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Letters to Influential Friends



Grade 11, Thetford Academy
Monday, March 20, 2017

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages Vermont and New Hampshire students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences in newspapers, before live audiences and on websites, including, youngwritersproject.org, vtdigger.org, vpr.net, medium and cowbird.com. Young Writers Project also publishes digital magazine, The Voice. YWP is supported by this newspaper and foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing.

This week’s prompt: Letter. Write a letter to someone who has had a big effect on your life.

To the First Girl I Loved

It’s been a while since we last spoke,

and I know that we both yelled and said things

we thought we meant at the time.

I know that you went home and cried that night.

I did the same.

But I’m hoping now’s as good a time as ever,

now that the chips have fallen,

now that the dust has settled,

the fire burned out.

Maybe now is the right time for me to tell you, thank you.

Thank you for holding my hand that first time when you knew I was scared to death.

For the time you made me laugh

because you knew I was about to cry.

For the dinner you made while dancing around my kitchen

and the way you pushed my hair back behind my ear.

Thank you for the thousand and one wishes we made on shooting stars,

for the ninety nine times you had to pick me up off the ground and kiss my bruised ego.

Thank you for showing me what love felt like,

what it’s like to be loved that deeply for that long.

And thank you for showing me what heartbreak was,

for giving that four-lettered word a name,

a face.

Thank you for leaving me on that hundredth time to pick myself up

because in learning to do so I found the second girl I would love.

And she was me.

Thank You

Dear Daniel,

I just want you to know how much I miss you and that I’m thankful for how much you helped me in the past. Back in second grade, I didn’t know how I could make myself fit in until I met you.

That is when I felt as if you had placed a magic spell on me that made me fit in. One example is when you let me use my imagination when you let me call you “D” instead of Daniel. Another example is when we were learning to play the recorder in music and you helped me learn the D and C notes.

I also remember that at our sixth grade graduation, you said, “When someone is feeling down, I’ll be sure to make them feel better.” Those words have certainly made me feel better.

Thank you, Daniel, for everything.

Dear Friend

You have helped me in hundreds of ways that you can’t even begin to imagine. You have encouraged me to do the things that I’m terrified of; you have held me to what I say; you have helped me organize my mind; you have helped me learn things so much faster and much more thoroughly; you have shown me how to do things; you have given me hope in times where I desperately needed it. And those are just a few of the things that you have done for me.

I don’t think you understand quite the magnitude of the effect you have on my life. I make plans around you. I get excited when you are in the same class as me. I am constantly looking forward to seeing you again while simultaneously reflecting on our latest interactions with each other. …