Dear Henry...Assignment: Write a letter to someone deceased. Can be a fictional character, a historical figure, a family member, etc.

Essay by liseliHigh School, 10th gradeA, October 2007

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Dear Henry,Wow. It’s been a year already, and here we are. It’s your birthday again. Happy seventeenth.

Do you remember last year’s party? We had a barbeque at your house, and watched that Saw movie. I had nightmares for three weeks afterwards. You were in some of them, but I can’t recall what happened anymore.

I almost wore the same outfit I wore that day today, but then I remembered, and put on a different shirt. Same jeans, though, the ones with the sharpie stain on the left knee and paint marks on cuffs.

That was right before we became an official couple. I remember asking you what you wanted for your birthday, and you said, “A hundred hugs.”And then you changed your mind and said you wanted a hundred kisses instead, but I told you fifty hugs equals one kiss, so you would only get two.

You said that would be just fine.

We were in that flirt-flirt stage, as you so eloquently put it.

Can you remember the summer before tenth grade? That’s two years ago. I think we were friends, and though we promised to hang out, nothing ever happened.

How about the summer before ninth? I hated your guts then. I hated you for what you did to me. I hated you because of our stupid middle school relationship.

But I especially hated you because even as a kid I couldn’t keep you off my mind. In Civics class there was a poster of Prince Henry behind me, and every day it reminded me of you. Funny how I didn’t notice it until we broke up. I think back to how we broke up for the first time and wasted two years of high school, when we could have—How about the summer before that? You...