OKAY, this is not magic-related in any way, shape, or form, but it's an exhibition of my other passion for writing. After all, this is yet another way of channeling creativity. Typically, I write horror shorts, or something revolving around a morbidly disturbing topic. This one isn't horror at all... rather, it's quite contradictory of my usual writing style as this piece is much more sensitive (to an almost embarrassing extent), honest, and dramatic. It in no way reflects my personality or anything in my life, nor my mentality. With that in mind, please enjoy (and comment on!) this story. I'd love to hear your thoughs on this. DEAR, SWEET JEN By Michael Kras “My dear, sweet Jen. How have you been?” I stopped after that. For some strange reason, I could think of nothing else to add at that moment. A walk would surely clear my head. It had been a while since I had seen my dear, sweet Jen… almost a year. I haven’t tried to contact her until now, and I can’t think of a single thing to say. It’s bizarre… I have SO MUCH to say, but can’t get anything out. Funny how things can work that way sometimes. Rain was pouring down in a light drizzle that night. Although it was thin, like a mist, it was abundant and I was quite damp within minutes. I was freezing cold, but that was the last thing on my mind… all I could think about was my dear, sweet Jen. I had so much to say but no way to say it. So much frustration over my dear, sweet Jen. The walk helped, but the constancy of speeding cars, headlights aglow and motors humming, was too much distraction. I walked back to my apartment. “My dear, sweet Jen. How have you been? I miss you so much and do not go a day without thinking of you. I was once complete, you made me complete… but not anymore.” Again, I blanked. I sat at my small kitchen table in the back corner of my apartment, the only light coming from a small overhead light that shone a gentle yellow glow atop my notebook. I can remember the last time I felt truly happy… when I married my dear, sweet Jen. She looked so beautiful, walking toward me down the aisle. It was a moment of true bliss, a moment where I could completely forget my wedding stresses and just be in the moment. I even forgot my own name. She stood in front me, gazing into my eyes… I gazed back. Her eyes said more to me than her words ever could. It was a beautiful, blissful, unbreakable trance. I laugh thinking about our “I do’s” because I couldn’t get any words out. I managed a “yeah”. I remember tearing up right then and there, looking at my dear, sweet Jen. She teared up too. Memories. “My dear sweet Jen. How have you been? I miss you so much and do not go a day without thinking of you. I was once complete, you made me complete… but not anymore. My love for you has never gone… I adore you as much as they day we met.” What a day that was. Jen wouldn’t have given me so much as a bit of eye contact in the halls of our high school. Naïve, and foolish, I thought she was playing hard-to-get. Such self-assurances were a good distraction from reality… she didn’t even know who I was. But that one day was special. I admired Jen from afar as she walked down the hall in front of me just after school. We were the only two people there… and even then she didn’t notice I existed. I kept my distance, but never once looked away from her as she walked. Even from behind, she was beautiful. Then it happened. Jen didn’t even see the paper on the floor. She stepped carelessly on it, slipped on it, and crashed onto the hard beige tile of the hallway floor. Panicked, I ran over to Jen, asking if she was okay. I helped her stand, just barely… she has twisted her ankle, pretty badly too. And there we went, arm in arm, down the rest of the hall and to the office where we called her parents. Those two minutes, pacing ourselves through the rows of lockers, was one of the warmest and most memorable moments of my life. I introduced myself, and she did the same. Holding her, comforting her, there was nothing I would have rather been doing. That’s when we finally met… a day that remains more vivid than any other day in my life. “My dear, sweet Jen. How have you been? I miss you so much and do not go a day without thinking of you. I was once complete, you made me complete… but not anymore. My love for you has never gone… I adore you as much as they day we met. Remember that day? That was when we both felt it… the spark. And you took that away. You left. How could you leave me that day? Why then? Why EVER?” Tears stain my stationery as I think back to the one life-changing day. A day I couldn’t forget despite how desperately I want to. Hell, I can’t even remember why it happened or how it happened. Jen said she never wanted to see me again. We’d been screaming at each other for an hour… I wish I could remember why. Our eyes were red, our faces stained and dry, our voices fading. I’ve never been in so much pain… pain from no physical infliction. I couldn’t think straight anymore, and I threw a glass directly my dear, sweet Jen. The moment it slipped from my grasp, I regretted it. Jen buckled to her knees, sobbing and staring at me with a desperate look in her eyes… sad puppy eyes, glistening in light, showing brutal honesty and pain. Her eyes said more to me than her words ever could have. She loved me, but no longer wanted to. It was the first time my dear, sweet Jen’s heart had ever been broken… mine too. It was the first time I had ever hurt my dear, sweet Jen, and I cry every time I think about it. My dear, sweet Jen walked out the door, got into her car, and drove away. I stood, leaning against the doorway, sobbing. She was sobbing too. I couldn’t take it. I had to go after my dear, sweet Jen. I ran to my car, I could barely see. The engine nearly startled me as it came to a roaring start. I drove off, in the same direction as my dear, sweet Jen had gone just moments before. I’d lost her… her car, nowhere in sight. I twisted through the streets, trying to find my dear sweet Jen. I listened, into the distance, desperately trying to hear her cries in sheer futility. I never heard sobs, none other than my own. I also heard the sirens, in the distance. I leapt out of my car, and ran… ran for my dear, sweet Jen… how far away was she? Running for her seemed to take an eternity, and probably did. I turned the corner of the street after running for what felt like mile and miles, stopping dead in my tracks right then and there. The ambulance was driving off, carrying her away… carrying my dear, sweet Jen away. She had got her wish… she’d never see me again. “My dear, sweet Jen. How have you been? I miss you so much and do not go a day without thinking of you. I was once complete, you made me complete… but not anymore. My love for you has never gone… I adore you as much as they day we met. Remember that day? That was when we both felt it… the spark. And you took that away. You left. How could you leave me that day? Why then? Why EVER? I want you to know, my dear, sweet Jen, that I’m so regretful of what I said and did to you before you left me. We both left each other heartbroken, something neither of us wanted. I’m so sorry my dear, sweet Jen. I’ll always love you so much.” I found an envelope, marked it with her first name, and tied it to the end of the balloon. The balloon, soft and white, which I had bought personally for my dear, sweet Jen, held the letter tightly. It was time to take another walk. I stepped outside, walking gently through the park. I stopped, standing still, and looked up into the sky. I almost expected to see her there, my dear, sweet Jen glancing down at me. I let go of the balloon string, and it soared upward immediately, carrying my soul with it up into the skies. I know she’ll get it soon, my dear, sweet Jen.