One-Way Letters to Emma
Dedicated to my good friend, Emma (akari24)
“My dear Emma,
How have you been? I know it's been a while since we last talked, but today I was cleaning out my Safety Deposit Box and I found something that reminded me of you. I am sure you don't I remember, but... Well, do you remember that Neopian Times Quill you gave me for my birthday? Wow, my birthday... It's already the month of Swimming, that makes eleven months since we have last talked.”
A Faerie Draik poked her head curiously against the windows of the house's study. She could see her owner scribbling away...
“Emma, I'm sorry. I should have written earlier, but you know... Somehow it didn't feel appropriate to send you a letter out of the blue.”
The writer paused; she looked at her words and thought “Silly,” yet she didn't bother starting a new page to try to phrase her sentiments more appropriately.
“Well, they do say 'better late than never,' right?
I remember the first time we met, in the Times Writer's Lounge. I was, eh... How does one say it? A noob, in plain terms. You weren't a veteran, but more experienced. I was filled with euphoria, digging pencils and crayons out of my bag and doodling Neopets in what became published comics or, and this is the more likely cases, scribbled sheets that found their way to the trash bin.
You looked at me and must have thought I was quite odd. I know that is what you thought... I still can see the perplexed look you shot my way... Things were okay, though, since you turned out to be quite odd too.”
The writer paused once again, sipping the hot Blairnut tea within her reach.
“If the two of us odd beings had never met... None of those articles would have materialized and none of these memories.” Fleeting. Fleeting was the word that came across her mind. “None of these memories...”
“Sorry, I lost my train of thought there, or my words. I feel like I don't know how to write anymore. Maybe we can meet sometime soon and you can help me out. We always had a way of teaching each other how to be better authors, right?
Well, if you get a chance, hit me back.
Susie rested the quill on her Pine Finish table, folded the letter in thirds and gently inserted it in an envelope.
“To: Emma S., 762 Jhudora Dr., Faerieland.” Check.
Stamp on the top right corner. Check.
“Verlame!” She called for the Draik. “Would you mind mailing this for me?”
Verlame nodded and made her way to the post office.
Three weeks passed. Susie picked up the mail. A letter from Nigel, the Stockmarket Chia, with the quarterly report of her portfolio. A postcard from her sister talking about her trip to Mystery Island. An advertisement for vacations in Virtupets. A letter. A catalogue from the NC Mall.
Susie thought of how long it took for correspondence to get from Maraqua to Faerieland. “Three weeks should be enough. I'll wait another week,” she said to herself.
A week passed. Two letters from Neopians asking for Habitarium advice. One letter from the Neolodge reminding of the end of Aeonzy's stay.
“Maybe there was a mistake at the post office. Maybe I wrote the address wrong... Maybe they couldn't read my handwriting. Who, besides Emma, can actually read quill handwriting?” That was it. So she started another letter.
Hey. I don't think my last letter went through, but yeah, a month or so ago, I think, I was cleaning out some items and I saw the Neopian Times Quill you kindly gifted me. I'm using it right now; I used it in the last letter but I think that the post office Neopets couldn't decipher my handwriting. Told you quills were overrated.
I have the card you gave me last year.
Happy birthday. Get wiser, not older. Attached is a quill: first step to wisdom!
It's been a year now since you gave me this quill. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm getting any wiser. However, I have been consistently writing with your present. Do you still recall when I first started using it? My letters were so sloppy (They aren't great now, but they are at least legible, or I sure hope they are) and I hated using it. I just didn't want you to get upset because I wouldn't use the quill... I confess that when we weren't working together, I switched back to my good ol' Mootix Pen. I remember how much that pen annoyed you. I don't know why, but that clicking noise annoyed you so much. It isn't so bad, Emma! It even makes a Mootix sound! And the spinning, you hated my habit of spinning that Mootix pen on my thumb's tip. I tried it once with your quill... Sprayed ink on my shirt and on Mii. Needless to say, I will never try that again.
By the Way, Mii really misses Star. I know you morphed Ailie into a Draik, but I haven't seen her since the transmogrification. I think my pets would love to meet her, especially Verlame. You guys should come over! You know you are always welcome; just give me a heads up before you visit so I clean this place.” Susie finished admitting to the unkempt state of her home.
“I miss you. Tons.
She repeated the steps. Settle quill. Fold letter in thirds. Insert in envelope. Place stamp. But this time she didn't use the quill to write the address. She shuffled through her desk, filled with Neopian Times memorabilia, to find the once familiar green and yellow pen. She held it between her indicator and thumb and using the index finger, propelled the pen to spin, stopping it when it finished its 360 degree course. She clicked the tip. Unclicked the tip and then clicked the tip. Unclicked the tip and clicked the tip again, delighting herself in a sound she hadn't heard for a year. Then, she carefully started marking the outside of the envelope. “E M M A,” she started in all caps and finished in similar fashion “... E L A N D.”
Once again, she called Verlame who obediently entered the room, received the letter and delivered it to the post office.
Four weeks progressed. Susie received letters. A letter not from Emma; another letter not from Emma; a magazine not from Emma. Two more letters, not from Emma. “Should I write again?” she questioned herself. One more time.
I don't think you got my last two letters. I don't know what happened... I am sure I wrote your address perfectly on the last letter. Well, in case the last letters didn't get to you, I am writing again...
I'm sorry if I'm just bothering you.”
Susie took a deep breath. And then she looked at her desk, among the NT remembrances, Chemistry textbooks towered imposingly over the other items on the table top.
“I'm sorry... I'm sure you are busy. That makes two of us...
I should have written earlier, but last year was my first year at MIA and I really had to focus on my studies. I felt like I literally was absorbed in those Chemistry books. I'm sorry. They shouldn't be more important than our friendship. I shou -” At that moment, the quill broke in an audible snap. It was probably due to how how tightly she was pressing the quill against the page.
Susie looked at the half-written letter. She stood up and made her way to the kitchen to refill her mug with some tea. She returned to look at the page again.
“Forget it. She didn't reply to the other letters.”
Susie folded the letter and put it away. She then looked at her Chemistry books and decided to return her attention to formulas and reactions.
Inside a bedroom in a house on 762 Jhudora Drive, Emma contemplated two letters. “Shoot. It's been a month. It will feel so awkward if I write back now. I should have answered her letters right away. That's it. The next letter she sends, I'll answer it right away.” She made this resolution.