Clearly having a pen pal was not something I had in mind years ago. Especially because it’s someone I used to have a crush on in high school, funny thing though is now I can’t quite remember why I did. He’s not a bad person, just someone who makes mistakes as we all do. We learn as we go in life and unfortunately he’s in prison, trying to do his best so he can come out and be with his kids. I met him through my best friend, from then on we just said hi and bye, a smile here and there when we saw each other, that’s about it. Eventually I found out he was a very close friend of my brother in law and the first time I saw him come around the house, I was like here we go again with this crush.

There I was most of the time just waiting to see when he would show up to hang out with my sisters boyfriend, since he was already living here, I’d get all dressed up and find an excuse to go outside, I didn’t know any better back then. I don’t recall when I told my sister that I thought he was cute and of course she went on and told her man, let’s just call him Jr. Afterwards anytime he’d come around they’d always pick on me about it. I don’t know why but sooner or later I found myself falling for him even more which I didn’t even have a reason to, I just thought then whatever I felt at the time was legit. One morning we heard he ended up getting shot at and he was in the hospital fighting for his life, I cried for days and I kept on praying to God to bring him through this, sure enough he did. The day I saw him show up walking up our driveway with crutches I started to cry and I was so happy to see him, but I still couldn’t bring myself to tell him anything. Even now just looking back I feel so dumb over the whole situation because I mean it’s not like me and him were ever anything, we just happen to know the same people. He ended up staying with us for a while, in the back house we had rebuilt for my sister and brother in law. I was glad that I got to see him everyday, he’d always say what’s up just being kind. Sometimes he’d bring my sister and I some iced coffees seeing as how he knew we loved them so much.

There was this night that my cousins had invited me to a party and I remember I tried to get ready as fast as I could so I can step out before he left, but I didn’t make it. That night I had so much to drink, I cried over how messed up I felt that he wouldn’t look my way, I swear the fact that I’m even sharing this is a little cringing for me. My cousins were trying to calm me down, telling me that I can do better and these were the years that I had low self esteem. As weeks went by Jr. started telling me that he did like me and he did wanted to talk to me but he’s a player, I didn’t need for him to tell me that because in a way I already had a clue. It never got to us talking though, my brother in law and him ended up getting into trouble that had them both sent away. They were in the same place for a bit doing time, that’s when he wrote to me and professed his feelings for me, which I’m like now you want to say something, I wonder why but I never mentioned that to him or anything. The first letter he sent me he would draw roses on it, stars, the moon because he knew I was into all of that. He sent me a poem asking me to be his girl aside from regular letters, a bracelet with my name on it and drawings. Don’t get me wrong, I did love the drawings and the bracelet but that was a newsflash moment for me. My cousin even told me that the times they would all hangout he never heard him mention me or that he liked me, why now and that he didn’t like him for me as well. I thought to myself, he’s my cousin, he’s looking out for me but I can make decisions on my own. My answer to him asking me to be girlfriend was no, I couldn’t see myself with someone that I never had the chance to get to know on a personal level and I also don’t see myself waiting on someone when I don’t even know how he’ll treat me later on down the line. From then on we just kept writing to each other, he admitted to me that even his mom told him not to expect her to wait on you, when she didn’t even put you in this situation you’re in and he agreed. Throughout all of this though I can say that I’m glad we did end up writing to one another, it’s different from the usual at least for me. It’s nice knowing that you can show encouragement to someone when they need it and he’s been helpful himself. Completely different to everything I thought it was when I was in high school but I’m thankful that he’s alive and trying his best to do better now. Life really is unpredictable but we do have the choice to put our faith in God rather than leaning on our own understanding which is what I very often did in my younger years. One thing I have learned from all of this is to never let your feelings get in the way of doing something kind for someone else, you never know what difference you will make.


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