The Letter to Anne
Have you ever noticed that kids always complain
about being young and wish to be older? Have you also ever noticed that adults
always complain about being old and wish to be younger? Is there no middle ground?
Can we be old and young at the same time? What is the age we are truly happy
These are the questions that have been floating
around in my head the past few days. It is mostly because I do not want to be
an adult right now, with a million responsibilities and expected to be able
to do all of them. I also do not want to be a kid again. Being carefree again
would be a blessing, but not being respected or trusted makes me wary to wish
this path. I remember when you, Anne, were five and I was eight and you fell
down and broke your leg. I ran to the closest adult I could find and begged
them to come with me to help you, but they dismissed it all as a prank. I finally
had to drag the adult Skeith by the arm to you to get him to believe me.
I have had lots of thinking time for the past
few days. I mostly think about what I said above and you. Anne, even though
it is indirectly, you have been the force that compelled me to survive through
the terror and fear. Even in the most gruesome of times, thinking of your beautiful
face compels me to live. I know you always wanted to be painted pink, but we
were always too poor to give you your dream. I never had the nerve to tell you
before, but I'll tell you now, Anne, you don't need to be painted to be beautiful.
Your golden curls, your rose cheeks, your sky blue eyes, all make up the perfect
Aisha. Red or pink, you would be the most beautiful pet on Neopia.
I think about the fun we had as kids. Do you
remember when we finally saved up enough Neopoints to get a Mallard for you?
Oh, you loved that Mallard! You named it Jack.
'I named it after you, Jack,' you had said.
'For being the bestest big brother ever.'
You gave me a big hug and nearly squashed your
poor Mallard. I remember laughing at you for a whole day about that one, and
you laughed right along. Do you remember anything about that Mallard, Anne?
It escaped a year after you got it. You vowed never to have a petpet again.
Of course, being as young as you were, you were begging me for a Meepit only
a few weeks later. I just let you beg and pretended that I would actually get
the Meepit for you until you came to an age where you understood that we would
never have enough money to buy another Mallard, yet alone an expensive Meepit.
Then there were the days we called, "Soup Days."
I used to love those days. We would spend a whole afternoon at the Soup Kitchen,
pigging out on whatever measly amounts of soup the kindly Soup Faerie could
offer. We would shout, 'I've been dunginated!' when we found a piece of dung
floating in our watery soup, and then laugh so hard our bellies were screaming
in pain. We would then go home, bloated as much as we could possibly be, and
spend the rest of the day relaxing. Those were the good times.
Then there were the bad times. You have to remember
those; they were something so memorable that it is nearly etched into my brain.
Of course, not all memories are good.
Do you remember that time when we didn't even
have enough Neopoints to make a cardboard room? We were both so young we didn't
know what or where the games were yet. It was only by luck I found 200 Neopoints
on the ground, just enough to make a one-room cardboard house. I always pretended
for you the one-roomed house was a palace and the dirty straw we slept on was
a royal bed for a princess. Do you remember that? I doubt it; you were only
I don't only just think about childhood. I think
about childhood when I am bleak and austere. Even thinking about the bad times
makes me cheer up. It is only when I'm happy, which is not that often, that
I allow myself to think about the horrors of things I have overcome in the past
year. The things I could not bring myself to tell you when I left.
I know you are an adult now but in my head and heart you are still a child,
weak and needing to be cared for constantly. This is why I did not tell you
when I left, nearly a year before. The only person who knew I was leaving was
the kindly Soup Faerie. I asked her if she would care for you. I told her I
would probably be back in three or four months.
'Whether you are back in three or four months
or three or four years it does not matter to me. I will take care of your sweet
younger sister,' the faerie had said to me.
I had given her a brisk hug and ran off to join
my fellow warriors on our ship. It sailed away quickly in the dead of night
and soon we were in open waters, ready to begin our battle.
As you can tell from the last paragraph, where
I have been this whole time is a battle on the sea. It is not a big or famous
battle like the Battle for Meridell a while back or the Hannah and the Ice Caves
battle that just finished. The only pet who even knows it is happening is you!
You may be wondering why I left off for battle.
It was never my dream to be in a battle, big or small. When I was a child I
wouldn't kill the Moach infestation in our house! My sole reason for joining
in this battle is the pay. So few pets wanted to join in this minuscule war
after just finishing the Hannah and the Ice Caves war they're paying 100,000
Neopoints to all the warriors! When I saw a poster advertising this I knew this
was our big chance to be rich, Anne! I thought after I fought in this small
war for maybe five months at the most, I could come home and we would be rich.
Unfortunately things change....
Anne, there is a point to this letter than to
just inform you about my well-being and reminisce. We warriors are not even
supposed to write letters! Every warrior knew about why I had joined the battle
and about you, as I had told them a million stories about our childhood together.
This is going to be the hardest thing I have ever said to you in my life, even
if it is in written form.
I'm leaving you, Anne, and not in the sense
that I'm just leaving you to go to another part of the world. Anne, I'm dying,
in fact I'm so close to dead I don't even know where the border between life
and death is anymore. I want you to know that I love you, have always loved
you, and will still love you when my time in this world is finished. Please
promise to remember me in whatever ambition you pursue in your life.
I'm going to mail this letter to you now, and
by the time you get it I will probably have departed. I love you, Anne, and
Your loving brother,