This is a reply to Lenora’s second letter.
I’m so glad to see you still want to write to me! Thank you!
That’s probably not the best way to start a letter, really, but I’ve already been rewriting this beginning so many times that I don’t even know… Wow, I seem to be writing everything that just pops into my head. I’m sorry. I’ll try to edit myself a bit more. Anyway, thank you for your letter. It’s so awesome and fun to learn more about you and your family!
Your family is so cool and so strong! Your life really sounds like a fairytale. You know, the dark kind that life usually is, but still amazing and you people seem to really make things turn out okay. Again, my condolences for all the losses your family has suffered. And thank you for being so kind about my losses. I think that in a way it was easier to lose people when I was too young to really know what was going on. Or then again, maybe not. I don’t know yet.
And please send my condolences to the orphans you mentioned. I know kind words from a random stranger who’s far away probably won’t do much, but I still want to say it. You’re so great for adopting them! I hope they’ll be okay. From what I’ve heard about your family, they’ll at least have a very loving, magical environment.
Since you told me so much more about your family, I guess I’ll introduce my family a bit more too. I won’t be mentioning any names, though (at least not yet). Sorry. Most of my siblings are former foster kids (like I kind of was, but I was in foster care for a really short time until I was officially adopted) from pretty tough backgrounds, and our parents are really strict about not mentioning their names to strangers. I mean, my name is fine, because it’s mine, and my background was more peaceful. Anyway, I can still tell you a little about my family:
My adoptive dad works in the city council here, and he’s super nice. He has great jokes, and he and my adoptive mum are one of those perfect sweetheart couples who seem to always get along. My mum is a professional chef, and she makes really delicious, usually organic food. She smiles almost all the time and she can make me smile with just a few words too. She was home a lot when I was little and helped me adjust to the new family the most. But dad was also there, and he was determined to be the dad I never knew. He isn’t, because I do know him, and I can’t really compare him to my real dad. And I don’t need to. They’re great just the way they are, and I like to think that my real dad was too.
My oldest sister is my mum and dad’s only biological kid. She has dad’s sense of humour and mum’s gentle attitude towards life and everyone. She’s getting married with her girlfriend soon! It’ll be the first wedding I’ve ever attended, and I can’t wait! She graduated recently, and she’s working as an art therapist for troubled kids. You told me you also have a wedding coming up soon. And not just any wedding, but a magical, fairytale double wedding with royalty and all! Wow! Congratulations!
My other sister is really cool. She’s studying in a university, and I’m sure that she’s going to become some kind of communications-guru. Or then she’ll just start her own radical newspaper or magazine or something. She loves to shop for second-hand clothes for me and herself, and she used to be always photographing us all and everything else too. She still does it whenever she visits. My dad jokes that she’s like our personal memory bank. I’ve always got along really well with her. She always knows how to make me feel at ease whenever I’m nervous or scared. She has a great sense of humour too; dark and littered with puns.
My brother is really smart. He loves reading books and searching for all kinds of info on the internet. We play video games and real sports together, and we get along great. He and I started a sort of support group pretty soon after I moved in because both of us had and still have really bad nightmares. It’s probably not the nicest thing to bond over, but it made us friends real quick. Plus we’re both nervous in crowds, so we decided we can be nervous together.
There’s also some family friends that I mentioned in my first letter. Like my uncle. He doesn’t visit as often as I’d like, but I understand it because he’s very busy, and he isn’t even supposed to be here all the time. He’s my favourite friend, and I love talking to him. He talks about the world like he’s seeing it all at once but doesn’t really understand all of it, but that just makes for more interesting conversations. Though he’s sometimes a bit overprotective, but I understand that too. He doesn’t want me getting into trouble because he cares. Just like the rest of my family. There’s also this other friend, who’s a really nice lady who can brew really good tea and who seems really happy almost all the time. Being around her makes me pretty happy too.
Well, that’s pretty much it about my family for now. You asked about my guitar-playing. I don’t think I’m yet all that good with the guitar, but I’m learning all the time and my oldest sister, who also likes to play a number of instruments, has said that I’m already doing pretty well. I play many different kinds of songs, trying to get a feel of as many kinds of music as possible. But I mostly like to play melancholic music. Like sad ballads or some sombre rock songs.
Thanks to my second-oldest sister, I’ve grown to like pretty dark, heavy music, and me and my brother sometimes dance to the growliest death metal possible, much to our parents’ chagrin. I don’t think I’ll ever play death metal myself, though. I think I’ll stick to something a bit simpler and calmer. Though cheery folk songs are a lot of fun too! I actually listened to some Irish folk music just this other day because I got interested in Ireland thanks to you and your grandpa. Irish music is so pretty! Oh yeah, by the way, your grandpa Liam ended up as my pen pal too. Small world! He’s really cool too.
I don’t think I could ever go on stage to play, though. Do you ever get scared when you have to perform? Or is it all just routine by now? What do you do if you do get nervous? I could never imagine being famous. How do you deal with that? Have the paparazzi and weird fans ever got too bad? Have you had to magically zap some away or something?
Also that laser instrument sounds like so much fun! I tried looking for those on the internet after getting your letter, but I only found a few pictures and no place was shipping them here. I doubt mum and dad would have let me get one anyway. Our house is pretty full of stuff already. Darn. Still, I’m glad you’re having fun with it.
Oh, and thank you for telling me more about plant people! After getting your letter, I actually went out to look for them in my hometown! I even asked a local witch about them. She isn’t exactly mean, but she’s not the most sociable person either. And when I mentioned plant people she just said that this is exactly the kind of town where they’re considered freaks so there’s none of them around. Then she told me to get out. I think I made her sad.
Anyway, I still went looking for plant people. I didn’t find any, though. But I did find something else. I wandered into a place I’d never been to before. Sometimes it’s funny to think how many things one can miss even in one’s own hometown. I crossed the river that runs through our town many times and kept finding more and more bridges to cross. And after one bridge I was on an island.
It was tiny, and there were these old, huge stone slabs arranged into a circle. There was even some old carvings on them. A small sign said that it was a monument that was at least three thousand years old and no one knew what it was for.
I walked right into the centre of it and sat there, imagining those three-thousand-year-old people setting up all those stones. Who knows how they got them on the island. I bet the bridge they built for that was way different than the concrete-and-metal one that leads to the island now. It was weird, sitting there. Like for a moment I could almost sense the past people. Hear them chanting some old spell. But maybe that was just echoes of wind going between the stones or something.
Still, I got to thinking about how small I was, and how short-lived I was. And how many people had already lived here. But the people who put up these stones are still sort of here, in the stones and in the echoes. I think. It’s like what you said about how remembering people will keep them here. In less than a hundred years, I’ll probably be gone. But maybe I too will leave something behind. Something that makes me immortal in a sense too. I don’t know if I’d want to be immortal in any other way, though. Maybe. It would be cool, but on the other hand, I wonder if it would at some point become boring or scary. At least my uncle says that immortality wouldn’t be very healthy in the long run.
What do you do to stay healthy? I mean, you don’t get sick (I just got a letter from you grandpa and he said that you don’t), but there’s more to health than just staying physically healthy. Sometimes I at least feel like I just need to get out and do something like run or bike as far as I dare so that life doesn’t feel too heavy. And I’m only fifteen!
Thank you for not thinking that I’m completely boring. It was really nice to hear from you again. I hope you’ll keep having lovely days.