This was inspired by Jeanann Verlee’s poem “40 Love Letters” which can be heard in several places on YouTube, including this one. I wrote my own brief letters with half a notion to turn them into a spoken word piece, and I still may do that. I also considered using names rather than initials, but I don’t think some of my readers are ready for that. Without further delay, twenty love letters.
J.R. – I loved your braces and your freckles and every celebratory high-five after each winning game of kickball.
C.M. – An attraction that I resent, and a bond that didn’t stay. Yet your family still keeps up with me.
K.M. – I was fourteen with no one else to bother but you. It may have become a trainwreck in the end, but I have to thank you for it all. You brought smiles to a girl with a breaking family.
T.S. – Post-trainwreck, you untied my hands. You were my first everything.
J.H. – In hindsight, we were always pretty experimental for one another. I almost want to pick it back up, but I can’t stand the thought of letting teenage heartbreak spill over into my twenties.
C.N. – You missed my sixteenth birthday, not that I celebrated.
A.K. – We stumbled through a few flirty conversations, but they were always in a language that neither one of us could ever master.
Z.S. – So maybe I still had feelings for your brother…
J.K. – Ah yes. The middle school crush that I’ll never live down.
B.C. – I do believe you’re my longest-lasting crush. By a long shot actually. It’s funny though because we haven’t spoken in ages, but our mothers still talk to each other about the two of us.
M.D. – I was fifteen, but apparently that was two years too late.
A.C. – All I care to remember is the secret nickname you gave me and the smiles we shared in NYC.
C.B. – You never knew it, but I spent quite some time wishing you were older.
L.K. – I was happy to be a twenty-something who was single and not looking, but then you walked into my work wearing camouflage and a cowboy hat. I didn’t stand a chance.
M.B. – You always cared more than you let on, but you were habitually late. I pretended not to care, but we were too similar that way.
S.D. – It started as a crush when I was eight. Now I’m twenty and you fall into my don’t go there category, but only because “us” is too close to reality and definitely off-limits.
A.B. – You always had a faith that I could never keep up with. I’m glad I didn’t ask you to stay.
B.E. – Second best hugger in the world and you could sweet talk me straight into hell.
R.P. – I was told we’d be good together, but I didn’t get a fair chance to see for myself.
J.U. – Like it or not, you’re the one I’ll always compare them to.