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Pen Pals

ai97's picture

I move a lot. I currently live in New York City, but I was born in Arizona and have lived in multiple homes between then and now. Moving is mostly fun and exciting, but it has its difficulties. A major difficulty is keeping contact with old friends.

I had a best friend when I was six. She and I would play games together, visit each others' homes, invite each other to birthday parties, and read the same books in class. But when I moved again to a new state and a new home, we were heartbroken. She cried to her mother, and I begged my mother for a way for us to keep in contact. Our mothers suggested becoming pen pals.

The concept seemed simple. We'd each write each other letters detailing the interesting parts of our lives and any relevant news we had to share, send it in the mail, and eagerly wait for the response. Simple.

For the first few years, our letter writing was a breathless, excited frenzy. We'd write pages and pages for each other, attach along our favorite stickers and stones, and kiss the envelopes closed with innocent affection and dedication. Sometimes we wouldn't even wait for a response and would just get started right ahead with our next letters. It became our full-time job.

Soon, we entered middle school. Around this time, technology began playing a stronger and more prominent role in our lives. She was caught up before I was. I'd write her long, flowery letters – only to receive a hastily-written, short response many months later. Writing letters became somewhat of an afterthought for her. In one of the last letters she wrote me, she asked, “This gets so old sometimes. Do you have Facebook?”

I didn't then. I soon made an account. I'm on Facebook now. As of 2015, we are friends on Facebook and haven't spoken in five long years.