I had finally unpacked my last box into my new apartment. I had just graduated high school and had moved to Manhattan, New York City to live my life. I had gotten a job with as a fashion assistant to Anastasia Blu, a major fashion designer. It wasn’t a glamorous job, but it was a job in what I wanted to be doing, without college, and where I wanted it to be.
I started shuffling through old boxes my mom had thrown into the moving truck that I hadn’t touched since I assumed they were all just going into my storage closet in the basement that I got; but I decided to see what was in them anyway.
Each box was labeled with a grade; the first box was first and second, the second box was third and fifth, which seemed weird to me, but the third box said fourth. I peeled the lid off and it was a box full of letters which peaked my curiosity.
My name is Bethany. Miss. Coly said not to use last names so I guess I won’t tell you mine. But I’m in fourth grade and my favorite color is purple. What’s yours? Miss. Coly said we should ask questions to start off with to get to know each other.
Hello; I’m Harry! It’s nice to have received your letter so quickly. I’m in fourth also, I guess according to your school system. I had to ask Miss. Smith about that. She seemed to understand the question. My favorite color is orange or blue. So where do in the States do you live?
Hello again. I showed Miss. Coly I got your letter and she was very happy about that. I live in New Jersey. We have that famous beach everyone calls the Jersey Shore. At least that’s what my mom said. Where in England do you live?
I live in Holmes Chapel of Cheshire. I don’t think we have anything famous by me. So what is your favorite thing to do?
There were hundreds of letters like these that seemed to go on past fourth grade and into fifth, my mom just kept them all together. However, once I seemingly hit middle school, the letters started to slow and eventually stopped. I smiled, put them all back into the box and closed it up, leaving them all in the corner before I went out to go food shopping to pick up some groceries to get me started.
“How was move in?” My best friend, Carrie asked me on the phone later that night when I had settled down with some ice-cream to watch some TV before bed.
“It was really good. I found some really old stuff back from elementary school.” Carrie laughed and I smiled a little. “Do you remember those pen pal letters Miss. Coly had us doing all year?”
“Oh yeah! You and your pen pal were close as hell! You would always get so fucking excited when you got a letter back from him. Didn’t you guys stay in touch after her class too? Like past fourth grade?”
“Yeah, up until about middle school.” I said, nodding to myself.
“Yeah you two were close as hell. It was cute.” I laughed and I knew Carrie was smiling. Her and I have been friends for god knows how long, so I could call out what she was doing at any given moment. “So when do you start the new job?”
“Next Monday.” I said.
“You get a whole week to settle in before you start?”
“Yup…I got to watch football all day today and I have the rest of this week, next Sunday, and then I start the day after.”
“Don’t go to any bars and get too drunk next Sunday! You wouldn’t want to show up at your first day of work drunk!”
“I’m only eighteen, Carrie!”
“There’s gotta be bars there that sell to under-aged people. It’s fucking New York.”
“Yeah…you have a point.” I said, nodding to myself again.
“Don’t I always?” I laughed and looked down at my empty ice-cream bowl.
“Well, I need to get going. I have some stuff to do tomorrow to prepare for my first day next Monday.”
“Alright, sounds good. Now remember, just because you moved doesn’t mean you lose contact with me, got it?”
“I got it.”
“Good; don’t be a stranger. And as soon as I figure out this college shit, expect me to be moving in with you miss, I’m going to get a two bedroom apartment in case I find a roommate. Bitch, I’m your damn roommate!” I laughed again, this time almost to the point of tears.
“Okay Carrie; I’ll remember that.”
“Please do. Goodnight love.”
“Goodnight.” I hung up the phone and brought my bowl to the sink before heading off to bed and passing out.
The next morning after I had finished shopping for work clothes, I wandered around, exploring for a little bit before heading back to my apartment. It was kind of lonely without your parents yelling and your brothers yelling back at them all the time. So I ended up right back on my couch watching TV. My eyes however, kept wandering back to the boxes where my mom kept my old pen pal letters with Harry stored away.
About an hour later, I finally gave in and pulled one out with his address on it, hoping it was still his address and decided to write him a letter.
Hello. I’m not sure you remember me, but years ago we were pen pals. I think your teacher was Miss. Smith and mine was Miss. Coly. My mom had just dug up these old boxes when I moved and I got curious and decided to go through them and found our letters back and forth to each other.
I know this is way out of the blue but I was just curious to see how you were doing.
Hope you have a nice day.
I re-read the letter probably about fifty times before I finally sighed, put it in an envelope, wrote his address on it, my return address on it, and brought it to the lobby where the mail lady would take care of it.
I would be shocked if he even got it. The odds of him still living in that house were so slim but…at least I got that out of my system. I was able to move on with my day of being a lazy fuck and not having my mind continually wander back to that damn box of letters.