Note: I have joined a writing group that is a bunch of fun! Requirements are that the story has to be exactly 300 words. There are also three required words that the moderator of the group chooses – the very first word of the story and two others. I’ll put those words in bold. Enjoy!

Girls hands passing a note

When I slide open the large fuchsia-colored box the smell of old paper wafts and surrounds me. Each time, I’m overwhelmed with the volume of mostly hand-written pages it contains. I often forget about this box. I retrieve it from my bedroom closet shelf every couple of years. The contents entertain me, sadden me, cause me to laugh out loud.

I respond to the messages depending on my current emotional lot in life. The box contains letters, notes, diaries, scandal; the hopes, dreams, and disappointments of girls trying to navigate the world. A collection of school girl notes passed between classes, under the noses of teachers; behind the backs of friends. Therapy in its purest form. Love and hate, jealousy and trust, hope and laughter rolled into an era of heartfelt notes.

Pulling a random piece from the heavy pile I smile at the signature, Elizabeth. My best friend since junior high. Always Beth, she signs her proper name when she wants to add drama to her latest update.  A time before email, cell phones, texting, Instagram, and Facebook these notes are an encyclopedia of our lives. The intimate world of friends relying on each other as a beacon in the emotional storms accompanying adolescence, teenage and young adult years.

I read several sentences trying to place myself in the context of the random letter. It takes a moment or two then the memories flood in a surprising rush. I find myself in Geometry class, not paying attention to the math teacher someone dubbed Chicken Head. I covertly, silently unfold the letter opening the latest installment of our dramatic teenage lives.

I glance toward the front of the room, Chicken Head is lost in his math world, I read, “You will never believe what I just heard in study hall …”

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