Chapter 8: Hidden Letters
“Hi. Me and my mom will be going for a trip. We would be spending Christmas and New Year at my uncle’s place. Anyway, I would just like to greet you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you when classes resume.”
That was the content of the text message Kathleen sent Jonathan a day before Christmas. He became lonely after reading that, so Christmas has passed and for several days not a single glimpse of a smile can be found on his face. He could not wait for classes to resume so that he could be with Kathleen once again. Everyday Jonathan would go to his special place bringing his phone along wishing to receive a text message from Kathleen. There was only one message on his inbox and it was that message of Kathleen before Christmas.
It was December 31, the last day of the year and he was terribly lonely. Sitting along the bench and watching the water flow downstream he daydreams about her. Suddenly his phone rang and he quickly grabbed it to check. He just received a text message from the person he loves.
“Hi. Did you miss me?” read the message and Jonathan quickly replied to it.
“Very much. How are you? Is your vacation going well?” his message said. After a few seconds another text message arrived.
“Did you really miss me?” it said and Jonathan started to laugh. He punched the buttons quickly and sent his reply saying “Yes, I really miss you a lot.”
“Why?” replied Kathleen and Jonathan suddenly paused and took a deep breath.
“Because I like you and I want to be with you. I’m dying to see you” said his text message and even though Kathleen was not in front of him he felt so nervous in what he said.
“How come you never tell me? If ever I’m in front of you will you tell me those exact words?” she asked him. Jonathan looked up at the sky and was thinking deeply, he was put on the spot but he made up his mind and said. “Yes I will” and he took another deep breath and smiled.
“Then say it” he suddenly heard Kathleen’s voice in his back. Jonathan quickly stood up and slowly turned around. There she was standing before him looking at him and smiling. He began to tremble and his lips were shaking. “You’re here, I thought you were on a vacation?” he softly said in disbelief.
“Kathleen raised her eyebrows and said “Say it” and she crossed her arms waiting for him to speak. Jonathan bowed his head and whispered “I like you” and slowly looked at her. Kathleen pouted and said “What was that? I could not hear it” and he took a deep breath and said “I like you Kathleen”.
Kathleen giggled and sat on the bench. “I thought you were coming back after new year.” He said. “You kept on surprising me so it’s my turn to surprise you. I begged my mom every night so we could spend New Year here” she replied. “So your mom finally agreed then” he stated.
“Nope, I came alone. She will arrive after New Year” she revealed. “So you are home alone then” Jonathan exclaimed. “Sad thing I forgot the key, if I tell her that she would panic so I didn’t bother telling her” she said. “You can sleep over at my place, you can sleep in my room” he said. “I know” she replied.
Jonathan looked startled and raised an eyebrow and she began to laugh again. “I’m just kidding you. I know you wouldn’t let me sleep out in the cold right?” she said and Jonathan began to grin. “Did you forget that I am evil?” he joked her. “What?! You’re going to let me sleep outside?” she asked. “Yup, don’t worry I’m going to sleep beside you if ever that happens” he said and Kathleen smiled. “It would be better if we slept in your bed, the two of us” she said jokingly. “But someone might not be able to control their emotions so we better not” she added.
Jonathan was confused but said, “Oh I’m not that type of person, I wouldn’t take advantage of you” and Kathleen laughed. “I wasn’t talking about you” she revealed. Jonathan could not believe once again what he just heard and looked at Kathleen who was laughing. “Relax, I’m just teasing you” she said and he breathed a sigh of relief.
The two of them went to Jonathan’s and ate lunch. After eating Jonathan helped Kathleen bring her things to his room. As Kathleen enters she noticed the large picture frame with the picture she always wanted, the two of them together and she was leaning on his shoulder. As Kathleen sat on the bed she noticed several picture frames on the bedside table, she was surprised to see all her pictures. “You framed all my pictures” she suddenly said and Jonathan turned around and scratched his head. “Well it does make my room nicer to look at” he reasoned out. Kathleen was flattered but kept it inside, instead she stood up and said “So where do you keep your manly things?” and Jonathan gave her a curious look.
She saw a small treasured chest which was locked so she pulled Jonathan’s arm and said “Open it, I want to see what’s inside”. Jonathan refused to do so and said “You won’t find anything good there, it’s just old stuff. Don’t worry I don’t collect manly things, even search my computer if you want”
“I want to see what’s inside here, if it’s nothing important then show me” she insisted. “Sorry I really can’t” he replied. Kathleen pouted and sat on the bed, she acted like a child and Jonathan laughed at her. “If you won’t show what’s inside of that chest I won’t speak to you ever again!” she threatened him. Jonathan just stood there smiling at her so she ran out of the room and he chased after her.
Kathleen went over to Charlie’s place and knocked at the door. Charlie opened the door and Kathleen quickly asked him “What is Jonathan keeping in that small chest?” Jonathan was close by and winking at Charlie. “Nothing important” he replied and nodded his head. Kathleen turned her head and saw Jonathan smiling again so she ran back into the house and went up in the room. “Thanks man, she is going nuts all of a sudden once she saw the chest” Jonathan said. “Are you sure leaving her alone with the chest is okay?” Charlie asked. “Yup, she can’t open it whatever she does, I would like to see her try though” Jonathan replied. They both laughed but Charlie suddenly said “You know a determined person can really accomplish many things” and Jonathan suddenly felt a chill in his spine. He ran towards his home and went right away to his room.
Jonathan found Kathleen sitting in front of the chest trying to pry it open with a screwdriver. “Wait!, okay I will show you just don’t destroy the chest” he finally gave in. Kathleen moved back and still pouted at him. He opened his drawer and took a key then inserted it at the keyhole of the chest. He moved back without opening it and sat in a corner. “Open it if you want” he said.
Kathleen hesitated seeing Jonathan like that but she was really curious what was inside. She sat in front again of the chest and turned the key. Once open Jonathan bowed his head, Kathleen brought out a small stuff toy and joyfully said “Hey I had one just like this!” Jonathan looked at her and said “Yeah, Tom gave it to you before the Christmas break when we were in sophomore year” and Kathleen was shocked to hear it. “How did you know that?” she asked. “I was going to give you that on that same day, he approached you first. It would really make me a fool if I still gave you that since you already had one” he said. Kathleen felt sad for him but continued to search the contents of the chest.
Kathleen saw dozens of letters and all on them had her name on it. “You made me letters?” she said. “Yeah” Jonathan replied softly. Kathleen gathered all the letters and set them aside. She took out their high school year book and saw two bookmarks. She opened it to the first book mark, it was Jonathan’s page, his picture was covered with black ink. She opened the book to the next bookmarked page and it was her page. She smiled as she saw her picture and there was a small note written in red ink which said “Thank you for you smile.” Suddenly she remembered again the evening of their graduation ball, she looked at Jonathan he was still silently sitting in the corner. Kathleen took all the letters and the stuff toy and approached Jonathan.
“Can I read these letters?” she asked. “Sure, they were meant for you anyway” he softly said. “Can I keep this stuff toy too?” she once again asked. “I thought you already had one, the one Tom gave you” he replied. “I lost that one, so can I take this?” she asked. “Yeah sure take them all” he uttered. She knelt in front of him and gave him the letters and the stuff toy. “Why are you giving them to me, take them already” he said. “No!” she shouted. Jonathan looked Kathleen who was staring at him with mad eyes. “I want you to give them to me” she said. Jonathan looked at her curiously and Kathleen said “I don’t want to take them even though you say they were meant for me. I want you to give them to me. If you could not give them to me before then give them to me now!” she stated. Jonathan took the letters and the stuff toy and looked at them and took a deep breath, he picked one letter and set it aside.
“All these things in front of me I had no courage to give them to you back then. Everything written here are all the things I ever wanted to say to you and it describes how I feel about you. Kathleen I want you to have them” he said and he gave the letters and stuff toy to Kathleen. She looked at the lone letter left on the floor and asked “How about that letter?” and Jonathan sighed. “This was the last letter I wrote for you, after the ball. I do regret writing this but if you want to read it then its alright” he said and he hands over the final letter.
Kathleen takes all the letters and sits besides Jonathan; she leans against his body as she starts to open the first letter. It took her two hours to read all the letters, some she read twice and some even more. There was one letter left, the final letter Jonathan ever wrote for her, she did not open it and she looked at him. Jonathan was asleep, she grabbed the stuff toy and hugged it tightly and leaned on him and closed her eyes.
They were awakened by the loud voice of Jonathan’s mother calling them to dinner. They both went down to the dining area but Kathleen was still clasping tightly the stuff toy. After dinner they spent time watching movies and everyone was enjoying. They did not notice the time and it was already a new day, it was New Year and they started to hear the fireworks outside. They rushed outside and looked up in the sky and enjoyed the marvelous light display.
Kathleen moved in front of Jonathan and leaned her body against his. Jonathan looked down at her and she smiled at him. She took Jonathan’s arms and wrapped around her waist and looked at him smiling. “I like you too.”