“Michael, there is another letter from a fan for you.” Mother told me as I walked in the house from playing basketball with my brothers.
“Thanks, mom.” I kissed her cheek and took the letter.
“You’re so sweaty!” She laughed as I raced to my room and shut the door.
“No name. Just the address and mine. That’s weird.” I lay on my bed and opened the envelope to find two pieces of paper. “Oh boy…”
Dear Michael, June 7, 1979
Hi there! My name is Shayla-Elizabeth. It’s quite a simple name. Everyone says it’s unique though. I am your biggest fan! Well, maybe not that big of a fan. I’m sure there are some fans out there that are much bigger fans of you than I am.
I’m not your ordinary girl. When people say, ‘nay’ I say, ‘yay.’ I prefer playing outside in two-degree weather in the snow rather than sitting by the fire. It’s just how I am.
I’m eighteen and I turn nineteen next month. I look forward to my birthday. When is your birthday? See? I’m not that big of a fan. I don’t even know your birthday! I’m guessing you’re probably twenty or twenty-one? Or maybe I’m wishing you’re around my age. You’re probably twenty-two or twenty-three, huh? Forgive me if I guess wrong.
I always liked the name ‘Michael.’ To know that my favorite music artist is named Michael makes it even better.
Welp, I know I’m just one of many of your fans out there, so you might not even write me back. You might not even read it. Even if you do, it’ll probably be when you’re thirty or forty when I’ve already married my college sweetheart and have three children. So, I honestly don’t even look forward to a response from you. I hope that doesn’t offend you. I don’t mean to be rude.
If you have taken the time to read my letter, thank you for at least taking time out of your busy schedule to read it. I’ll talk to you in ten or twenty years.
Shayla has a great sense of humor. She really expects me to respond to her letter ten or twenty years from now? That’s hilarious. I’m going to surprise her and respond to her while I’m still young.
Dear Shayla-Elizabeth, June 11, 1979
I’ve decided to surprise you and respond to your letter now. I wouldn’t respond to this letter when I’m thirty or forty, I would have forgotten it by then. That was funny though! This is not the first letter I have responded to. But I must admit, this is the first letter I’ve received without a photo. Trust me, I love getting photos from my fans, but that’s one less photo to put in my drawer…
To answer your question, my birthday is August 29, 1958. I’m twenty years old. I don’t mind that you’re not that big of a fan of me. In fact, I don’t even care.
Why is your favorite name ‘Michael?’ I would really like to know!
I really enjoyed reading your letter. I wish you the best!
I sealed the letter into the envelope. She seems like a nice girl to talk to. Hopefully, I get a response from her.
The next day when the mailman came by to give us our mail, I quickly ran out to him.
“Hey, Michael!” He smiled.
“Hey, Lawrence.” I pulled the letter out of my back pocket.
“What do you have there?” He wondered.
“A letter? Is it a love letter?” He laughed.
“Nope. It’s just a friendly one.”
“Who’s it from?”
“I’m responding to a fan. Could you mail it to her?” I gave him the letter.
He looked at her address, “Ohio?”
“Yeah, it’s pretty far.” I nodded.
“Alright. I’ll make sure Shayla-Elizabeth gets it. Have a nice day!”
“You too!” I called as I walked back to the house. I really hope she gets the letter…