I see on your Facebook page that you are married and have three young kids, but that does not in any way alter my love for you. I want you to think back on all the fun we had in seventh grade, in Miss Lynd’s Social Studies class. Remember? Sitting in the back where no one could see us? I passed you notes and you threw them out the window, pretending you didn’t care? I’m sending you a photo, so you can remember the day I brought to school the rack from the buck I shot with my dad. I dedicated it to you.
Miss Lynd gave me three days of detention, which I served without even talking back, because I loved you so much. You were so embarrassed. It was so cute. You always were so unbelievably good. We shared that one class in Sunday school, too. Remember? You never would go out back with me, even though I brought you your favorite candy (Sweet Tarts! See? I remember everything!). And even though I did your catechism for you all the time, you wouldn’t kiss me. You were so pure. I wanted to live up to your purity and goodness. I tried so hard, and although our paths went in different directions when your parents transferred you to Valley High in eighth grade, I have never forgotten how you kept me on the straight and narrow during those precious moments of adolescence. Tough as they were, just knowing you were in the same school with me made the whole ride easier.
We haven’t talked in a million years, and you look just the same on your Facebook page. I made a whole new profile, using my cousin’s name, just to keep track of you, after you blocked me last year. I have been good, though, right? I haven’t said a single thing on your public wall—just loved you from afar.
I saw you planting asters when I drove by your house last year. The maples in your yard were turning orange, it was just after you blocked me on Facebook, and your hair was the most touchably golden silk in the autumn sunlight. But you were right—I went too far when I posted those things on your wall. I’m sorry about that. I have a really good job now—I’m in insurance—and I promise I’m not the deadbeat you crossed off your friend list. Things are different now. Totally different.
Listen: I have been in a bad way. I don’t know if you saw my post about the car wreck. That was totally my fault. But I have stopped drinking. I know it sounds impossible, but it is true. I’m six weeks sober. Please re-friend me on this new account. I promise, no more drunk posts to your wall. Never again, I swear it.
I need your strength and goodness, MaryLou, or I really don’t know what I might do. Look at this little boy’s face and see if you can’t find just a little bit of the love you had for him way back in seventh grade. I would post a more recent photo, but because of the car wreck, I don’t look like myself. The bruises and all. Did you read about it in the paper? I feel horrible for that college girl and her dog. It was my absolute low point, rock bottom, and now I’m back on track, and I need you, MaryLou. Please. Don’t turn me away. I shot that buck myself, you know.
M.M. De Voe is a Manhattan-based writer whose flash fiction has won many literary prizes. Anthologized alongside Joyce Carol Oates and Margaret Atwood and nominated for three Pushcart Prizes, most recent placements include The Brooklyn Rail, BuzzyMag and St. Petersburg Review. Founder and Executive Director of Pen Parentis.