are twins, six years old. Michael's the youngest--he's just five.
Josh and I would love to bring the family to Maidenwood. We all talked about it, and we decided that this can't continue--us never reconciling, I mean. My job doesn't require me to be in New York all the time--what with all the internet programs, I barely ever have to go. Josh is a journalist, and I know the town by Maidenwood always needs more people. The kids would love it there.
And Meg...thank you for writing to me. You've always been the braver one, and I know I'd never been able to write to you--I'd have been scared of your response.

I love you too, Meg.
Maggie

PS: I'm glad to finally be coming home, where I belong. Maybe when we get there, we could go swimming, just the two of us.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Free- said...
Apr. 17, 2011 at 7:41 am

Very interesting and creative idea! I love it!

However, your writing is a bit shaky...I love you that you brought up old memories, but I feel you should bring them up less conspicuously, with more mystery and a bit more subdued. I'd love to see a rewrite using mystery, etc.!

Please look at my story=Rate/comment.

Your Story=A solid 3/5

 
writergirl13 said...
Apr. 2, 2010 at 10:12 am
That's so sweet, and it has so much meaning and emotion to it! Keep writing, you're really good!! Take a look at some of my work sometime and please give me feedback, that would be awesome!! :)
 
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