When I was 8 years old, I had learned at the end of the day at school that a girl I had a crush on – a girl I was too shy to talk to and tell her I adored her – Cindy Robichaud – was moving away.
And this was her last day at school.
The last day I would ever see her.
She was leaving that weekend.
I ran home from school that day – the tears welled up inside me the whole way as my emotions overcame me.
I would never get the chance to tell her I loved her.
i went home, walking right past my greeting mom, to my room.
And started writing a note to Cindy.
Telling her everything I felt.
I got an envelope out.
Carefully stuffed the emotional note in the envelope.
And, having seen my mom and dad doing it more times than I can count – I placed my name neatly in the upper left corner of the letter, and in ‘To’ area – I placed only this:
I didn’t know her last name.
I walked like a little boy on a mission out to the mailbox, right past my mom again, and placed the envelope neatly in the mailbox.
I put the flag on the mailbox up.
And I waited.
My mom came outside about an hour later as I stood there staring the mailbox down with my arms folded and asked me what I was doing.
I replied “I’m sending a letter”.
“I can see that. The mailman already came today.” she asked
I was struggling to hold back my tears.
“Can I see the letter?,” she asked.
I shrugged my shoulders, skulking.
She opened up the mailbox.
Looked at the letter.
And said “Honey, the mailman isn’t going to know who Cindy R is. You don’t even have her city here. Do you know where she lives?”
I ran inside to my room, and started crying into my pillow.
My mom followed me in, with the white pages.
“Calm down, sweetheart, do you know her last name or what her parent’s names are?”
My face still in the pillow, I responded through my tears: “No!”
I cried harder.
“Does she live close to here?,” she asked,
I sincerely didn’t know. “I dont know!”
“Do you know her from school? She must live close to here, right?”
She flipped to the ‘R’ last name section of the local white pages.
It was massive.
“Honey do you know her last name,” she asked.
“I think it’s Robichaud,” I responded, as I sat up, my hope engaged again.
“Let’s see here,” she said, “I don’t see that last name, are you sure?”
And shook my head, tears welling up again.
“Honey, the postman’s not going to know what to do with this letter without a last name. There are hundreds of people with a letter ‘R’ for the last name here in Yorba Linda.”
I started crying more, putting my head into my pillow again.
There was nothing that either of us could do.
I never did see Cindy again.
And I to this day I don’t know if that was her last name.