Keri’s last chapter

silouhet of profile of woman

Keri’s last chapter…. Or at least  an experiment, starting from the end and going forward….

After reconnecting, Keri was wary. But slowly let down her guard. Though there was never an innocent place for them to land. They said  everything and more. All the things that they ever wanted to say after a lifetime of not being able to.  It was almost like going under water and gasping for air as they hit the surface, taking a breath and going under over and over again. Trying not to respond.  Not wanting to hurt anyone. Weaning themselves, from the connection.  Most of their contact was through sporadic writing.  It was hard to stop.  A year would go by and then one or the other would break the hiatus with a bit of news. His dad died, his wife died, Keri’s friend died, there was always something, always a reason to reach out to the other, and maybe always would be, until God forbid, one of them died.

Keri knew now, that  she’d been deeply in love with the boy,  at least as much as a young girl could be, and recently had come to terms with the fact that her love for Jack the man, seemed to be convoluted with all the memories of Jack the boy.

Though through the intensity of their exchange her heart seemed to explode, Saying things she was afraid to say before but having nothing to lose now. It was empowering and in the beginning she was ruthless. Jack had no idea how crystal clear her memories would be. He’d found her first. From what he could tell, it was apparent that she was married with a family. He told himself that he was going to just ask for forgiveness and move on. Nothing more. But she surprised him by letting him into her life a little more than he’d hoped for. At first the exchange was very guarded and it pained him to know that she feared him. But slowly she began to share memories and he told her that “this time” IT would be about her, that he could take it.

For several months their exchange was lost in a fantasy, when they talked or wrote, they both imagined the younger versions of one another. It was hard to grasp the reality of what their relationship had become. Keri worked non-stop on her book the first year after they’d stopped the contact. And then, something just died inside of her. The need to write about it seemed to lessen. The last time she’d heard his voice gave her a sad panicked feeling, much like when she was a girl, trying to break up with the boy she’d loved so much. In a time she felt that there’d been no place to run.

Now she felt unsettled. Needing  a place to land to write and remember. And so she wrote….

computer2

Why haven’t I learned to trust my gut? My first punch of intuition? Why didn’t I run like the wind like I did the last time we saw each other when I was so much younger and afraid of you? Did you know that  I hid from you? That I hated you? And yet I loved you, she typed  in agony. She stopped suddenly and clicked print. And read. She printed another and another page and crossed things out and added things and all at once she was inspired and for the first time began really writing.

siloette of writer standing up

To Not Know Where You Went…

Some days I can wake up and…

you won’t be the first thing on my mind

crying girll 

But slowly, as my day begins,

you are there as my heart rewinds

peeking through the front door

I still can’t go a whole day,

but now I can go several hours,

without my heart feeling  as if it’s been

scraped upon the ground

sad woman2

I don’t look for you as I once did,

But I don’t need to, you’re always there

lonely window

Though I don’t wander through your life anymore

It’s not because I don’t care.

I just had to find my way back to my life now

to find a way to let go somehow….

phone message2

Sometimes it’s harder to catch my breath

as your memory fills my head like a scent

And other times it is like a relief

just to not know where you went.

Keri…

 letting go poem2

#60

Dear Journal,

When Jack and I broke up, I thought I was going to stop needing you. But I think I need you more than ever now. I want to remember everything so I don’t slip  and go back to my old ways and give in one more time. Just because I still really want to believe in all of his promises. He has not stopped trying to talk to me. I am so tired of finding him at my work or outside of my neighborhood.

So much has happened. I did go back. But not the way that you might think. I went back to get my things when I knew Jack would not be home. I told him that I was going to come and pick up my stuff when he would be at work and would leave my key. He told me to keep it and I told him I that I had no reason to keep it and really didn’t want it. I got there and tried to get everything fast. I knew he was at work and he promised not to show up. But I never know with him. All of my stuff was neatly piled in the living room waiting for me. I could still  picture it all over the lawn and it helped me to stay strong and not feel sad. Though…  It was a strange hollow feeling knowing that it would be the last time that I would ever be using “my key” to walk through that door again.

screen door

When I was walking back from the last trip, Jess called out from his screen door and he and Louise came out on their porch and called me over,  I went through their gate and they hugged me really tight. I sat on their porch with them and they told me that they knew everything. I wondered if Jack told them and then I realized that they’d heard and I was embarrassed. So embarrassed. I told them about Switzer and they looked sorry for me and then told me that they would be glad to adopt him. I looked up and asked “Really?” Oh, I was so happy, I started crying and began telling them the whole story. I’d never told anyone everything. Even recently,  just bits and pieces. But I sat there and shared about the time on the sailboat and the time we went soaring and well, I guess they witnessed the New Year’s scene firsthand. They were so great. They told me that they were proud of me and how strong I was. They told me that they were “my” friends and anything that they could do, they would. I gave them  my parent’s  phone number since they only had the one from next door. Louise told me that I could still house sit  since Jack was leaving. I guess looked pretty surprised when they told me that he was moving out.

I guess that I looked a little taken aback finding out that he was moving out. I am not sure why I cared. But I did. They were very apologetic, though obviously thought that I knew. “That was not a great way for you to find out.” Louise said. But I said it was okay and asked what they knew.  They told me that the little house was already rented out or that actually our Landlord’s daughter was moving in.  Jess said that the other day Jack told him that he was moving to Cerritos for a new job offer. I thought that was weird since Buena Park,  is right next to Cerritos and was hoping that he wasn’t moving to be near my work.  But I didn’t mention anything. I guess I still wanted to believe that he wouldn’t do anything that crazy. I told them that I’d  be over to bring Switzer by later that afternoon before Jack got home from work and they said Mopsy would be happy to have the company.

As I stood at the front door I looked back and surveyed the little house that once held so many dreams and now just  held so many memories for me.  I slipped my ring out of my pocket and left it on the table in the entry way along with the key and noticed a small box sitting by the door where all my stuff had been. It was a little set aside so I almost missed it.  It held all of Annie’s letters, I thought Jack threw them away in a fit of rage. But he hadn’t. They were all neatly placed in the box with the ribbon carefully re-tied around them. I picked them up and walked out the door.

 

 

#51 The Calm Before The Storm

 

Dear Journal,

I think it must be that I have never had someone I loved die before. Or maybe I just don’t know what to do with the feelings of guilt that I feel. I want to ask Jack if he blames me for not letting him go see his mom when she called. I want to talk about it with him but I don’t want to make him talk about it if he doesn’t want to because after all, it has been months now. But I just can’t seem to move on inside and I still feel like I want to cry all the time.. When I wake up, I sometimes forget at first what has happened, and then I remember. I can’t stop remembering. My mom even said that maybe I need to see someone. I told her no way! That I was okay. That I would write it out. So here I am again. You know, maybe I should start praying more. I feel like this journal thing is kind of like talking to God in a way.

writingggg

I spend the night at Jack’s house a lot. I say I’m at a friend’s and they don’t ask anymore. I think they know that I’m with Jack. I’m not proud of it. The lying that is. Jack says it’s not lying. But who am I trying to fool?  Since his mom has died, everything has changed.  His house is ours  except that we  just aren’t married so I still have my bedroom at home and when summer is over I will have to go home again and sleep in my own room. But for now it is nice. We can do anything we want, anytime we want. It is so much better than sneaking around at his dad’s or at my house after my parent’s have gone to bed.  I have all my stuff, or a lot of  it at his house. Jack said that I am using him to play house and I told him that he is using me to have his way with me. He laughed and thought I was trying to be cute. I wasn’t.

  making out on top of bed

Larry kept coming around a lot when he knew Jack wouldn’t be home. I finally told Jack but he didn’t seem bothered by it. Funny, I may be young but I am not stupid. Larry is very good-looking. Did I mention that? I mean Disney Movie  Prince cute. And he knows it.  Much cuter than Jack if you liked that kind of thing. But I am attracted to the personality more than anything first and hitting on a friend’s girlfriend is not attractive to me.  I just find it strange that Jack has  been so jealous about every other guy that was doing nothing and yet when it is happening right in front of his face, he doesn’t seem to care.

Larry look alike

I introduced Larry to my friend Lindsay and they have been dating for a while now but Larry’s made it clear when they are not around that he wishes we were together. We hung out at the beach together a few weeks ago and in the waves, he was all over me. I am not sure how Jack missed it.

ocean playing

 

#49

Dear Journal,

It has been a while since I last wrote in you. And it is hard to believe that it is almost summer again! I got Jack a little kitten for Easter. When I was doing our laundry at the laundromat around the corner a little girl and her dad had a box out front with four kittens in them. There was one boy left so I got him and named him Schweitzer after the kind of Sail Plane that Jack has.

kittennn

Jack loves him and calls him Schwites. He is a funny little kitty and sometimes it seems as if he is trying to make us laugh. Jack let me invite Jess and Louise over for strawberry shortcake and it was a nice evening so we served it out on the patio. Jack took Jess into his shed to show him his workshop while Louise and I chatted. It was a nice night and as I was doing the dishes Jack said something about using HIM to play house. I was so hurt I just stood their washing dishes crying. I don’t even think he knew he’d hurt my feelings cuz later he grabbed my hand and said “lets take a walk” and everything was okay. We still haven’t set a date and it’s been almost six months since he proposed. I think that he really just wanted to make sure that I was not going anywhere but maybe he doesn’t really want to get married.

I had Finals last week and Jack was so proud of me. Even my dad joked about how he was glad that he wasn’t still paying me for my As! I now have a 3.8 average and I am so proud. I think that my dad thinks that Jack is good for me in that way because I never really got interested in school except for writing and my dental assisting classes helped boost up my GPA. Though that was all it was good for since I obviously have not done much with dental assisting.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the summer. The Center is trying to talk me into going to camp again but Jack does not want me to go at all this year. Everyone at the school goes on unemployment but they pay $100 for the week at camp so I told him I wanted to go and he told me that he’d pay me $100 not to. I think he is joking but he sounded kind of serious. He really likes to mess around and so do I but he seems to need it and in a way I am feeling a little used. I sometimes feel that maybe he would have set the date if I’d not given in to so much so fast. He is always jumping all over me and touching me and I love it because I love him but it bothers me sometimes that he doesn’t like me to say no.

couples kissing on bed

Anyway, Jack said I should work on my modeling and stay home and take care of him. (What do you suppose that means?) He is doing well at work. Did I tell you that Jack got promoted and switched to the day shift at work?  My dad was pretty impressed because I know he had nothing to do with it and Jack got a raise all on his own merits.

Lori is coming home for the summer and a few of my other friends have been asking me to do things again so I am glad that I will have my days free for them. They have been kind of annoyed that Jack consumed so much of my time the last couple years. But I was going to school and working and barely saw Jack as it was so it really was my choice and not his fault like they seem to make it out to be. But I think that this may be my last year to just be a kid and I am going to take it and enjoy it.

 

#46 Happy New Year’s!

traffic at night

Dear Journal,

I am so excited!!!!!

Jack was so cute. On New Year’s Eve, he told me to bring blankets and dress warm and  that he just wanted to take a drive up North and look at the stars. He said that when we got up there we would put  the top down even though it was freezing that night.  His friend Larry  invited us to a party that sounded like it might have been actually a little more fun than driving up to some cold deserted place  but I was happy to be with Jack and go where ever he wanted to go. In the end, even though he got time off, he was called into work to fix a printer problem at the last minute. So I waited in the car for about a half an hour and we didn’t even get on the freeway till  around nine.

car talk

We bundled  up and drove past the grapevine and stopped at the top of the hill at a place called Fort Tejon. I didn’t get and still am not sure what it was about Fort Tejon that made it so special,  but I think it might have been just far enough away from the city lights where we could look up and see the stars. We laid our seats back and stared up. The sky was filled with clusters of stars and we just talked about everything. Something we hadn’t done for a long time.

starry sky

 My dad managed to get him a week off with pay, thinking that he could relax and figure things out with his mom. I think that touched Jack and he really was much more relaxed than I’d seen him in  a long time.  As we lay there, Jack started telling me how much he loved me and couldn’t imagine living through this last year without me and then he sat up and reached into the glove compartment, pulling me up with him…

convertable engagement

and said ; ” I can’t imagine living  the rest  of my life without you.” then  handed me a velvet box with a beautiful diamond ring in it and asked, “Will you marry me Keri?” It was so romantic!!!!!!   Oh yeah, I said Yes!

engagement pics of rings and things

The ring was so beautiful. I don’t think it was one that I tried on. I really did not expect it at all. He slipped the ring on my finger and my mind started spinning.

engaged3

 

Even though it was past midnight, I wanted to go right home and tell everyone, especially my parents. I chattered all the way home about nothing that I can remember as I admired my ring that sparkled in the moonlight. We laughed and talked and I looked out the window and saw a young girl with a sad face look back at me. She looked so broken and I wondered what was happening in her life to make her look that way and  stopped to say a prayer for her because I knew too well how she felt.

DRIVING

Remembering how once I was the one  watching everyone else be happy and  thought… EVERYTHING is going to be okay now. I was so happy. I  looked over and said, “Jack, lets go wake your mom up right now and tell her!” I just knew she’d be happy for us. Jack seemed surprised but happy that I wanted to tell his mom but he said “let her sleep, there will be time.”

After Jack dropped me off,  I ran in and up the stairs and woke up my parents showing them my ring. They were  both sweet.  But my mom was obviously not happy. I was so disappointed. Later, as I lay in bed   I thought about when my mom said. “There’s no hurry right?” I wanted someone to be happy for us. I considered calling Liz. I mean didn’t she call us enough times after midnight? But I didn’t want to ruin the surprise for Jack so I waited till we could tell her together. And finally fell asleep.

 

 

 

 

 

#45 New Year’s Eve

Sorry, I have been away for a while. This has been pretty exhausting to have to go back and remember, almost like walking through all the old doors. Thank you for following and commenting… it is motivating me to finish!

Dear Journal,

fireplace beanbag under Christmast tree

My dad was not too happy when he came down  the next morning and found Jack and I asleep in the living room together. Though he knows I’m at Jack’s a lot now, I know he just doesn’t want us to throw it in his face in his own house. So when I heard him get up, I slipped away and caught him walking out the door on his way to work. He saw that I was still wearing my long dress I’d been wearing the day before and I could tell that at first he looked upset and then confused.  But after I told him what had transpired. He sat down in his suit on the front porch step with me and listened. Then he told me to run up and tell my mom before Jack woke up because he didn’t want her to get upset  in front of Jack. Sometimes my dad just blows me away by being sooo great and understanding!

french toast

The rest of the day I was pretty proud of my parents. My dad was right. I was glad I’d told my mom right away. I guess my dad had mentioned before he went downstairs that he’d thought Jack had stayed over and they both weren’t happy about it. But my mom was just as great about it as my dad and made us french toast and was so sweet to Jack. I kind of think maybe I should have told them more about Jack’s childhood because it seemed to really touch them. My dad even called a couple hours later and told Jack that he’d arranged a few days off for him so he didn’t have to go in that night or the rest of the week until January 2nd!

Jack had been prepared for the worst reaction from my parents I think. I told him last night that I’d explain to them but he’d been worried. Later he told me that he couldn’t believe how wonderful they were and I just couldn’t bring myself to tell him that most parents would have understood. It really has begun to hit me that he has never really ever experienced what normal parents are supposed to be like.

It didn’t take long. Liz has been calling poor Jack none stop. And my mom has even talked to her a few times. I finally put my foot down and told him that he needs to let her think about it a while longer and then we need to figure out a place for her to go get treatment. Not just a hospital with a sitter after the fact but some place to help her really get better.

catfood in cupboard

She keeps calling saying that her cat, Bootsie needs cat food and I told Jack that her cupboard was filled when we’d helped her move in a few weeks earlier,  I lined her cupboards myself and told him that there was absolutely no way she was OUT!  I think that in the past, Jack has never had anyone to help keep him strong. His mom has selfishly called him home from two different schools twice in the middle of semesters and totally messed his education up. I told him ENOUGH and that if he let her yank him around again, I wouldn’t be there to watch it. He has stayed strong so far.

#40 Tinsel and Tears

Christmas tree on top of car

Dear Journal,

Mrs. Walker would not be happy with the way I am keeping up with you! I am so sorry that I am doing catch up again.

So lets see…. How to catch you up….

Oh yes! You should see our little house! It is so cute! Jack put up Christmas light right after Thanksgiving and we got the perfect little tree for our front bay window! Speaking of…. While we were driving down the street with the tree tied to the top of our car this guy in a big truck kept flashing his lights at us. At first Jack thought that maybe the tree was not tied right and was falling off,  so he pulled over and come to find out it was Larry, Jack’s friend from High School who lives behind the gates in Rolling Hills now. He followed us home and helped Jack bring the tree inside and then he invites us to his house and we followed him there and he gave us this amazing tour. His house was so big we had to use a golf cart to see it all! He has the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen. He kind of looks like one of those Prince’s in the Disney movies!

When we were riding around, I sat in the middle of Jack and Larry and Larry put his arm around me. Jack didn’t  even seem to notice. He usually is so jealous! Anyway, I didn’t like it. It really bothered me.  Maybeeee,  because I was worried that Jack would be upset but then it bothered me that Jack didn’t seem to even notice or care that Larry was kind of all over me. (He has since come over a few times when Jack hasn’t been there which I will save to tell you about  on another day!)

You should see his house. He lives  in the pool house which is twice as big as our house! They have a maid’s quarters in the main house which is also bigger than our house! Along with tennis courts horse stables and like I said a pool! Crazy!

Christmas tree branches

 

Later that week, I kept bugging Jack to go with me to buy ornaments. He just gave me money and told me to go buy “whatever” I wanted while he took Larry soaring. I was so hurt. We only had one day off together last weekend. At least he put the lights on the tree but I decorated it all by myself. I remember my mom doing that a lot and it made me so sad, I cried.  When Jack came home he raved about  how perfect it was, but I really had it “in my head” very differently. When he saw how upset I was he started tickling me and kissing me and we ended up making love under the Christmas tree with the fire going. But it still seems to me that he really didn’t understand why I was upset. At least he didn’t get upset back. Usually when I get mad at him he doesn’t know how to handle it and just gets offended and it starts a fight. So maybe things are changing a little.

kissing on the floor

The Thursday before Christmas Vacation started, Jack told me that he wanted to go Christmas shopping for his sister and his mom. They are talking again and his mom invited us over to her new apartment for Christmas dinner. So we will do Christmas Eve at my parent’s house and then Christmas morning at our house and then go over Christmas afternoon at Liz’s. Jack has been in such a good mood since he made these plans. I am so happy for him. We went shopping last weekend and got his mom this beautiful gold cross with a diamond chip in it and a Bible. And we also got Rachel a Bible. We had their names engraved on both of them. Jack also got his sister a sweater that I helped him pick out. I haven’t seen him this happy for a long time.

#33 Bruises

 

Dear Journal,

I don’t want to be writing this right now but I have a feeling that I need to have it written down somewhere so that I can look back and remember just what happened. I am still not sure what I am going to do about all this but for now I am just numb.

Jack has been working for his mom a few days a week and also at the computer operator job that my dad got him at night fulltime, and I have been working at the Speech And Languge Center  in Buena Park during the day and taking some  classes at college for Speech Therapy a few nights a week this Semester  and  and so we have not had a lot of time together. I always want to be with Jack first. And if I have a night off, I will surprise him and bring him dinner so we can spend time together.

This weekend Jack talked me into going Soaring. We hadn’t been for a while  I don’t feel that comfortable  flying Jack’s new plane and I really needed to study but I told him that I would go with him and wait while he went up, but that I needed to study for a test on Monday and didn’t want to fly. He seemed okay with that. But when I told him that I needed to change since I only had shorts on. He said that I looked just  fine in an impatient tone, so I grabbed my books and hopped in the car and we drove to Lake Elsinore. It was a beautiful day. Jack bought an orange Honda Civic with a sunroof when he started driving back and forth  to work at his mom’s company everyday to save  gas which is almost seventy cents a gallon now! I remember when I first started driving it was about half that! I’m so glad I have my little Fiat that gets over thrity miles per gallon.

Anyway, I could tell that he was in that kind of mood. He started rubbing the back of his his neck and  I reached over to massage it and he shrugged me off which hurt my feelings. So I just stared out the window and he turned on the radio. I started watching all the people driving by and saw that a lot of people were happy and talking and laughing and suddenly felt so lonely. I almost wished that I’d stayed home. I’d like to tell you that it got better but it only got much worse.

Jack had gone in with another pilot and  purchased a plane with him a few months earlier. He’d been so excited and I loved seeing him so happy.  It’s orange like his car and much lighter than  the heavy rental gliders the glideport provides. He really is a wonderful pilot and can stay up for two hours or more at a time unlike my twenty two minute record.  Like I said I am not comfortable flying it so I still have to fly the rentals but I am happy that it makes Jack happy and have no problem waiting for him whenever he wants to go. I mean I really don’t mind at all. I always bring an apple and visit my favorite horse “Pal” that stays on the property at the glider port and study and really do enjoy hanging out with him and brushing him.

Jack went into the office to pay for his tow and when he came out he  threw me his car keys so that I could sit in if I wanted to and then asked me to help him  roll his plane out to the chalk line where the tow plane picks up the gliders. I followed him out to where they have the plane stored and began helping unhook it with him. I felt the tension building even  before he picked up the tail and I lifted the wing. That is when he yelled at me that I was picking up or pushing the wing the wrong way. I’m not sure what happened but something in me broke. Maybe it was driving in a dead silent car for almost 2 hours or the way he was jerking around having a tantrum in his own head all day long or the ridiculing tone of voice that he used when he barked at me but I’d had it too. I swung around and just snapped and  asked him why he even wanted me here and said some other things I can’t remember and asked him if I made him so miserable why was he even with me. That did it. He told me to get in the car. No, he pretty much roared it.

I watched as he hooked his plane back up without my help and then braced myself for the ride home.  He backed out of the parking lot and then screeched out of the glider port as I ducked my head trying to avoid  any eye contact since we both knew everyone. I could still felt the apple for Pal in my pocket as he started driving about 85 miles an hour. I told him to let me out. I tried to have absolutely no emotion. He looked at me and  I saw someone else in his eyes as he balled up his fist and brought it down hard on my thigh. I was shocked and gasped as the pain made me nauseous. And then the blows came, over and over and over and over again while driving close to ninety miles an hour. Raging about how he couldn’t catch a break and how he had two jobs and all he wanted was one day of peace on his only day off and was that too much to ask? He’d always been the one to yell. I’d never even raised my voice before. But as I watched his fist land another blow on my already purple leg.  Finally I’d had enough and  screamed STOP! Until I had no more voice.

He pulled over on the side of the freeway and got out of the car and threw me the keys as they landed on passenger floor and without looking at me said; you drive and instead of going to the other side and getting in, just started walking. I just sat there. Numb. I’d yelled so loud I felt as if my throat was bleeding. But it got him to stop.  I sat there in my shorts and halter top and tried to ignore my throbbing leg.  I began coughing and crying and trying to forget what happened.  I’m not sure how long I sat there like that and then finally I limped around to the driver’s side of the car put the key in the igniton and put the car in first and merged into the traffic and stayed in the slow lane all the way home and just drove. I never saw Jack or knew where he might have gone and for the first time…. I didn’t care.

bruises

#32 The letters

old letters

 

 

Dear Journal,

Settling into our little house has been such fun. Though when we first rented the place we’d discussed possibly talking to our landlord about maybe leasing it with an option to buy. But Jack has since discovered that there is something not right about the foundation. Either it doesn’t have one all together or there’s something really wrong with it. All that I know is that when I serve our soup, it leans to one side! But it’s okay. We just laugh about it. Though Jack says he wouldn’t be laughing if we’d bought the place. But I do love it!

eating soup

There are these lovely built in dressers in each of the two bedrooms and in our bedroom, which must have been meant to be the masterbedroom it is  much more elaborately made, built right beneath the two windows facing the front of the house. It has two little cubby drawers on top of each side of the dresser that are darling. And as I was papering the drawers with liners I pulled them all the way out to make it easier to measure and  and I discovered these amazing letters tied up with a stained old pink satin ribbon.

letters tied with a pink ribbon

The post mark says that they were written in 1941 to 1944 and then they just abruptly stopped. It sounds as if they were from an older man and woman who’d been each other’s first loves and then bumped into each other years later. I can imagine them in my head and they have sent pictures back and forth but for the most part they are very discreet. From what I have gathered in what I have read so far, they both were married and raised families. It sounds as if he is free. His wife may have died. I am not sure yet. Maybe some of the later letters will say. But she sounds to still be married and not very happily. She sounds so sad and yet happy to have found him again.

 

forties pic hugging

 

I’ve been reading them to Jack and he thinks it is cute the way that I can’t help but cry when I read them, they just are so sad.  I made him promise that would never happen to us and that we would never end up like that and just lose touch. I cried when I made him promise. It was weird. I’d never felt that feeling of panick before and the crying just wasn’t tears. It was the sobbing, the I can’t catch my breath till I get a headache kind of crying. Jack was really sweet and just kept promising and rubbing my back and pushing back my hair from my face and telling me he promised. I have become very invested in their story and think about them a lot and wonder whatever happened. He never wrote a return address on the outside of his envelopes. I only have his letters to her and so I have to just guess what she might have said to him first. Though in the end of 1944 there are a few unmailed letters that she wrote.  They started…”My dearest C”  and all of “Cs” letters were addressed to Annie Madison at this VERY address! He’d start each letter… To my sweet little Annie and end each one, Love Always, C. I can’t help but wonder why she never sent those last letters.

 

WRITER BLACK AND WHITE

 

At first the letters sounded formal and happy to have found each other. C was on a business trip and Annie had just finished lunch with friends. They hugged because they talked about that hug a lot in later letters. And exchanged addresses. And then the letters began. There are 83 in all and I am only through 34 of them. Now as I read more, they are much less formal and beginning to sound like they have always loved each other. They have begun to stroll down memory lane and it is fun to follow them through memories of their first dates and kisses and I am trying to keep them all in order.

letters

 

I know that I could have sat down and read them all in one sitting but I wanted to make it a special thing between Jack and me. I like to wait until he is there so that I can read them to him too. He listens sweetly and tells me to wait for him before I read ahead though I’m not really sure he cares like I do. Though he does make a big point to tell me to wait for him. Probably because he knows that  I am so wound up inside about lost loves by the time I finish each letter that it makes me not want to take ours  for granted. Though I already told you that I jumped way ahead and read Annie’s last few letters and I’m not sorry that I did. It made me understand it all better and made me feel this weird connection with her.

reading letterssss