The Letters

March 10, 2007

September 8, 1974

Dear Jane,

It's been seven years since I last saw you, and there hasn't been a day where I haven't thought about you: the way your wavy blond hair hides the side of your face, the way your eyes light up when you smile, the way you smiled at me when we talked.

Yesterday I remembered how we used to walk in the park just before the sun set, talking, just talking about whatever came into our minds. And then one day, I grabbed your hand and you didn't pull it away. That day I never want to forget, no matter what.

I miss you, Jane. I wish I could come home soon, but I can't.


October 20, 1974

Dear Jane,

It's been seven years, and then some, but every day that passes here I seem to spend thinking of you. Earlier today, I thought about that old mansion we found while walking down Long Street.

Do you remember that mansion, Jane? You dared me to go inside, and I dared you, so we went in together. You said the way the furniture was arranged, how the house was utterly quiet and abandoned, that it was poetic. I think I finally understand now.

Oh, and do you remember how we went through the rest of the house, trying to guess who last lived there, and where they had gone? And do you remember that box of papers you found in the attic and brought downstairs to read? You started crying, and I couldn't understand why. You refused to show them to me, and you took them with you and hid them.

Why were you crying, Jane? I wish you would tell me.

I feel trapped here without you, Jane. I wish I could come home and see you again soon.


January 3, 1975

Dear Jane,

I'm sorry I haven't written lately. But it seemed to me that whenever I'd pick up the pen to write you, some painful memory would return and I'd be unable to write.

I spent the last few days reminiscing about how we would spend the New Year's together, out on Kramer's Hill, watching the stars and moon fly over us, just laying back and forgetting the time...until you fell asleep and I'd carry you home and tuck you in.

Do you remember the flowers you'd find in the morning next to your bed, left there by some anonymous person? Do you remember how you figured out it was me after only the second time, how you kissed me on the cheek and I turned redder than the rose you were holding?

That memory I will always cherish. Oh Jane, how I miss those days.

Missing you,

January 18, 1975

Dear Jane,

Where did it all go wrong, I wonder? You began to drift from me, and I never noticed until it was too late. I think it began with those papers you found in that old mansion. You never told me what they said, why they made you cry. I wish you had.

You smiled less after that, and no matter what I did, you were never as happy as before. Sometimes I was afraid to ask what had happened. I feared you had fallen out of love with me.

And when the next New Year's came around four months later, I sat alone on Kramer's Hill. And it was my turn to cry.

What happened, Jane? I still don't understand why, though I still blame myself. I know you probably won't reply, but I feel like I have to ask anyway.

Always yours,

March 26, 1975

Dear Jane,

Do you remember that argument we had, about ten months after we found the mansion? I don't remember what you said exactly, but I remember accusing you of seeing other men. You were crying and screaming at me...I yelled at you, said things I didn't mean. You told me to leave.

And I hit you. Oh Jane, I can't say how much I regret doing that. I'd give anything to take it back. I only wish you'd forgive me. If you don't, I understand. It's been eight years...

My time here is almost up, Jane. Soon I'll be able to leave.


[Newspaper clipping, dated March 30, 1975]
It has been eight grief-filled years for the family of Jane Elizabeth Cantor, who was murdered May 8, 1967 by her fiancé Stephen Taylor Wright. Wright was executed yesterday afternoon, after questions of his sanity caused him to stay on death row for several years. Her father...

"Hey Stephen, look what I found in the attic!" exclaimed Jane.
"Old papers, huh? What do they say?"
"Jane? Jane, what's wrong? Why are you crying?"

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