Today I happened to be looking at books in the thrift store when an envelope fell out from between two volumes on a shelf. It was addressed to “Alex” in flowing gold ink; inside was a commercial greeting card dated May 24, 2002 and inscribed,
Seems like we’ve come so far in such little time . . . indeed, who would’ve thought we’d be en route to graduate school? Wow! I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish . . . I’m especially proud of you and how you’ve developed since our early days at [a community college] . . . . undoubtedly, all our efforts have been worth every bit of energy vested . . . I love you so much! We’re still part of each others lives – do you have any idea how much you mean to me? Have you any idea how irreplaceable your “being” has become to me?
We’re off again, like before, together, to learn, to dream, to succeed . . . I too cannot imagine, could not imagine a better companion than you . . . Congratulations “my” Alex. I truly love you, Liz.
Inside the card was a liner, and within that a set of pages from different notepads, though all of them were assembled into a single letter. Each sheet seemed to be taken from a child’s cartoon-themed writing set. The letter itself follows.
Without a doubt, you have got to be the most wonderful, beautiful, kind, caring individual I have ever met! Actually, I worry about meeting someone half as extraordinary as you have been towards me. The letters you write to me—I know you love me my angel! You are my bestest friend in the whole, entire world! I love your smile and your touch; your humor is impeccable—I swear, no one has ever made me laugh harder than you and I love you more for that . . . our laughter helps me to forget so many of the negatives that come up in my life . . . no one has ever tried as hard to “make me feel better.” In so much that you do, I can see that I matter to you. I’ve never been as sure of anything else in my life as I am of you . . . I’m sorry if sometimes I make you feel like I take you for granted, I promise you that is not the case . . . how can I change that? How can I convince you of that? My mood was somber when I came across that part in your last letter . . . I’m so very sorry that I’ve made you feel that way forgive me . . . I don’t take you for granted Alex, I don’t mean to . . . I know I might lose you any day to anyone – someone else who will be able to see what a prize you are . . . I have loved you for as long as I can recall my angel and I don’t see that changing any time soon but I will tell you that I dread the day you tire of me.
You know, I still daydream about us, I wonder about how things between us could potentially be . . . I love you will all my heart but like I told you before, I’m apprehensive about expressing my feelings toward you because I’m oblivious as to what your next thought of me “might” be . . . I want to be perfect in your eyes—god knows I’m far from it—but in my lifetime you’re the only person who’s ever made me feel like I am perfect and worthy of every positive, beautiful occurrence that comes my way . . . you and I, we’ve been one from the inception of our venture, and although we may not have realized it immediately, what matters is that we did become aware of it and that, close to ten years later, we’re still “hanging in there” and I swear to you, that’s [the] strongest, realist [sic] friendship I have ever had over time . . . I love you “my Alex,” I can’t help it anymore . . . we’d be happy, I know it . . . and successful and rich (if we played our cards right) . . . we’d have happy, smart, energetic kids some really sarcastic, others really sensible and, of course, a mediator . . . we’d live a fairytale and everyone else would envy us because they weren’t us . . . we would have so much fun Alex, and we’d be in love, real love and nothing would come between us . . . nothing you and I couldn’t tackle together. There aren’t enough words to express how I feel about you, there don’t exist the words to describe how you’ve made me feel during the time I’ve known you . . . I feel like a broken record, like you might tire of my repetitive words but I haven’t found other words to describe my emotions . . . I will love you until the end of my time, I will appreciate you eternally and I promise to be the very best friend anyone could possibly have, if you allow me be . . . I can make you happy, Alex, you’ve already made me happy . . . there is no doubt in my mind that, together, “We” can be happy . . .
I love you, Liz
Inside the envelope was a postal return card addressed to Alex, who apparently had applied for federal student aid in the same year as the letter from his girlfriend.
One wonders what became of the two of them—or what Alex’s response might have been.