He wiped a tear that was about to roll down his wrinkled cheek. Ryan was browsing through the contents of an old box that had been found buried in the corner of the attic. Phillip the youngest of his grandson had found it, when he was looking for his pet white mouse that had escaped earlier in the morning. Ryan had been transported to his young high schools days through that box.
An old tattered letter lay in his hands, it’s edges torn and a little moist from his tears. The letter had been written in a haste and left incomplete. Ryan went back to his room with the letter still clutched in his quivering hand. Picking up his phone and dialed her number. Engaged- good he thought to himself, it meant the number was still in use. He tried again after some time.This time it rang, and was answered by a calm sweet voice. Sherry, was pleasantly surprised to get Ryan’s call after so many years. A time was quickly fixed with coffee, cookies and old stories of innocence and youth on the agenda.
Sherry Mathews and Ryan Paul had been classmates in high school before becoming pen pals for a brief period. Sherry the bolder one had initiated it with a single lined note and Ryan had followed. Long phone conversations, long letters had made innocent friendship to bloom. The letters were hand delivered. A faithful few friends knew of the special bond between them. Ryan always spoke of his so called “love” in his letters and feared this bond would breach the false castle of love he had built. High school romances were this, castles built in the air, thought Ryan now. Ryan ended it abruptly, the barrage of emotions that had flown on paper. Her 3 paged emotions against his half paged immaturity. Sherry had been visibly hurt and upset. Fearing her letters would be discovered, she handed over all the letters to Ryan who out of the same fear, one day burned all of them. The smoke from them, now burned his eyes.
Ryan happily married, with 2 grand children, Sherry, happily married with 1 grand daughter, sipped coffee and laughed about the times they had, the letters and memories they had lost and walked back to their separate lives with Sherry clutching a moist piece of paper in her hand…