Hannah, a forty-three year old woman, sat in her kitchen on a cold winter day and tried to read the paper. She wasn’t very successful, as her thoughts kept straying from the latest accidents and political upheavals and wandering off towards the letter lying open next to her.
She sighed and shoved the newspaper away from her, picking up the letter instead. She read it through once more, and sighed again. This was the sixth week that her Annie hadn’t come home. She had promised she’d be back every week – she’d promised! – but instead, every week without fail, Hannah received a letter from her. This week was no different. The letter read:
Hey! How are you? I’m so sorry, but I can’t come home this weekend either. I know, I know I promised, and I WILL be seeing you soon, it’s just that there’s so much to do here that I really can’t miss out on a weekend because I’ll fall dreadfully behind. OK, I know what you’re thinking, Mom, and NO, there isn’t some boy who’s keeping me busy. It’s seriously my studies.
The Set have us working super hard, but it’s all so interesting! I know I nattered on about this last week, but seriously, the internet connection is just so fast that I can’t even imagine how impatient I’ll be with the one at home when I come visit! They don’t let us access any E-mail sites though, which is why I have to write you in the old fashioned way. Anyway, I really do love my classes and all the things they’re teaching us here – my favorite teacher is Miss Flanders, she’s got this really amazing way of keeping us all in line by being totally charming – no one ever wants to interrupt her, she’s got such an amazing presence!
Anyway Mom, I really hope you’re not mad at me – you know that I hate that… I’ll try to call next week if I have time and maybe even come visit. Hope you’re doing OK, I miss you!
Hannah absentmindedly wiped the tears from her eyes as she looked at the printed page. She knew Marianne always typed when she could, as her handwriting was really quite messy. Still, Hannah was still of the generation that liked signed letters. She also wondered about this whole “Marianne” business. She only called her daughter that when she was angry – most of the time she was Annie for her, and Marianne hardly ever used her full name anywhere. It was only the name on her birth certificate and passport. Other than that, everyone, not only Hannah, called her Annie. How odd, Hannah thought to herself once more. She folded the letter back into it’s envelope with an air of resignation. Maybe Annie will really call next week – she thought to herself – I hope so.