Pen friends

Everyone is on gadgets, social networks, and dating sites now, but my only friend is a guy with whom we have been writing real paper letters for years.

I know what you think – the 20th century out there, don’t make people laugh. But for me, this friendship is something so valuable and warm that I will never give up.

It all began at a time when mobile phones were a rarity, and for the villagers – an unacceptable luxury and the network caught up far from everywhere. My neighbor’s nephew came to the village for a vacation. He was a couple of years older, began dating my classmate (though, almost immediately and ran away as soon as the holidays ended), and I was so bored that I did not know where to go. And then this guy offered to write a letter to his best friend, who had recently moved to a town nearby with his parents. A friend gave me the address, told me a little bit about William (that was his friend’s name): he was funny, kind, sociable. I wrote him a letter.

William did not answer for a long time, I had already forgotten what I wrote, but then, in early September, the letter came. He sincerely apologized, said that he went on vacation with his parents, so it was not possible to answer immediately. The friendship started instantly.

We exchanged letters all the time. As soon as I received the letter, I quickly wrote back and ran to the post office. Sometimes I’d put photos, postcards, and my poor quality drawings in the letters. William would reply with dried flowers between pages and snowflakes carved out of paper in winter. A month before my birthday I received 18 letters (I was turning 18), and in each William wrote me new wishes and also told me what he appreciated about me and why I was his best friend.

I never thought about falling in love with him. I keep his photos, he keeps mine. He’s handsome, I’m not crazy either, I guess. But in almost four years, neither I nor he has ever wanted to talk about the meeting. What for? If we’re both good enough as it is.

I moved to the city to study, it’s an hour and a half by bus to William, and it warms me that he’s so close. It warms me, it calms me down, it gives me a sense of security. My buddies and acquaintances are surprised that we still haven’t switched to Viber or social networking, but I know that nothing will ever be more expensive than paper letters from William.


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