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*cue Aaliyah’s Four Page Letter* Yo, turn my music up…

Sometimes a letter can get you into trouble. Sometimes it can make you some unlikely friends, or reveal “close enemies.” Sometimes they offer closure. And sometimes, they just confuse you even more.

I’ve never had a problem expressing myself with the written word, but I didn’t have the best handwriting, or the guts to give a letter to a guy I liked. Enter one of the oddest friendships of my life, a misunderstanding, and a career of playing cupid.

I was in the sixth grade when I’d finally decided to send a letter to a boy I liked (you all remember HIM, don’t you? No? OK, a link will be here later :-)). I approached a girl in my class, China*, to write it because she had really pretty handwriting. So with a passed note contracting the writing of a love letter, a friendship was born.

China and I wrote letters for each other all the time. It was mostly me ghostwriting her romantic endeavours. But that initial letter, the one she wrote for me, was important to me. I gave it to my “cousin,” a much beloved male friend, to deliver, as he played football with the crush. To this day, I have no idea what happened to that letter, but I’m almost certain it never reached the guy. I wrote once that it was probably on my cousin’s bedroom floor under a jock strap or something. When I told him who the letter was for, all he said was, “that cat?” (or the late ’90s equivalent) So I became more direct and sent it to the boy in question’s house.

*Pause*

OK, let me be clear here: I am not a stalker. I didn’t stalk this boy to his house. He lived across the street from me for a couple years, so I knew the address. *Ahem*

I sent the note through the mail the week that I was talking to Punch ( the guy with the “stuff” in the refrigerator…yeah), but I forgot about it in all of the stir that was the whole Punch situation.

I ended up writing a letter for Punch’s cousin, Nicole*, to one of my crushes. This boy was two years older than us. I had actually talked to him–a lot. We shared seats on the bus. I ended up giving him the letter that I wrote for him, which included the poem I wrote for him, in the seat where I always sat next to him. Anyone who knows anything about writing knows that for a conversational piece, it can be pretty easy to tell who wrote it if you aren’t trying to hide it. So when I performed a very different poem for his eighth grade graduation, though it was about something completely different, it wasn’t difficult for him to tell it was from me.

Still he tracked down Nicole in our math class on one of those lazy days at the end of the year where the teachers aren’t teaching (and our regular teacher was out because of chemotherapy for cancer) to tell her how he felt about the letter.

To imagine, finally getting an answer to a letter I wrote to someone I liked in person, and it wasn’t to me at all. He went on about how he loved it, especially the poem. You would think that would cure me from ghostwriting love letters. The fact that my original missives to my original crush were never responded to should have stopped me from writing love letters as well. You would think…

To be continued…