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Letters to Anne

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1 week after
Dear Anne,
I don’t know who else to talk to. I confided everything in you—every homework assignment I forgot to do, every little crush I had, every white lie I ever told our parents. You knew it all. We told each other everything. We were as close to one person and two could ever be. We knew each others’ secrets, all of them. We were always there to help each other. In 7th grade I pretended to be you at your 4-H meeting so you could go to the movies with Johnny Travatino. Since we’re identical, it actually worked. When Mark Lakanski dumped me halfway through freshman year, you knew something was wrong before I even told you. You had a carton of Double Chocolate Hot Fudge Brownie Chunk Ice Cream and two spoons waiting when I got home. But now what am I supposed to do? You’re gone. When I wake up during the night our—my room is too quiet. I can’t hear you breathing, or snoring, in your bed any more. You know how they say twins are just one soul in two bodies? Wait, that might be about true love…Whatever, let’s say it’s about twins. But I really do think it’s true, the twins part. It feels like someone took my soul and ripped it in two, and half of it died with you. Oh, I hate that word. “Died.” It sounds so…cold and detached, like you were never really a person at all. But you were a person, a living, breathing, crazy, awesome, insane, perfect person. I can still remember the feeling of your hand under mine when we both grabbed for those car keys. If only I had reached out half a second earlier. We would have taken the highway instead of that goat-trail of a road you insisted on. We never would have been stopped at that pointless stop sign. (It was for a dirt road that clearly hadn’t been used in years.) That truck never would have rammed into us from behind. Our car never would have tumbled off the road and into a ravine. A rock would have never broken your window and hit your head. You would not be dead right now, buried in your unworn prom dress. And I wouldn’t be sitting here staring at your forever empty bed.
I need you,


Elle




18 months after
Dear Anne,
18 months. Can you believe it? It’s been a year and a half, but not a day goes by that I don’t think of you. Every time I look in a mirror, my heart skips a beat. I think it’s you. You’d wonder why I haven’t realized it’s just me by now. I know it’s not you, but I can’t help but hope. Hope that you’re not gone. Hope that you never were. Hope that I’ll open the door one day and see you getting ready for a volleyball game or basketball game or whatever kind of –ball game you have that day. I know I won’t see you, but can you blame me for hoping? Earlier today I thought I saw you, wearing an ill-fitting black robe and a matching square hat. But, alas, it was just me. Same ol’ boring me. A hundred people soon lined up in the hallway we had walked for years. You should have been standing there next to me. We always dreamed of the day we’d walk across the gym for the last time and finally escape the Bridesdale Prison (aka Bridesdale Local Schools). The ceremony was just like we predicted all those years ago: everyone hated and looked ugly in the itchy gowns but no one complained; Tommy Valesco gave the most boring valedictorian speech in the history of the universe; Jessie Simmons gave a speech that was actually slightly touching; Abbi Lee tripped in her 7-inch heels and gave everyone a clear view of her thong, and so on and so forth. No surprises there. But there was thing I wasn’t ready for: a speech about you. Mr. Bolkin, the principal whose office you never entered, told us all about you. He mentioned your sports, your grades, your friends. It was all true, but how would he know? He never said a word to you. How can he claim to know anything about you? He was right about one thing though. You were, and still are, missed by everyone who knew you. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include Mr. Bolkin. After he finally finished his speech (I’m thinking Miss Alice, the secretary, wrote it) we threw our hats, took pictures, and did all those other high school graduation stereotypes. Afterwards, Mom and Dad took me to Antonio’s. You loved their White Truffle Risotto. We’d eaten there for every birthday since I can remember, but this was the first time since, well…you know. I couldn’t go last year without you, it just didn’t feel right. But they convinced me tonight. It was kind of nice, actually. It felt like you were there with us. The whole family was back together again, sorta. Not for long though. I’m going off to California in the fall. Goodbye Bridesdale, hello Stanford. I still wish you could come with me. By all logic and reasoning, you should be able to. But this is the real world, logic and reasoning don’t apply. I hope you’re having fun up there.
I miss you,


Elle




10 years after
Dear Anne,

Remember when we planned our entire futures out together? Well, I didn’t exactly follow the plan. I went to school in California like we decided, but honestly, the whole vet career wasn’t going to work. I took the undergrad courses my freshman year, but my stomach just wasn’t strong enough. I dropped all the pre-vet classes and went undetermined for the rest of the year. That summer I went on vacation to Florida and saw the space shuttle take off. That very day I signed up for my new major: aerospace engineering. I loved it. My classes, my professors, my fellow students, everything. Speaking of love, he was in my classes too. Sean Monroe. He’s nothing like the motorcycle-riding boys we imagined meeting while backpacking across Europe, but he’s amazing. He’s smart and sweet and a bit shy (and yes, very good-looking). He’s exactly what I was looking for, even though I never realized I was looking. We didn’t get married in a huge church with stained glass windows like you and I imagined. We stood barefoot on the beach at sunset. It was wonderful. We spent a week in Italy (not Hawaii) wandering around taking in the sights and eating the food. We had both graduated a few years earlier and, as we do now, worked together at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. k43qw=]=[4W9p80#$^ Sorry about that. Emily’s just playing with the keyboard. I was just about to tell you about Emily, my perfect little girl. She’s only 14 months old but she has already figured out how to use her big brown eyes to get whatever she wants. My life, here with Sean and Emily, is nothing like the one you and I imagined all those years ago. It’s even better than anything I could have dreamed of. I wish you could be here though. But I know that we have a guardian angel watching over us.
I love you,


Elle



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This article has 11 comments. Post your own!

kaleejoy said...
Nov. 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm:
You are extremely talented. This piece of writing is so touching. I loved it! It was absolutely fantastic.
 
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Pen2Paper said...
Jan. 12, 2012 at 3:43 am:
I really don't think words can describe how amazing this story is, its sad, but didn't really dwell on those details too much. Definatley 5 stars!!!
 
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Love.Hate.Passion. said...
Oct. 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm:

My , my. You have got talent!

I absolutely loved this short story. It had emotion incorporated very nicely and you grammatical errors were miniscule. I really enjoyed reading this piece. I look forward to more work from you!

5*'s

 
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Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 2, 2011 at 12:59 am:
The emotion in this was so real! You told an amazing story in such a great way. I absolutely love this.
 
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Mary_S. said...
Aug. 21, 2011 at 12:13 am:
 Wow. I hate sad stories, but as far as sad stories go, this is amazing. Keep up the good work!
 
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AspiringWriter said...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 10:59 am:

Honestly, this was a beautifully written piece of work. I greatly enjoyed reading this. :) There were a few grammatical errors, but nothing too major.

Nice job!

 
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CobaltMayhem said...
Aug. 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm:
Dang, this is pretty good. Short and simple, but it worked. A couple minor grammatical errors, but I liked the style mostly.
 
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white_chocolate97 said...
Aug. 2, 2011 at 1:18 am:
I think the idea you had was really cool. It was so touching!! I really liked it:)
 
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booklover04 said...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 9:38 am:
the letters really sounded authentic. it was cool watching elle grow up and the see the effect anne's death had on her life over the years. nice idea! the only thing that bothered me was the chunks of writing. Maybe next time you can break up that one large paragraph into two, so it's easier to read. otherwise, nice job :)
 
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CarrieAnn13This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 9:10 pm:
Aw, this was touching.  I loved it!
 
Healing_Angel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 4:49 am :
Good work!
 
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