Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Letter

Peeking into the tiny window, I see a slant of white. I turn the dial to the left. I pause at the first number, turn right, stop at the second, turn to the left again, stop again- I've had the three numbers memorized for three semesters.  I firmly grasp the ridged knob and pull. The small door opens, and I pull out the long white envelope. Is it from a friend? My sister? My grandma? I read my own name, firmly scrawled in the center, symbolizing that I was the center of the author's thoughts- this time, my sister's.

I open it right away, not even waiting for a comfortable chair back in my room. I tear envelope open, slide the folded notebook paper out quickly, impatient. Letters do that to me. The paper is thin, and smooth; the writing is print, and in pencil. I smile at the way my name is written. I skim the first few lines, and my smile widens.

She tells me of many things. Some thoughts, some dreams, some stories. My smile is small now, reminiscent and nostalgic. I read the second page, and the third. I don't want the letter to end, but it does. It is not the kind of end that ends, though, but the sort that begins something else. Rather more like the end of a chapter, than the end of a book.

The next chapter is in my control, so I pull out a college-ruled notebook, and a pen. I date the letter on the top right, and take a deep breath. Now it is my turn to share thoughts, dreams, stories, and ideas. I write in cursive. My thoughts overflow and spill onto the page, I have to pause, because my writing is becoming illegible because of the speed and ferocity with which I am writing. I pause, and think. What to say next?

Eventually, I stop writing. There is more to say, but it will wait for later. There is not sufficient paper to pen all my thoughts. I fold the pages, careful to crease them. I have to fold it extra small, I am out of long envelopes, and am left with only small ones. Tomorrow, when the campus post office finally opens again, I will purchase a forty-four cent stamp, and leave my thoughts, dreams, stories and ideas in the hands of others, until it reaches the hands of my sister. And then I wait, eager to repeat the process.


marie e. said...

I love letters. They're sincere and much more exciting than an email.

Nicole said...

I quite agree :)