Ashley fought back a sneeze as she entered the attic. The room was cluttered with tons of junk and once treasured items. It had needed sorting for months, but they didn't call Ashley the pro procrastinator for nothing. She leaned down to open a box, doing so disturbed the years worth of dust had that settled on top. And she found herself sneezing uncontrollably.
Finally the dust settled and Ashley was able to look inside the box. She took in a sharp intake of breath when she saw what it contained. A small yellow box, decorated with glitter and magazine cutouts, and all the things teenage girls loved so much.
The box was a symbol of her youth. A symbol of her pre-wife and pre-mother days. She smiled happily when she saw it. Hundreds of fond memories flashed back to her as she reached into the box and picked it up.
She moved over to the window, where the warm afternoon sun was shining in. Settling in the least dusty patch she opened the box.
Inside were oh so many things. Favored childhood toys, What had been her favorite watch until it stopped working, Her favorite necklace, Some pretty pencils she used to collect, A medal she won in the second grade, A picture of her fifth grade best friend, A broach, A childs ring, and an Old friendship bracelet.
At the very bottom of the boxes there were Lots of folded pieces of paper. Newspaper clippings, letters from friends, valentines, etc. But the thing that really cought Ashley's attention was the small, brown with age, worn from so many reading, letter residing at the very bottom of the box.
She sighed happily as she picked it up, gently unfolded it and began to read.
I didn't know I could miss someone as much as I now miss you. To think you've been away one week and I already feel like I'm dying. How am I going to survive the next two? One things for sure, I can't survive them if I don't tell you how much you mean to me. And make this little confession...
Remember that summer back when we were ten? It was the second summer our families had gone on vacation together. I remember how we fought the entire time. I guess we were at that disliking the opposite sex age. It was such a wonderful summer. The days were long and warm. And I had so much fun.
But then that storm came. Do you remember it? I remember being so scared. Especially since both sets of parents were away. We were just two 10 year olds alone at home, during one of the worst storms the state had seen in more then 20 years. The thunder was so loud I thought my airdrums would burst, and the lightning was so bright it was blinding.
We spent the entire evening in the lounge. What had been a warm summer day had suddenly turned cold and we'd lit the fire for some desperate attempt at warmth. Of course we weren't talking. So I was sitting by the fire, and you were curled up with a blanket on the sofa. We ignored each other for hours. But, then the loudest crash of thunder sounded. One second I had been sitting all alone by the fire, the next thing you were there, hugging me so tight I could barely breath. I didn't know someone could shake that much.
We were both so scared we happily put aside our differences. We spent the rest of the evening reassuring the other that we would be ok.
Not wanting to leave the warmth of the lounge, we eventually both slept on the couch. I can remember it so clearly. You fell asleep pretty much straight away. But I stayed awake, it was like that Aerosmith song 'I could stay awake just to hear you breathing' Looking back it all seems rather strange. I was 10 years old. 10 year olds don't feel like that! But I did, and at that very moment I had a glimpse of my future. I could see the rest of my life, with so many nights like this. Being the one who protected you, and loved you with all my heart .
From that very moment I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with you.
Now it's 6 years later, and for the first time I'm finally telling you this.
Ashley I love you. With all my heart.
Ashley smiled when she finished reading the letter. She felt the exact same happy sensation she'd felt when she first read it. She remembered how hard it was to wait out the remaining 2 weeks of her holiday. As soon as she got home she'd raced to Luke's and told him she felt the same way.
Ashley's reminscing was cut short when she heard a car pull up in the driveway. She glanced out the window to see her husband was home.
"Ashley?" She heard the door slam and him call.
"I'm in the attic!" She called.
She heard his footsteps on the stairs and soon he entered the room. "So you finally got around to sorting it?" He walked over and wrapped his arm around her. The two stood by the window looking down on the street outside.
"Well, sort of" Ashley smiled "Look what I found" She picked up the letter and handed it to him.
Luke smiled when he saw what it was "It's still true" he said as he leaned down to kiss her.