When did it happen? When did the pulse become the drum become the deafening concerto? Were you asleep? Is this a dream? Are you awake yet? Hadn’t you consigned yourself to a life of unhappiness? Where did she come from? Where did she get that key? Wasn’t it chiseled and bent and crooked into a dagger so that it would only ever hurt you? How did she figure out how to use it without getting cut, without slicing into your skin? What is that fierce shiver? Have you been electrocuted? Did some god lead you to her parchment, or did you just stumble onto her path? Were your stories meant to cross? Did she have any idea that she was the recipient of hundreds of letters penned by a child, a girl, a teenager, a woman, an adult, a hopeless sorrow-cloaked human? Do you realize that every time you sit down to write one of those letters to your Dear Stranger, you find yourself writing her name?

Suddenly. Before you had a chance to fight it. No. You don’t think so. You’re more awake than you’ve ever been. Yes. The space between the stanzas. It wasn’t a key; it was a quill. It was a weapon, but she was the first one not to use it against you. It’s love, you fool. By her touch. You’ve always wandered, but now you’re lost. Yes. She knows. You’ve always written to her… you just didn’t know her name until now.


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