I'm only passing through...
My Highschool Pen Pal
Published on July 9, 2005 By new-age nomad In Personal Relationships

“It’s hard to stumble when on your knees,” the desktop read my freshman year.  In a mocking sort of retort, I had written, “Preach it!”  I figured whoever stole a message from a church marquee to defile public property deserved a little sarcasm. 


They wrote back.  The next day, I walked into French class to find a message inquiring about my gender.  I said I was female, and apparently he (it turned out to be a boy) started feeling guilty about writing on the desk, so after scribbling a small directional note on the desk, he had tucked a note in the bar underneath the chair.  It said something like this:


“Hi, my name is Chad.  I’m a senior.  I have 4th period in this classroom….blah blah blah…I’m a Christian…you?”


And so it began.  A series of notes followed, classmates got involved, a small crush formed, and we both began to salivate before entering that particular classroom.  If a day went by with no note, the days following would hold “I miss you’s” and apologies.  It gave us something to look forward to; we cared about one another without ever even meeting, and that gave us a sense of belonging in a world that seemed so cold.


Holidays went by, we bought each other cards.  I remember a particular Easter card that made me laugh out loud.  It said, “Why are Easter eggs always hiding?  Because they’re little chickens!”  I would have to race curious classmates to my desk in order to read the notes before everyone else passed them around.  He would tell me how special I was, and how much meeting me made him a better person.  My notes would be similar, and when we had good or bad days, we would share.


We never even tried to let it go beyond the notes.  We never asked others if they knew Trinitie Garrison or Chad Brooks.  When yearbooks came out, we looked at each other’s pictures, but we never sought one another out in the halls.  I could have very easily met him and he could have done the same, but there was such a magic in the mystery of our relationship that we knew any further knowledge would ruin what made it special.


After that, I moved away, and we never spoke again.  I still keep a box of old notes and cards and pictures that Chad drew for me, and when I read them (often) it makes me smile to think back and realize how much mystery played into our friendship.  Mystery was our friendship, actually, and it was as if we were both saying, “All that baggage you’re bound to have, yeah that…I don’t care about that.  I care about your heart and I need you to care about mine for the time being.”


And it worked.  We carried each other through that year.  Moral of the story?


The end doesn’t justify the means, the means justifies the end.* 




*If you like the moral of the story, go to your local video store and check out the movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"...it's amazing.  

on Jul 09, 2005
You have, without a doubt, an incredible gift of writing. And on viewing life. I love the whole magic in the mystery thought. So much of our relationships lose the magic when there isn't just a little mystery. And your story puts a perspective on blogs I've never thought about. There are people I read all the time and have developed a relationship with, a bonding of sorts, but have never met them. And I don't necessarily want to meet them. I just enjoy their writings and the magic in their mystery.
on Jul 10, 2005
The most exciting aspect about relationships is what you don't know about the other party!

on Jul 11, 2005

I've missed reading blogs like these. They remind me of how beautiful your heart is and why I wish you were in Texas. This Chad guy isn't your new Dan is he? (Should I write that on Joeuser?) I look forward to hearing from you soon. I love my little sister!
on Jul 12, 2005

No, I said that Chad and I haven't talked since freshman year!  Haha, ummm...

That was the sweetest comment ever.  Sorry I'm a thug and haven't gotten in touch.

I love you.


on Jul 16, 2005
Hey, I just emailed you saying you need to post more, and THEN decided to check your site. lol... my bad.

This was an amazing post. Obviously you've been told this before, but I'll say it once again. You have an amazing gift for writing.

on Sep 01, 2005

This was an amazing post. Obviously you've been told this before, but I'll say it once again. You have an amazing gift for writing.

Geez, how bout you worship me a little more, eh?