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sounds crazy, I know, it was just a thing I used to do—when I liked aboy, I’d write the letter and then I’d hide it away in my hatbox. Theletters were just for me. But then my little sister Kitty—rememberher? Scrawny and willful?— sent them all out back in September,including yours.I do remember that break-dancing contest. I think Peter won. Hewould’ve taken the biggest piece of peanut brittle either way,though! This is random but do you remember how he used to alwaystake the last piece of pizza? So annoying. Do you remember how heand Trevor got into a fight over it and they ended up dropping thepizza and nobody got to have it? Do you remember how all of uswent to your house to say good-bye when you moved? I made achocolate cake with chocolate peanut butter frosting, and I brought aknife but your forks and plates were all packed up, so we ate it onthe front porch with our hands. When I got home, I realized that the
corners of my mouth were stained brown from the chocolate. I wasso embarrassed. It feels like such a long time ago.I’m not in Model UN but I was there that day and I did see you.Actually, I had a feeling you might be there because I rememberedhow into Model UN you were in middle school. I’m sorry I didn’tstick around so we could catch up. I think I was just startled becauseit had been so long. You looked the same to me too. Much taller,though.I have a favor to ask—would you mind sending me back my letter?The other ones have found their way back to me, and though I’msure it will be excruciating, I’d really like to know what I said.Your friend, Lara Jean
29IT’S LATE, AND ALL THElights are off at my house. Daddy’s at the hospital; Kitty’s at a sleepover. Ican tell Peter wants to come inside, but my dad will be home soon and he might be freaked out if hegets home and it’s just the two of us alone in the house so late. Daddy hasn’t said anything in so manywords, but since the video, something shifted just the tiniest fraction. Now when I go out with Peter,Daddy oh-so-casually asks what time I’ll be home, where we’ll be. He never used to ask those kindsof questions, though I suppose he never had much reason to before.I look over at Peter, who has turned off the ignition. Suddenly I say, “Why don’t we go up toCarolyn Pearce’s old tree house?”Readily, he agrees. “Let’s do it.”It’s dark outside; I’ve never been up here in such darkness. There was always a light on from thePearces’ kitchen or garage or from our house. Peter climbs up first and then shines his phoneflashlight down on me as I make my way up.He marvels at how, inside, nothing’s changed. It’s just like we left it. Kitty never had much interestin coming up here. It’s just been sort of abandoned since we stopped using it in eighth grade. “We”was the neighborhood kids my age: Genevieve, Allie Feldman, sometimes Chris, sometimes the boys—Peter, John Ambrose McClaren, Trevor. It was just a private place; we weren’t doing anything badlike smoke or drink. We’d sit up there and talk.