My name is Massie Block.

I prefer to go by Massie.

--

Landon Crane,

I remember everything. Do you?

I remember that stupid smirk you gave me when I got a detention for coming into PE too late. I tried to step on your hand and wipe that stupid grin off your face but you moved just in time. You would follow me all around that stupid gym and I would yell at you to go away but would you? No, never.

To my friends, you were my stalker. When I pointed them out to you as discreetly as I could, you still noticed me anyway and starting moving through the crowd, trying to catch up with us. I complained that I didn't know what your deal was. I complained about you all the time.

And then gym class ended that semester. We didn't do anything the last day—the coach let us hang out in his office and eat his nachos from Taco Bell. And you told me that if I let you sit in the coach's leather desk chair (you were in a less comfortable wooden one), then you would never talk to me or stalk me or bug me again.

I accepted. I thought I would feel free. Instead, I felt empty. Because when I came back from winter break, you weren't there, but I still thought about you all the time. I found myself hoping that we would run into each other in the halls. I would deliberately cut through the eighth grade halls just to see you. I found out that our last period classes were right next to each other and I would time it so that we both left the doors at the same time, so that you would see me and talk to me and bug me again.

One day, it worked. You grabbed my Juicy tote and started dragging me down the hallway while I screamed and pleaded, begging you to let go so that I could go meet up with Isaac. You only let go when Skye Hamilton yelled, "Landon! Stop raping people in the halls!" I rushed down the stairs, but the whole time I was smiling like an idiot.

The last time we ever talked was right before Spring Break. I had to leave eighth period early so we could catch our late flight to the Bahamas and you were sitting outside your Spanish class doing workbook pages for some reason or another. You looked up and I blurted out, "Hey!" because I really was happy to see you, not annoyed. And you looked happy to see me too. You asked me where I was headed off to and I told you the Bahamas and you told me in your most flamboyant voice, "Don't meet any suspicious guys!"

The next night, I had a dream about you. And that's when I knew that I was head over heels for you. I told Bean. She yipped in approval.

But that was it. When I came back from Spring Break, we never spoke to each other again. I would walk by you in the halls and you wouldn't say a word. I don't think you even looked at me again.

That was okay, though. I got over it eventually. I had lots of crushes that year. You were just one of many.

But despite all that, I still wanted you to be the one.

I now see you in the most random places—in line at the movie theatre, cheering on the Wolves at a Westchester Secondary football game. And even after all this time, after I've been with Cam and Derrick and I kissed Kemp Hurley that night I had my first drink, you're still the one I want.

You're at Westchester Secondary School now. I'll be there in less than a year.

Sincerely, Massie Block

--

That note shouldn't matter at all. In fact, it should have been tucked away in the back of an old cardboard box and forgotten about until spring cleaning when I would read it, laugh at my naïve 13-year-old self, and throw it away.

But no. That note does matter. And this is the story of how it gained importance.

It started in Mrs. Vines's English class in 8th grade. You know how usually you get English teachers that are crotchety old ladies who think MTV is of the devil and the creators of Facebook should be flayed alive? Well, Mrs. Vines was no blue-haired crone. She was bright and blonde and bubbly. She talked to us about American Idol and The Office and tried to give us assignments that we could actually relate to. No three-page papers on Steinbeck's message in The Red Pony in her class—instead, we wrote detailed reviews. We were even allowed to say the book sucked.

The day she assigned the letter project I happened to be feeling particularly nostalgic and I suppose Mrs. Vines was too.

"I remember what it was like to be thirteen," Mrs. Vines had sighed, glancing around at her half-asleep pupils. "I remember hating English some days. All those notes! All those papers! I didn't care about iambic pentameter or similes or metaphors. I was only in eighth grade.

"So today, we're going to do something that has nothing to do with proper grammar or sentence structure. You're going to get to write whatever you want. Well, more specifically, you're going to get to write a letter to whoever you want. Maybe you want to pour out your heart to the love of your life." She paused here and smiled at her Romeo and Juliet poster. "Or maybe you want to get a head start on convincing your parents to buy you a car for your sixteenth birthday." A few kids in the front row tittered. "Whatever it is, I don't care. And I won't read it either. I just have to make sure you wrote something by the end of the period. Start."

Everyone starting scribbling in their notebooks almost immediately, myself included. I knew exactly what I wanted to say. So I wrote that stupid letter and showed Mrs. Vines and tucked it into the back of my binder like an idiot. I thought that if I kept it close, nobody would ever read it, especially him.

And so the letter stayed in the back of my binder, creased, wrinkled, and forgotten. I had folded in and tucked it so deep into the pocket that when I cleaned out my binder to prepare it for ninth grade, I didn't even notice it.

It would have never been found if it weren't for Layne Abeley. It turns out she kind of had a thing for Landon—he was good friends with her brother. I had let her borrow my Spanish notes one day and when she went to clip them back into my binder, she noticed a corner of the letter sticking out of the back pocket. I didn't even notice when she took it out, read the first sentence, and stuck it into her own bag.

Layne kept that note for a good three months until last night, which from now on I'll call That Night. That Night my life was ruined. That Night that I could never think of Landon Crane the same way ever again.


Good? Bad? Yes? No? I've had this in the works forever, it feels good to finally post it.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!