August 6, 1995 – Sunday – 11:56 p.m.

I met her by accident two years ago.  And whether it was by chance or that thing called fate, we began to write.

We became pen pals.

Something happened though.  We both lost our “special someone” around the same time, so we clung to the most perfect and faultless person we could find.

We both needed to love and we both turned to our mysterious pen pal.

We opened up our hearts not realizing that we were only stuffing them with ink and paper.  There was a time when we would tell each other over the phone that we loved each other, and I began to believe this stranger, angel, and best friend of mine could be the perfect one for me.  I played that scenario over in my mind every day.

I told the world about her.

Yesterday.

Saturday.

Was a very difficult day.

Pen pals aren’t supposed to look each other in the eye.

Our ink and paper hearts didn’t know how to use verbal words.

But conversation was made

A walk on the beach.

Sitting on the board walk.

Eating in Taco Bell.

We found small words to say.

And on Saturday night, I asked her to take a walk with me….

Emily hurts.  I see it in her eyes.  I see it on her face.  And although I tried, I couldn’t take the pain away.  She doesn’t see me here the way she sees me with her pen.

We can tell each other so much more when we are staring at a blank sheet of paper.

We went bowling Saturday night.  Ashley, Brandon, Brandon, Mom, Ed, Amy, Rhonda, Brit, all new names to add.

I smiled.  She smiled.  And even today, smiles were made.  But she has blocked herself out to me.  She wants to know what I am thinking and how I feel, but she will not let me know her own hearts and thoughts.

We talked about all of these things as we walked along the Crestview roads near her house.  She shared so much with me, but we were staring out in front of us and rarely looked at each other.  It was just as if we were on the phone.  She showed me a little nook in the woods where she would run and hide and cry as a little girl.

I have seen Emily’s crying place.  And I felt all my dreams fade away.

I told her how beautiful she was and I hugged her when we got back to her house, but I held her tighter on March 26th.

I feel foolish.

I feel broken.

When we were hundreds of miles away, we were close.

When we were a breath away, we were distant.

I am sure this story is not finished and I am sure the name of Emily will stay with me.

And I’m confident that many years down the road I will tell my son about my days with an angel.  I will tell him how she and Marcus and I went to a skeleton of a house her family was building by a lake, but it never got finished because of the divorce.  I will tell him how I walked through that house with no walls and saw so many unfinished dreams.  I will read those letters to him and I will remember her.

And if I see her beautiful face in a crowd and she sees mine, I am sure she will smile really big and hug me.

Because, like myself, Emily notices every second that passes by in this brief moment of life.

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