Michelle stepped tentatively to the desk and lifted the envelope from the little wicker basket, turning it over and over in her hands. Instead of sitting at the desk, she walked over and climbed up onto the big four-poster bed and scooted all the way to the middle, burying herself in fluffy pillows and comforters. She held the envelope to her face. It smelled like Ashton. How do I even know what Ashton smells like? I spent two minutes with him!
She ripped open the envelope. Three pages? What the heck? Scrawling, frantic, angry cursive. Passionate. She gulped.
I’m so sorry!
What? No ‘Hi Michelle, how are you today?’ Whatever. She kept reading.
I don’t know what I was thinking! I was so excited to discover you were a member of the church that I didn’t realize how my words would affect you! Please forgive me! I really screwed up! How can I make this up to you? I don’t know what got into me. Whether you keep me around or not, I hope you’ll at least forgive me. I’ve messed up so many things in my life. I need to start over. I wish I could go back in time to that first day I skipped church for a tournament. I’d say to the organizers “Sorry, I don’t compete on Sundays. That’s the day I celebrate the Sabbath.” If I could go back in time, I would, but I can’t. I know I need to go to church again. I need to change. I know that. I don’t expect you to understand because you’ve probably never done anything wrong in your whole life. You spend your days taking care of sick people, for heaven’s sake! You’re so good, and I’m so bad. You deserve someone better than me. Why did the producers even choose me as one of your potential dates? I’m not good enough for you. You deserve someone better than me. Did I say that already? Yeah, I guess I did. Darn it. Messed up again. Michelle, I don’t want to leave. I want to make this up to you. Please. -Ashton
Michelle balled up the letter and threw it across the room. Then she stared at the wad of paper. She clambered out of bed and padded across the carpet. Sitting down on the floor, she smoothed the paper back out across her knee and read his words again. And then again. She held it to her chest and breathed in the scent of the paper. Ashton. Did I say that out loud? Oops.
She picked herself off the floor and let her bare feet carry her over to the little secretary desk. She spread the letter out, trying to smooth out the wrinkles. She picked up a pen and held it over a piece of pink paper. What do I even say to him?
Ashton, you’re a jerk.
She crumpled that paper up and tossed it toward the wastebasket. She hesitated again.
Ashton, you’re a jerk, but I kind of like you.
Another one for the trashcan.
You smell really good and you have amazing eyes and I want to run my fingers through your long hair and go swimming in the ocean with you.
She ripped that one into little pieces and let them fall on the floor.
Ashton, you’re a jerk and I don’t want to talk to you right now. Maybe I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Maybe. -Michelle
Before she could crumple that one up, she folded the paper and tucked it into an envelope, sealed it and wrote Ashton’s name on the outside. She put the envelope in the ‘keep’ pile and shut out the light.