Letters to Strangers

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Special Doodle, Mar 26, 2015.

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  1. It'd all started with an argumemt gone a little too far. Something about his medicine, and how he'd needed to be nore responsible with it. Xavier didn't -he couldn't- remember what it was that'd sparked the whole thing. He simply knew that one thing lead to another, and the next thing he knew, his best friend, and ultimately his care taker, was in the hospital with life threatening injuries.

    Xavier didn't know what'd happened. More specifically, Buddy didn't know.

    Xavier had lived the vast majority of the earliest parts of his childhood in squalor and depravity. He had a mother who was better off dead, and a father never quite in the picture, for reasons he'd never figured or cared to figure out. There was a new man every few days. Most weren't the greatest. But his mother's favorites liked to hit. They hit anything they could. Whether it was her or Xavier or the wall, mother's favorites liked to hit. Xavier remembered that well.

    Come seven years old, one too many blows to the head took its toll. Between crippling panic attacks and depression, there was another problem that'd come up. Xavier wasn't wholly himself by the time he got into foster care. When his family adopted him, they took in two boys. Xavier himself, and Buddy; two personalities -two people- within the same body.

    It was a coping mechanism, one he never quite grew out of. Retreating into himself, leaving a personna to take the damage and the flack from the outside world, Buddy- the far more resilient of his personalities- took the fall. And when he went to court, and later prison, it'd been poor little Buddy who took the heat of the stress.

    Mentall illness be damned, he landed six years in a medium security prison and three years of anger management classes during that time. While Buddy had made friends with his cell mates, Joe and Harold, Xavier, when he finally came back around, didn't hold them to such high regards.

    Six months into his sentence with no contact from his old friend, or even his family, Xavier was placed into the prison's pen pal system. It wasn't likely he'd get any mail, but there was a chance. Filling out the profile was a hassle for the man, caught between not knowing what to write and not wanting to write anything.

    Some time later, his profile was online. it wasn't much, but there wasn't much he had to say.

    Xavier Smith. 22.
    I'm sad about the mistakes I made, but I ddon't remember what happened. I hurt someone I was close to. I wish I didn't do it. I'm going to be a better person I hope. I'm lonely and sad and I wish I had a friend to talk to here. if you respond to this, thank you.
  2. Having signed up for library duty Nikita found peace among the books. The noise of her peers were trivial compared to the chaos that was her life and the troubles that literally haunted her. Seeing that no one was interested in loaning a book at the moment she continued the surfing of the site she had gotten intrigued by.

    Could writing help others? Smiling softly at the thought she had signed up and was scrolling through the ads. Pausing at one ad she got affected by the words. Noting down the details in the notebook she kept she decided that this inmate was the one that she would write to. 'Xavier, huh...'

    Returning to her library duties it finally was close to closing time when an unwanted presence appeared. "It serves even a crude lady such as yourself very little to be out this late in the afternoon. You are better off returning to your dorm room." The condescending made her nauseous and she glared at the specter that had spoken to her. "Leave me alone Matthew. It's not the whatever-century you're from anymore." The ghost flared and several books fell off their shelves. Glaring at him she started to pick up the fallen books. "Not until you are a proper lady." These were the moments Nikita wanted two things. One: Severely harm the ghost. And two: Wish she had never met the ghost. "Matthew, your image of a proper lady is different from the society's image of a proper lady." Sighing she put the books back in place before getting her bag. "And I have my part-time job in an hour." "Ah, yes, the partial servitude towards strangers for monetary benefits." Blank she stared at the ghost, knowing that while the words could be taken horribly wrong she was glad no one else could hear him. "It's 'waitress' actually." Responding dryly she got the last of the closing up done together with another student who had library duty. That other student had completely missed Nikita talking to empty air.

    On her way to her job she got some stationary so she could write the letter between breaks. At the diner she worked there were some slower hours and while she would've preferred some more tips she could live with the slower times now. Penning the letter she thought carefully about what to write.

    "Hello Xavier.
    My name is Nikita, but I usually go by 'Nicky'. I'm writing to you because your ad resonated with me. I once hurt those close to me and are distanced from my family. I might not serve time for it but it will probably stay with me for a long time.
    I'm a student studying English Literature, focused on classic literature. It's probably not the most exciting subject but each book contains thoughts penned down into words and stories. Just the thought makes me smile.
    What about you? Do you have things you really care for? Songs? Books? Games? Sports? I'd love to hear about them and what makes you love them, because your thoughts have become words written on paper. Argh, now I was being sappy. Sorry...
    I hope you will reply.
    From Nicky."

    Putting the scrapped drafts in her bag and the finished letter in an envelope she hoped none of her classmates would see this letter. Writing on the address and putting on the stamp she sent it off after work. Her classmates... Why should she care about them anyways? Thanks to Matthew's tantrums they feared her anyways.
  3. It took a few days for Nikita's letter to come through in the mail. It took another day or so for the prison's mail security system to go through the mail and make sure it was safe for the inmates to read and respond to. While nothing was ever really deemed as a threat, everything was done under the guise of safety precautions. You could never be too careful with convicted felons. Xavier's letter from Nikita, along with the many other letters from other people involved in the penal pen pal program, were all deemed acceptable, and later handed to the inmates during lunch one afternoon.

    There were a lot of things Xavier had expected when he was first sent to jail. He'd expected to get beat up, or kicked around. He expected to sit in a cell and rot for most of the day. He expected a lot of the inmates around him to be murderers and rapists. Not that he received any of what he expected, which was definitely for the best. But of all the things he expected and thought would come from the next six years of his life, he never expected a letter. Certainly not from a woman named Nikita. From his family, maybe, but not from some woman he'd never even heard about. A lawyer maybe? No. Definitely not.

    He vaguely remembered filling out some profile, though he couldn't recall now what it was for. He turned to his fellow inmate, his cellmate, Joe, after his letter had been handed to him. Joe was... alright, for lack of better description. He'd been in and out of the system all his life- hanging with the wrong crowd. Gang membership didn't end in prison. There was only one real way out, and Joe didn't feel like eating a bullet. "What is this?"

    The older man didn't have to take the evidently tampered with letter from the blonde's hands to know what it was. "Someone saw that profile of yours online and decided they'd write back to you. You remember it, don't you? Guard pulled you out of here one day and sat your ass down at a computer to write a little bit about yourself." Xavier nodded. "Well, open the damn thing. Let's see what she wrote." They read the letter together. Xavier was neither a strong reader or writer, so Joe helped him with the bigger words, much to his discontent. Either way it went, Xavier read Nikita's message.

    "Do I have to write back?"

    "I would. She chose you for some damn reason. Be happy 'bout it."

    That night, back in the cell block, Xavier started to write back to Nikita.

    Hi Nikita
    It is not fair that you do not have to be in jail becase of what you did but that's ok. I can not get mad about it. I don't like to read becase books are boring but i had a freind that used to read a lot and he would read things to me some times. I liked it when he read books. I don't have lots of hobbys. I used to collect toy dragons becase my freind liked them a lot but then we started to fight and now theyre all gone. I wish i could have them again but they would break becase not a lot of people here are nice. what did you do to hurt the people you were close to? were you in a fight?

    Xavier's writing was messy and uneven, childishly had to read. His grammar was bad, and there were quite a few spelling mistakes without autocorrect on the computer to help him. Joe read over the message for him to fix up the mistakes. From the writing alone, he couldn't tell if Xavier or Buddy wrote the letter. But he didn't ask or bring it up. Xavier was volatile enough without any -albeit unintentional- provocation.
  4. When the letter reached her several days later she was surprised to say the least. She hadn't expected any response, perhaps because she felt that the letter had been awkward. Reading the letter she smiled wryly at the childish tone and uneven script. Just what kind of person was this Xavier really?

    Seeing that she had some time before work she sat down and thought about the answer she was going to write back. With the page on front of her blank she felt a sudden chill that warned the presence of someone she wished she had never met. "Matthew..." Speaking the ghost's name she looked at the vague outline of the male in front of her. Seeing that he was being quiet she returned to ignoring him and began penning the letter.

    "Hello, thank you for answering my letter Xavier.
    What I did... Well, I insulted the wrong person, a really prideful person. He got mad at me as a result and has been bothering me since then. Sometimes those close to me gets caught up in it and gets hurt as a result. So I pushed them all away and hurt them by cutting them out of my life. There are many ways you can make a mistake, not all of them are crimes, same with hurting people, sometimes you hurt them emotionally which was what I did. I still feel guilty that others got hurt because of me and my mistakes, and I'll have to live with that. It's a part of life that can't be ignored.

    One a bit more cheerful note: Dragons? That's cute. You know, there's some books about dragons that are fun and easy to read. Neverending Story is my favorite, but there's also this book series called Jane and the Dragon, it got turned into a cartoon series. And now I started on books again... But yeah, dragons are interesting. They always get presented differently. Some dragons are really good, like Falkor and others are evil, like Smaug.

    There's this street artist that sells some really good sketches not far from school, I can send you a dragon picture sometime.
    And seriously, call me Nicky, I like that better than my name."

    Sighing she folded the letter and put it in and envelope with the address written on it. As her attention strayed the letter Xavier had sent her got picked up by Matthew. "Hmm, so even a uncouth woman such as yourself receive letters. Who could have known." Snapping out of her thoughts she grabbed the letter quickly and glared at Matthew. "Seriously, stop it." "Oh? So you can run around like some wild beast? Until you have become a proper lady of virtue I will not let you be." Again Nicky wished that Matthew was corporeal so she could punch him and his old-fashioned ideas. "I can't deal with you sometimes..." Grumbling she grabbed her things together with the written letter and put the one from Xavier in the drawer.

    On her way to work she sent off the letter, keeping to ignoring Matthew. Hopefully he wouldn't throw a fit at the diner, she didn't want to lose another job because of him. On her way she saw the tattoo parlor, a place she would've liked going by even once, but remembering how much Matthew had flipped the last time she showed actual interest in tattoos she sighed softly. She felt trapped. Prison bars didn't keep her locked, a ghost named Matthew did.
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