- Dear Anna
I’ve always wondered why you let your hair down like that, how you’d leave one half tied up, and the other down past your skinny shoulders. To me, I find that uncomfortable (well, I’m a guy). I’ve always wondered why you’d buy a tub of vanilla ice cream, just so you can top it with brownies, cake or granola. Yes, ala mode is delicious, but you’ve got cravings worse than a pregnant woman. I’ve always wondered why you have a strange fascination for anime. I will never understand how you can watch large-eyed characters with unimaginable hair move and about (although, I’ll give it to you, they do have better plot). I’ve always wondered what goes through your head every time somebody’d say something about your beliefs, how you always stood up for what you believe in regardless of what people say. I’ve always liked that about you. I’ve always wondered how life would’ve been if I hadn’t been a jerk to you.
I know it may come as a shock to you, but I’ve always liked you. But I was a boy – a stupid, little, immature boy. And you know the thing about us little boys, we hide our emotions by picking on someone.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, sorry. I’m sorry for hurting you, of all those years picking on you. I’m sorry for making fun of your little quirks; actually, I find them really cute. I’m also sorry I pushed you in the mud in front of your crush, my big brother, Jason. I was really jealous of the fact that you liked him, even though he’s years older than us (and he turned out to be gay). I’m sorry I called you a ‘harbinger of bad luck’ after your grandmother died, that was really insensitive of me. And most of all, I’m so sorry to know that your diagnosed with anemia.
Did you know that when I heard of your condition I ditched work for a whole day, got drunk, and got into a fight? Yeah, that happened. Ask my brother. And the reason? You. It’s been years since, we last saw each other. With every tick of the clock reminds me of the many times I’ve made you cry, ruining that sweet face of yours, of the sweet little girl I ruined. Ever since, I’ve been thinking about you, of how you’ve been, if you’re still the same Anna, if you’ve reached your dreams, if you’re happy, also, as much as it pains me, if you’ve met a special someone.
By the way, I heard you were top of your class, and that your short story got a Palanca award and is currently being turned into an indie-film by your favorite director. Congratulations! I always knew you could do it. Actually, me and your favorite director are distant relatives, but we’re close. I was the one who recommended you when I heard you won. Somehow, I thought of it as a way of compensating for all my sins.
But no, it wasn’t enough. And so is this letter I’m writing. You may have noticed that it’s (badly) handwritten. Well, you’re a writer, so I thought handwritten letters would make you swoon, even despite the chemo.
Anna, please fight it. You have to live. Because having written everything I’ve been keeping for 15 years? That’s hard, and just fucking cowardly of me. I’d rather be saying all these to your face, regardless of the fact that I’d probably stutter and have a hard time looking at you in the eye. Maybe it’s because I want to get rid of the guilt, but having written this and you read it, means more than that.
The nights have been terrible since I knew, I’ve been praying like crazy, begging Him not to take you away. You can’t go yet. Not now, not ever. Because I have something to say to you, but only if you live.
So please, fight. Keep fighting Anna, so that I’ll be able to buy you a truckload of vanilla ice cream for you, I’ll watch anime with you, we’ll talk over coffee over life, and so that I’ll say the one thing I’ve always wanted to tell you. Please fight, because I can’t bear the thought of you gone.
A few weeks later, Marianna ‘Anna’ Rosales died in her sleep.
But hours before her death, a man came to her room and stayed for almost 3 hours. He left in tears, happy tears. And when Anna died, she was smiling, clutching the letter to her heart.