My Love, Thy Name is Jenny

My dearest Jenny,

When I first met you, you didn’t even exist yet. My closest friend started talking faster than I’d ever heard before (and I’ve seen her so wired, she can’t blink) all about you and this Student Literary Arts Association and these obviously exciting things coming up. She invited me to places I’d never been to meet people I didn’t know and do things I’d only ever heard about. I tagged along and lurked in corners, watching my previously stone-silent friend (you may know her as Sarah, the former Ukranian exchange student) come to life as her dreams began to unfold.

It was uncomfortable.

There I was amongst people I didn’t know the first thing about (seriously, not even their names) and you brought out a love I feared had died in my childhood. I was that kid that wanted desperately to be a write when I “grew up” and carried a pen and notebook everywhere I went. When I joined the Army I spent several years thinking that I’d killed my creative side when I learned to stifle my emotions and walked around afraid I’d never write again.

But as I stood, at your first premier amidst a crowd of strangers, I felt all my words and feelings coming back to me. These strangers were more talented and passionate about you than I’ve seen anyone be about anything before. And you. You just called to me, and encouraged me.

So I followed Sarah like some sort of pet to you and SLAA and wound up helping in any small background way that I could to bring you to the world again and again. And Jenny, I must admit, I fell in love. All of the hours, the ideas, the planning and people dedicated to you are some of the absolute best I’ve ever known. I still hesitate to share my work with you as I’m like any writer in being my own biggest critic (though some of my teachers have come awfully close) and I always feel like it’s not good enough for you.

I have one last confession, darling. I’m leaving soon. I’ll be on the other side of the world. But don’t cry love, because I have a promise, too. I’ll write home to you Jenny, as much as I can. And when I return, I’ll show you this world isn’t really that wide.

With all my heart,

Chantelle

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