Chapter Two

Chapter Two

A Chapter by Kelsey

Hailey receives her first letter


Chapter Two

I took a long shower and the hot water worked its magic, undoing the knots and my back and bringing my breaths to a slower pace. When I got out, I climbed into warm pajama pants and dabbed drops of lavender on my skin to keep me calm.

The letter I had grabbed from the mailbox laid on my bed. I sat down and grabbed it expecting it to be either for my parents or from an interested college.

My name was scrawled across the front of the envelope in handwriting without a college logo in the corner. The end of the y in my name was smeared across the thin paper of the envelope. There wasn’t an address under my name, a return address, or a stamp in the corner. Somebody had to have come by my house and drop the letter in the mailbox. Not only was it weird, but I wasn’t sure if it was legal.

The peace that had settled in me from the shower fell away and I felt excitement at the unknown. There was a small piece of me that was worried, but a bigger part of me was curious. I hadn’t heard of anybody receiving mysterious letters besides in the novels I kept tucked under my bed.

I sat down on my bed, still rumpled from the morning, and fumbled with the envelope until I pulled out a thick piece of paper with the side ripped up from being pulled out of a notebook.


Before I begin, trust me; you’re not as surprised as I am. I wrote a list of everybody I could possibly write these to. It was a long one but very specific. I skimmed past the cutters, the self harmers, and went straight to the people that are overlooked. They filled up rows and rows of my paper. I then went to what people would call the “popular” group; beautiful, well known, worshipped, and hated above all. There weren’t many names that showed up on my list from that group. Don’t say it’s because I don’t understand because I assure you, I do. Most of the guys were pushed aside, not even considered. Then I got to the girls. I looked over some of the ones I seemed to already know and went straight to the top. I can’t say your name went right on my list, it was thoroughly considered. I saw you just like Olivia, stomping on everybody to look the best and be the best. I would have just gone past you if it wasn’t for the fact you intrigue me. You always have because I could see something in you that's willing to help even if you try hard to cover it up. Also the biggest reason, how could you get chosen out of about one hundred names? Well Hailey, you did.

The paper was crinkling under my tight grasp.  I took advantage of the paragraph break and flipped it over to look for a signature. Of course, along with a missing return address, there was none to be found. This was crazy. This happened in the romances I read, a work of fiction. And they were always from a passionate lover. This didn’t seem to be for that as he said he picked out many names. Admitting that wouldn’t be making me feel very special.

Just to clear up some worries that may be on your mind, I’m not a stalker. I’m not in love with you; truly your name was picked randomly. I do not follow you or watch you nor will I start doing this.

Well I guess you probably are a little more than freaked out, so maybe I should explain. To give you at least some bearings, I am male and around your age. I can’t really tell for sure because I don’t know you’re exact age. When it comes to physical features, that’s about all you’re going to know. Sorry, can’t tell you anymore. It wouldn’t make my goal.


I’ve been having some problems. Everything is just falling apart. My parents (you’ll hear about them later) decided to get me a therapist. He told me to confide in somebody. When I couldn’t get the courage I tried this. He doesn’t know about it since I don’t think it’s exactly legal, but hopefully you won’t go that far. It’s just like journaling except it’s hitting somebody without me having to face the repercussions.

Unless of course you pass this letter around.

It wouldn’t be that bad, I doubt people would really guess. I’m not that easy to figure out. I’m not going to threaten you, I really don’t want to see you fall down; I just want somebody to write to. You can stop reading anytime. Leave a sign, maybe not one that obvious as passing around this letter. How about leaving a ketchup packet in the middle of the cafeteria? Might be too random. A white piece of paper on your locker would be better. Waving a white flag, surrendering to… well I’m not sure to what, but it could work. It has potential.

I guess I should give you more information about what will be happening here. I’ve been having issues, many of them. Everything just keeps piling on each other. Not really connecting, but they don’t have to. They’re still there. I guess I’m hoping that by writing this I’ll be able to figure it out. At least to a degree.

Hailey, I know you might be unsure, but I ask you to just take a chance. A chance that maybe you could help pull me up by just reading. I’ll keep sending these letters unless you show me you want out.

I put down the letter; unsure what to think, what to believe. Some guy grabbed my name randomly to write his deepest, darkest secrets about his life? It didn’t make sense. How could somebody not have anybody to talk to?

I bit my lip. He was right, I was popular as the flyer of the cheer team with a group of friends and a number of guys who have begged for my number, but I didn't have people to talk to.  I only had a year left, but it was going to be another lonely one.

Folding up the letter, I stuffed it into the top drawer of my desk. It was some random guy asking for help. It could even be a joke. It could be another creepy ploy to get my number.

My gut was telling me that wasn't true.

I reached for my bag and pulled out my homework and got started, steadily solving the equations. I wasn't somebody who made tough decisions and I was sure I came off as stupid and only cared about her hair to most of the High School population. I had proved myself enough. Everything he had said about me was right, so why would he bother writing to me?

A slam of the door from downstairs jolted me out from my thoughts. I pushed my homework off my lap and walked downstairs.

Music was already playing from the living room. All of the curtains were open in the kitchen letting streams of light in that fell through the changing leaves of autumn. Giggles carried from the living room.

I walked around the corner and yep, just as I expected. My parents were dancing. Actually dancing, not a code word for fighting like in a poem I had once been assigned to interpret. My dad, just shy of forty five, had his hand on my mom’s lower back, sweeping her into a low dip still dressed in their work clothes. Brown hair, the same shade as mine, cascaded over his arm as she laughed.

I stood there, waiting to be noticed.  When they did, they took their time to get straightened up and fixed before turning to me.

“Hailey!” my dad said, smile wide across his face. “How was your day?”

My parents were holding hands like they were in middle school. The forties actually made them look even happier if that was even possible. They were high school sweethearts and not a bit less in love. It was nauseating.

I went over and kicked my discarded gym bag over to the door, just to give me somewhere else to look. “Alright,” I said. “I've been put up as top flyer for the cheer team.”

My dad's face broke out in a wide smile. “That's great!”

My mom's eyes narrowed despite my dad's incessant joy. “What about Olivia?”

“Well, she's still adjusting. I've been a flyer since August, but it's been confirmed I'll be one for homecoming game. She'll get used to it.”

My mom's expression reflected my thoughts. There was no way Olivia would ever get used to it. If after today that wasn’t apparent, I was sure it would be getting worse in no time.

“She’ll get over it, Hailey. I’m just proud that you got this. You’ve wanted it for a while.”

Since ninth grade, but I didn’t want it as much as Olivia. “Thanks,” I said anyway. “I’ll be up for the homecoming game.” 

“Well that’s just great. Maybe we should celebrate!” My dad walked over to my mom and threw an arm around her and pressed his lips against her cheek.

“I'll be up in my room,” I muttered as my mom giggled. This wasn’t the type of celebrating I wanted to be a part of.

I walked upstairs and grabbed my homework once again. My parents were great and loved me. Still, they could get too caught up in their own lives from time to time and as much as they wanted to make sure I was included, I was more than happy to opt out.

I had only just started on the next set of questions when there was a tap on my door and my mom's head popped around the corner.

“Hey, can I come in?” I nodded.

The bed creaked as she sat down. “I’m sorry, Hail. We don’t mean to embarrass you,” she said.

I shrugged it off. “It’s okay mom. I know you guys are just so in love you can’t control yourselves when driven by your passionate feelings.” I recited the lines that I had been told when I said they were gross for kissing in front of me when I was six. It seemed that I had never stopped reciting these lines.

She laughed. “I'm going to miss you when you go off and marry somebody yourself.”

I couldn't help the shudder that went through me. “You have a long wait. Don't worry about it. What happens when I go to college? Aren't you going to miss me then?”

This was enough to make her grab my homework and place it on the floor, lean back on the bed, and throw an arm around me. I rolled my eyes, but snuggled into her anyway.

“That,” she said, “is something I worry about every day, but at least you'll always want to see me.”

“I'll still want to see you, don't worry Mom. A boyfriend wouldn't change that and you know it.”

“I know. You're your own person and so different from what I was like when I was your age. I was always head over heels for boys and gave them my whole life. I'm proud to say that you can think for yourself without thinking about another guy.” Despite her words, I felt a sigh of relief from her. She was always worried I'd leave her for some guy.

It was the life of all the friends around me it seemed. They were always after the boy, while I hung back and ignored any attempts from guys. It wasn't that I hated them, but they expected me to change just for their attention. I didn't need somebody to control my life. I didn't want to have to argue with my parents because he wanted to see me. I had the best relationship with my parents out of my friends and I was sure that this was some of the reason.

“I'm going to miss you so much when you go to college. It's not going to be the same without you.”

Always with the college talk. “I'll still be home all the time and I'm sure you'll be visiting when I'm not here.”

My mom squeezed me tighter and brushed my hair back behind my shoulders. “I will be up all the time. Don't worry about that. It's still going to be weird without you here. What am I going to do with myself?”

“Hang out with dad?”

“Your father will go crazy without you here too. We're going to have way too much free time.” The giggle she gave made me think she was talking about more than going out to dinner.


She continued giggling and sat up from my bed. “Well I'll let you get to your homework and we'll talk later. I just wanted you to know that I'm proud of you, Hailey and I love you. I can’t wait to see you on top at homecoming.”

Everybody would be looking at me and the only thing I would have to worry about is Olivia dropping me. I had a reason to worry. “I love you too, Mom.”

She squeezed my hand and walked out of the room and I pulled my worksheet back on my lap desk and began figuring out the equations. My mom had my dad and he was her life. It wasn't that she lost a part of herself by doing that, but she was happy and felt more complete. When I got tired of reading books that were always about how girls didn't know themselves until they met a cute boy, I told her she wasn't an independent woman because of my dad. She sat me down and asked what it meant to be a strong woman. I told her with all the arrogance of a fifteen year old that it meant she could survive without a man and could be her own person without being defined by some guy. I was then told that my own definition had to do with a man. I was able to come to the realization that it didn't matter if there was a guy involved. My mom was happy with who she was. She loved my father, her job, and me. She knew who she was and was a strong woman because of how she went after anything she wanted and was able to find assurance and acceptance from herself.

Ever since then, I had wanted to be more like her. College was my goal. Now, I was too swept up in popularity and cheer. I didn't know how to be my own person even if I didn't have some guy to order me around. It took over my life, but one day, I would be away and I couldn't wait until then.

I leaned over to my desk, my fingers hesitating over the dark wood of the top drawer. It was just a piece of paper, but it held so many possibilities. I let out a breath and grabbed the letter again.


I read through it again folding down the corners of the paper fraying the edges more. This was somebody asking for help. They wanted to change in high school unlike me. The only thing I would do is read the letters and wait for him to get better. He said it was a form of therapy. At least it would be uplifting.

© 2014 Kelsey

Author's Note

How's the progression of the story so far? Does her reactions make sense?

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Added on January 25, 2014
Last Updated on January 25, 2014
Tags: depression, romance, young-adult, friendship




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