I stand and stare at the envelope on the front porch. It’s just lying there, white and plain, with the words, “For Livvie,” written on them.
I haven’t forgotten – it’s Valentine’s day. A boy just left from my porch.
He was really hot, dark hair and all, and he smiled at me and thrust the envelope at me, saying, “Happy Valentines Day” but I just stared at it and then at him for so long that he shrugged, placed it neatly on the porch, kissed my forehead, and sauntered away.
Now, my heart does a weird sort of somersault in my chest that my body would never have been able to do in real life, and I’m suddenly excited. I’ve never gotten a love letter in my life – not even when I was a kid.
I continue to stare at it, and suddenly the wind picks up and the envelope flutters, and my heart races and I jerk down and pick it up swiftly before it could get carried away into the air. It smells of coffee and cigarettes, and I’m wary as I close the door and just stand there with it in my hands, which are now shaking.
Honestly, I’m not usually such a drama queen. This could very well be a prank. I didn’t even know the boy. My head tries to reason with my heart, but to no avail. I try to brace myself as I tear it open with a sudden resolve, and a piece of notebook paper is suddenly in my hand, the envelope forgotten on the floor, now.
This is what it says:
Have you ever seen the sun set? It’s a beautiful sight – the colors blend into each other and simultaneously refract, and the sky is orange, then red, then, pink, and as the sun slowly falls and dips beneath the horizon, for a minute, just a minute, everything is at a stand still.
At least, that’s how I feel. I’ve seen the sunset. But I’ve also seen you Livvie. And let me tell you, the sun set hardly stands a chance. It might be a beautiful sight. But you?
I see you, even though I bet you’ve never noticed me. You dark green eyes are always sparkling, always bubbling, and you’re always smiling, even when you’re frustrated or agitated.
I’ve seen you afraid, Livvie. And yet, you’re still beautiful.
In the words of Shakespeare, parting is such sweet sorrow, but I swear to you, if there is anyone who loves you more than anything else on earth, it’s me. Don’t forget me Livvie. You’re my sunshine.
I stare at it for so long without blinking that my eyes start watering, so I carefully fold it and clutch it tight. Who is this boy? Who wrote something so beautiful for me?
I don’t tell anyone about it – I don’t know why, but I want to keep it to myself for now. Don’t forget me, it said. Which means I must know him. From somewhere. Rafe – but I don’t know anyone named Rafe.
It haunts my dreams, this letter. And in between my dreams, comes a memory, so, so faint, it’s barely there at all, but my mind grasps it’s threads and pulls them close, and then I’m back at the amusement park I went to six months back.
I’m laughing with with my sister and her boyfriend, climbing onto the Ferris wheel, when I realize that only two people can sit in one seat. My sister and her boyfriend sit together, promising me another ride.
I feel sad, but then a deep voice startles me from behind.
“Do you mind if I sit with you?”
I turn around and find myself face to face with the prettiest boy I’ve ever seen – blue eyes, dark brown hair, a little stubble on his jaw, full lips, and lashes I would’ve liked to cut off and paste on top of my own eyelids.
“I don’t have a partner,” he says apologetically. “Can I sit next to you?”
My head nods on autopilot, and suddenly I’m seated next to this gorgeous boy.
“I’m Rafe,” he says to me, grinning. I smile back. “My friends call me Livvie,” I say.
And then the Ferris wheel starts, and we’re up really high, looking down at the rest of the crowd.
But then I hear a creaking sound, a flash, the world tilting, and I’m falling…falling slowly and then suddenly a hand grasps my shoulders and I hear a horrible sound of metal connecting with flesh and I’m thrown onto the hard gravel, the sound of metal crunching something echoing in my ears, and I see his face.
Rafe’s face – disfigured and broken and dead. The Ferris wheel rolling over his body, mangling it, crushing it.
I gasp as I sit up in bed, my hair matted to my forehead, my heavy breaths the only sound in the world.
He saved me. He saved my life when that Ferris wheel crashed. My sister died and her boyfriend died in that Ferris wheel six months ago.
I reach for the Rafe’s letter on my bedside table And cling onto it.
His letter to me.
But Rafe is dead. Rafe died saving me.
Rafe cannot be alive.
But I saw him today. He gave me this letter. He smiled at me. He kissed me.
I don’t sleep the whole night, contemplating what the hell is going on, my emotions all over the place and thoughts on overdrive. How is Rafe alive? My hands suddenly claw at my fingers, and I look down, startled.
I was just gripping the letter he had given me.
But it’s not here anymore.
There’s nothing here anymore.