Last night, when I opened the mailbox, there was nice big envelope hidden within the flyers from the supermarket and the packs of coupons that I never open. It had a navy blue AirMail sticker on it and the stamp was from Australia. Along with the inimitable handwriting on the front, I knew almost immediately that my friend Z. had written me.
I bore my treasure up the stairs and ripped open the envelope eagerly. Another envelope, minty green in color fell out along with a note, written on lined notebook paper. I started to read the note, but got distracted by Victor who needed settling down after a long day at school. It took a while before I could get back to the letter. Finally though, I was able to finish Z.’s note – which, it turns out was written on a sheet of paper from one of the notebooks that she used eons ago when we were making up stories together as young teens.
The green envelope contained the first in what I hope will be a long string of missives for our letter-game, written from the perspective of a character who is the descendent of those other folks we made up and wrote about and drew almost 20 years ago now.
I cracked the green wax seal on the letter and dove right in, feeling as if no time had passed at all, and the letter had in fact been left in the big mailbox outside of our old house in Pennsylvania, to be replaced with my own for Z. to pick up later on. We traded off stories and notes and drawings like that for years. Z. would leave me something in the morning and I’d pick it up on my way to the bus to school, and I’d leave her something to find on her way home later in the afternoon.
Though we’ve both grown older and life has moved on, we both still love stories, coming up with them, creating worlds and pictures and maps. It’s good to be back into this game with her, even if there’ll probably be weeks between missives instead of hours or days, like there were back in the day.