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Dear Jane This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Dear Jane,
It’s been two years, Seven hundred and thirty days. I keep calling your phone to hear your voicemail. Just that perky “Hey there” at the beginning is enough to bring me tears. All your text messages are saved on my old phone. Which I charge every night so I can read them again. I keep looking for the crack. I’m looking for where I messed up. When you tried to tell me everything was too much. When you wrote my letter, did you think about me? Did you think about how hard it would be? No, you were thinking of you and your problems and the weight on your heart. When I read those words you scribbled on old notebook paper I felt that weight. I felt the sharp tip of the knife stabbing my lungs; maybe that’s why I couldn’t breathe. I felt broken glass in my throat, not letting me swallow the tears this time. No I felt every word. Every time you insulted yourself I took it personally. You aren’t a waste of space. You aren’t stupid or invisible or a bother. You always said you weren’t worth it. But, Darling, you were worth the struggle and so much more. I could call you at 2 a.m. and you would answer. I didn’t knock on the front door; I just walked in and turned on the radio. We were that close. Why did you give up? What did you tell yourself to justify this? I want to go to sleep and never wake up. I don’t want to go through this without you. We were in a hurricane and you left me alone. Now the aftermath is mine alone. Do you care? Did you know? I miss you. I miss you so much I don’t eat. What’s the point? Remember what we would say? We are robots. We don’t cry we don’t care; we don’t hurt because we don’t feel. Dear, I’m sorry but I’m crying. I’m hurting. I’m feeling this pain and caring for your family. Ray is a mess, I’m a mess, and Lord knows your mother is a mess. Janie, you were the glue. You can’t work the system if it’s broken. You can’t fix it without glue. You left. You died. You choked. I still remember your laugh. It’s been two years. Yes, I smile and laugh and joke around and dance but I’m watching it all on the television, as if it is a movie and not my life. In my head, you are here. Nothing has changed. These letters, those text messages, your voicemail, our CDs… It’s all real. So you have to be real. You have to be here. Any minute now you will be walking into my room with your blonde hair swishing and your green eyes plotting the fun for tonight; that perfectly loud voice telling me all about your day and your thoughts and your dreams. I loved to hear about your dreams and thoughts. I loved you telling me stories and memories. Where are you? Its 6:14 and I’m still alone. Did you forget? Did you get lost? Are you sick? You won’t answer your phone. You aren’t at home either. I want to shout your name to the sky, maybe you will hear me? You… You are gone. It’s not a TV show. I can’t pick up the remote and rewind this. It’s not a story; I can’t erase what I wrote and fix it all. I wish I could say I’ll be okay, I wish I could tell you that I won’t dwell on your death, but I’ll remember your life with a smile on my face and happiness in my heart. But I’m frozen in an icy trance, this memory stabbing repeatedly. Come back, please? Come back and call me. Let me hear your voice and see your smile. Let me run through the street with you and shout song lyrics to the clouds. Just me and my best friend. I miss you. I miss you more than words can say. I’ll call you one more time, and mail you this letter. I’ll toast to you at midnight, and listen to our CDs. Then I’ll try to move on, try to smile in my eyes and be sincere. I know you’re here for me some how. You’re gone but Love you will never be forgotten. Sleep well, Princess.
-Rachel





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