The first time I wrote to him was a total mistake, the letter wasn't even for him, and yet he replied.
Ethan and I had been best friends since we were nine when he'd burped in my face and I'd called him a troll amongst many other profanities. We had a small fight, cut short by teachers interfering and were sentenced to the 'tied-together-treatment'. It had been devised by our headteacher who assumed that the best way to solve a disagreement between two children was to force them to stay together for the duration of a week.
At first it had been horrible, but soon enough we learnt to compromise and rather reluctantly accepted each other's presences. Over time we became 'tied-together' and were known to be inseparable.
Ethan had always had the same jet black hair and crooked nose. I used to think that it ruined the beauty of his face but after so many years of seeing his face, I couldn't imagine any other nose on him. He had a lean frame and though you couldn't see it straight away, he was muscular. He wasn't burly but his appearance gave him an advantage; he was definitely stronger than he looked.I found out the hard way after challenging him to an arm wrestle and regretting it for hours after.
His parents had always had a rocky relationship and had only stayed together for his sake. They wanted to give him a 'proper childhood' that wouldn't cause him greivances in later life due to his broken family background. When he turned seventeen they both called it quits and ended their long-suffering relationship. When Ethan's parents divorced, his mum decided it was time for a change of scenery and she elected to move hundreds of miles away, taking her only son with her.
At first he resisted and I encouraged him to do so, but soon enough we both realised how damaged she had become from forcing herself to stay in a marriage with a man she no longer loved for thirteen years. She had become miserable and desolate, and seeing his mum's willingness to give up life itself, Ethan moved away to give her a new lease of life.
I didn't cry when the time came for them to leave, I just clung to Ethan and made him promise that he'd come back and visit regularly. He had nodded and repeatedly told me that yes, he would come back. Just for me.
'Do you promise to come as often as you can?'
'For the tenth time, I'm coming back in a few weeks.'
'You won't forget me will you?'
'I'm kidding! Like a wise man once said, how can you forget someone who gave you so much to remember? I'm going to miss that stupid vanilla scented cream that you always put on, the one you always smell of, I'm going to miss the way your laugh turns in to a cackle when you're laughing too hard, and I'm going to miss having someone around to call me Troll.' He pushed me away slightly and studied my face.
'I'll never forget how such an ugly duckling turned into a swan, how you had to dye your hair from purple to brown because it didn't match the school uniform or even how you begged me to get you a charm bracelet for your twelfth birthday, before I even had pocket money for myself.'
I laughed and found myself slightly surprised that he'd remembered that last detail and moved to hug him one last time when he pulled out a flat box. It was tied with an aqua coloured ribbon and I looked up at Ethan questioningly. He placed it carefully in my open palm and I opened it to find a silver charm bracelet sat in the middle of the box. It already had six charms on it and I looked at each one in turn.
There was a carousel, a troll, a J, an owl, a jigsaw piece, a venetian mask, a crown, and my personal favourite, Chip the cup from beauty and the beast. I screamed in delight and flung my arms around his neck and promised him I'd never take it off.
He was almost a head taller than I was so he bent down and kissed me on the forehead, his hand resting on my shoulder. He brushed my hair which was a dark chesnut colour at the time, out of my face and gave a quick smile before he left.
Since they were moving to a place where they had no family or friends, Ethan had no idea how long it would take for him to establish some sort of internet connection so that we could chat all the time, and I'd had my phone taken away from me by my parents months ago for breaking curfew one too many times. So we opted for another option, hardly anyone uses it nowadays and those who do are probably billing companies.
It was Ethan's idea, he suggested that we write letters to each other and at first I'd laughed at him until I'd realised that it was one of our only options. So I agreed to write to him on the condition that as soon as he'd gotten his internet connection sorted we'd end the old fashioned method of correspondence.
Three days after he'd moved I sat down and wrote a letter. It took me three attempts as I had no idea what to include in my first letter ever.
This is quite strange and I've got no idea why I let you talk me into it, but as long as I get to communicate with you in some way or the other, I'm happy.
I hope you've started to settle and that you like the area you've moved in to, and yes, you're probably thinking of me all the time. Who wouldn't? Jokes aside, I really miss you already and I can't wait till we see each other again. Benny says I shouldn't write too much about how I miss you because otherwise you would feel homesick but nobody really cares what Benny thinks.
I've got some gossip for you too! I hope you remember Lily from English because yesterday you wouldn't believe what she told me. She admitted that she had been crushing on you all year and that it had been such a shame that you had moved before she got your number! I won't be giving her your number by the way, she doesn't deserve it.
Well I guess I've got to go, and you've got some unpacking to do. Hope you settle in to your new college well! Write back as soon as you get this! I'll be waiting.
P.S You left your stupid football scarf.
Lots of love
So, I sent my letter to Ethan, but the person who replied wasn't Ethan. In fact, I don't think I even took the right address from him, my first ever letter had reached a total stranger, and he'd written back to me within the week...