The Letter “A” is for Annie

By G. P. Avants

Much of the history we know were taken from letters that people sent back-and-forth while corresponding. Unlike an email, letters were handwritten, unique, and one of time. You could equate a letter from a historical figure as finding gold. The stories, told, the wishes hoped for, and the love sustained really told us that history is made up of ordinary people just like us. 

In Chronolocity: A Fistful of Chrontons, Levy meets other historical figures than the three boys he is meets in isolation. Tom Edison shares that one of their neighbors, Annie, communicates through and adjacent bathroom wall using Morse Code. It turns out that this young lady is none other than a 14 year old Annie Oakley. She manages to bring the normally logical Levy, to open up his heart just a bit while sharing some personal struggles from home. Though they never meet, because Annie is taken home before they can talk face-to-face. She does leave behind a letter that Levy treasures because of their time together. 

“Hey, how could I forget this?” He reaches in and pulls out Annie’s letter. He smooths it out on his lap before he opens it. 

Dear Friend, 

I am not sure how to say this. Thank you is a pretty weak combination of words. It is with these words that I will begin. That seems like a place to start. 

I had a plan to escape and come rescue you and the boys. I realized that was very ambitious. The other girls helped me until they each were taken away. I imagine that they have all been taken home and my time is coming soon. However, before that happens, I wanted to see you face-to-face. Is that a little crazy? If it is I do not apologize for it. Your friendship is worth the risk. 

Thank you for being a friend in a dark, cold place. You may not think you made a difference, but you did. Sometimes a true friend means having someone to listen to you ramble or endure your bouts of awkward silence. I did not always have the words or the energy (my hand is sore even while writing this letter) to say all I wanted to say, but that’s part of being there for someone. It is the time you give that matters. My granny use to say, “Time is more precious than money. You can make more money, yet you can’t make more time. That is why it’s the real gold of life. Spend time wisely.” 

I think you did that for me. I know you had to deal with my sadness and still work tirelessly on a way to get us all out of here. I am not too sure if I will get to tell you this in person, so I am writing it down. I would like to think of myself as self-reliant and strong, however the truth is I am scared all the time. I am scared that I will run out of time before I do what I think God has called me to do. Do you ever feel that way? So, thank you for making my time here a little more bearable. 

One last thing. I know you are afraid of sharing your feelings. It sounds like you have let hurts and sadness camp out on the range of your heart. It’s sort of like having room to live life, yet a burnt, black patch on the farm is all you see. I find if I spend my time looking at that burnt area, I never see the rest of the land that needs tending. When I do look out beyond to what else is in my life, I ride the range, as it were, ride my horse, smell the fresh air. I find there is a lot more to life than the burnt patch. In fact, when I get up and look from a higher perspective, that hurt place looks mighty small. Do you understand what I am saying? 

So, with that, I want to say that you helped me see life beyond my burnt place. I lost everything growing up and said I would never open my heart to anyone. I think you taught me to take the risk, opening my heart one little piece at a time. Trust is earned, Levy, and you have gained my trust. I know that we may never meet in life, but I want to thank you for showing love to me that I will treasure in my heart…and my mind. 

May the trail be always ahead and the past behind you. Be a broken human, not a machine. 

Yours in time, Annie 

Levy leans back and sighs. I wonder if time keeps certain people apart for a reason? I was that close and still it didn’t happen. Is it our fate never to meet? How do people that are perfect for each other miss? If there is one thing I would ask Mr. Cross, it would be to let me meet Annie face-to-face. I wonder if there is still time? 

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