A/N I reposted chapter one to correct a big old mistake...
My Dear Edward Chapter 1
"OK, class, I know this is the last week of school and all, but I have some great news for you." I look around and see the look of question on their faces. "It seems as though we will all be together again next year, as I will be teaching eighth grade English."
I pause and watch the expressions change. There are a few that are clearly disappointed, some that could care less, and a few of my prize students are clearly excited. I wonder what they will think of what I have planned for them.
"There is a summer assignment that we, including myself, will be partaking in." I continue talking over the groans that come from the back of the room. Yes, I knew that this would not go over well for all who attend my class.
"Excuse me, Miss. Swan, will this be part of this year's grade, or next?" Angela asked from the front row.
"This will be part of next year's grade. You will be glad to know that the summer reading list has been shortened." I continue to talk over the now cheers that are coming from the back row. "Don't get ahead of yourself, it's only by two books, but this assignment will not take that much time."
I walk to my desk and pull out the packets for each of the students. I walk down each row, handing each student an envelope. It will contain all the information that they need to complete their task.
"OK, now that everyone has their information, let me tell you about it. We will each be getting a pen pal. All the information you need is included in the packet. You will write to them once per week. You can mail out your first letter anytime between now and July first. This will give you enough time to make sure that you get your eight letters mailed. In your envelope, there is a name of someone who is enlisted in one of the branches of our military and is currently serving overseas. The goal of this assignment is to work on letter format, proper English, and overall writing skills. Are there any questions?"
I pause and watch a few of hands go up.
"Is there anything specific that we need to write about?"
"No, you can talk about anything, within limits of course. You will write two copies of each letter, and save all the responses. We will share what we learned about our pen pals, examine the way you're writing skills have changed, and look at improvements. Each letter must be between five hundred and one thousand words. It must contain proper paragraphs, and punctuation."
I spend the rest of the class answering questions and handing out the final grades.
"So class, we only have a few more minutes, I want you all to have a fantastic summer, but be safe and have fun. You all have access to my email address, if there are any questions, please email me."
Just as I finish, the final bell rings. I watch as the kids jump from their seats and rush out of the room. I laugh at the excitement that they have as I remember what it was like when I was that age. I take my time gathering my things before I head home to relax. I still have some work to do this summer, and of course, I need to write my letters as well.
The drive home is peaceful; I put the top down as I turn up the music. When I arrive home, I park in the garage, gather my things, and enter my home. I set my keys on the table next to the door and remove my shoes. I set my bag down on the steps and grab a bottle of water from the fridge. I take time to answer the emails that are in my inbox. Of course, there is one from Sue. My real mom died when I was ten, and she quickly took over to help out. She sends me one every week. I can guarantee that the first line will ask me if I met anyone.
I finish dinner, and finally begin to unpack from my last day of school. I put everything where it belongs in my office. I'm excited to see how this summer writing assignment goes, so I decide that tonight I will start my first letter. First, I need to unwind and relax.
I jump in the shower, and once I'm dressed in my shorts and tank top, I grab my laptop and head to the living room. I set it on the coffee table and run to the kitchen to pour a small glass of wine. I set it on the stand next to my chair and turn on the table lamp. Once my laptop loads, I open up my Microsoft Office and begin my first letter.
June 17, 2011 Dear Edward:
Hello. I hope this letter finds you in good standings. Let me introduce myself. My name is Isabella Swan, but almost everyone calls me Bella. I am an English teacher at Forks Middle school in WA.
My class has a summer assignment that I too am participating in. I have assigned all my students a member of our armed forces that is currently serving overseas as a pen pal. I am hoping that this helps develop their writing skills, as well as get to know someone they may not have a chance to get to know otherwise. I am requiring them to write one letter per week as a minimum. To make it fair, I put all the names in a hat and drew them. It was your name that I pulled for myself. I was given a list of names and an address to mail the letters to from out local recruiting office.
I know this letter is short, but I wanted to let you know the reason of my letter, and to ask you if you would be interested in writing to me over the summer. The assignment will last for eight weeks, however, everyone is free to continue if they so choose. I will warn you that each letter does have a minimum of five hundred words; of course, yours can be of any length. If you would like to accept my letters, and join in by writing back just let me know.
I understand if you are too busy in your duties and may not have time. If that is the case, please be careful in all that you do, and return home safe. I look forward to getting to know you this summer.
Sincerely, Isabella Swan
P.S. I know that this first letter does not meet the word requirement. I just wanted to say hi, and I promise to give myself a low grade for not following directions. (Just a little teacher joke there)
I reread my letter to make sure I'm happy with it before I print it out, place it in an addressed envelope, and walk out to the mail box. To make it easier on the kids, they all have envelopes that are pre-addressed, and postage paid.
I spend the rest of the night wondering about my pen pal. I wonder what he looks like, what he likes to do, and if he enjoys his job. Before I shut down my laptop, I jot down a list of questions I would like to ask him. A game of twenty questions so to say. I am excited to get a response, and I hope my class is as well.
A week has gone by since I mailed out my first letter. A few of my students have already emailed me letting me know that they have gotten a response back. I'm glad they are getting into this and enjoying it. Me, I keep checking the mail hoping to get a response. I have always wanted to do something like this, and I'm excited to meet someone new that does not live in this small town. I hum the latest song that is still in my head as I check the mail for today. I have several pieces and begin to flip through them as I walk to the house.
There are a few bills, some junk mail, and wait, what's this? The envelope is handwritten, addressed to me of course, but there is no return address on it. I place all but the one envelope on the table and take a seat. I slide my finger gently under the sealed envelope careful not to get a paper cut. Once it's open, I pull out the paper and unfold the letter; it too is handwritten, I'm excited, the letter is from Edward.
June 24, 2011 Dear Bella:
Hello. I hope it is OK that I call you Bella as well. If you would prefer me to call you Isabella please let me know.
I was surprised when they called out names for mail, and I heard my name. It's not often that I get mail, and when I do, it's normally from my mom. I would be honored to write to you this summer. I think your writing assignment is a great idea. I know that there are many soldiers that don't get many letters or calls from home, and I watch as it brings them down. I have also seen the delight of those that do get to hear their name. It still surprises me sometimes to see just how much a simple letter can mean to someone.
Thank you for taking the time to write to me, and don't worry, I won't tell about your low score. It's just between you and me. So if you don't mind me asking; what grade do you teach?
I truly look forward to getting to know you, and reading your letters. I know this is short, but I need to run. I just wanted to respond and let you know that I'm in.
Sincerely, CPL Edward Cullen
P.S. Please don't fail me on my word count. It was only two hundred and five. Unless every word on the page counts, then I'm at two hundred and sixty-five. So that gives me what, a C+? Take care, and I will write to you soon.
I laugh as I reread his P.S. I am glad he has a sense of humor. I think I will enjoy writing to him. I place the letter on my desk and decide to go through the rest of my mail. After paying all the bills and recycling the junk mail, I put on my sneakers and go for a run.
Running is my favorite form of exercise, the feeling of the wind through my hair, and sound of my sneakers as they pound on the asphalt beneath me. It's rhythmic and calming. Some days, I bring my IPod, but other days, days like today, I let the consistent thud calm me. I feel the sun beating on my face, and it warms my skin. I smell all the flowers as I run past the gardens. My favorite is Mrs. Plat's yard. She has the most beautiful garden I have ever seen. She must have hundreds of different flowers, and the scent is amazing. You can smell the different rose and her lilac bushes.
As I begin to take in my surroundings, I begin to imagine what it's like where ever Edward is. I wonder if the weather is warm, or cold, or if he's safe. I decide that when I go home I will research a bit on his rank and get an idea of what role he plays. Maybe I can impress him with my new found knowledge. I finish my five mile run and spend the last five minutes walking to cool down my body. I stretch when I get in the house. My plan for the day is a shower and research on the laptop.