The dogs bark at the door, you hear the squeak of the weather worn mailbox at the end of the driveway and you peak outside to see the postman slotting crisp white envelopes into it and driving off. There is no excitement or unrelenting need to run down and check to see if you have received anything, unless of course you are waiting on some good news. Gone are the days when people used to write each other letters, when you were matched up with someone in school through the international pen pal club or when your true love took to winning you over with poems and intimately orchestrated sentences. Our technological advances have replaced our letter writing with emails and text messages, our computers portals in which to see our loved ones who live thousands of miles away. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just means the postman no longer stirs the butterflies in your stomach anymore. All he delivers now are bills, or worse, another wedding invitation to add to the last 7 you already got. Like most young girls my age at the time, however, I had developed an infatuation with none other than the young Prince William. I laugh when I think back of how I would day dream about being a princess and marrying this young prince. The exact scene from Cinderella. So I did what thousands of other young hopeful girls did and I wrote him a letter! I remember I wrote the letter a short while after his mother Princess Diana died which would have made me about 13 years old. It would probably be the most embarrassing thing to ever happen me, if someone showed me the letter I wrote today but here’s hoping the people over at the palace don’t store these kinds of things from the adoring public! Of course, the beautiful and expensive envelope left my optimistic hands with complete confidence that Prince William and I would become friends immediately; I even started practising writing my new marriage name. Crazy, right?! Time came and went, I watched from the windowsill of the front window of my house, my head resting in my folded arms, my imagination turning the regular postman on his bicycle into one of the Queens official messengers on a big white horse. He never came. A few months later, I got off the bus from school, dumped my school bag under the stairs and skipped into the kitchen to see what was for dinner. I don’t think I will ever forget that day. My mother looked at me, examining me with a sideways grin across her face. Puzzled, I asked her why she was looking at me like that. She didn’t say anything and just nodded towards the kitchen table. And there it sat…..the sun nearly gleamed from behind it and I could have sworn a dozen white doves flew out from around it somehow. A chorus of trumpets sounded from somewhere, and suddenly, I was a princess. I snatched the plump, white envelope from the kitchen table and I ran as fast as I could up the stairs, taking two steps at a time and barricaded myself in my room. I squealed as I gingerly broke open the official seal on the back, thinking to myself of all the wonderful things Prince William had written for me inside. I looked inside and squeezed my eyes shut, the anticipation too much for me to bear. I pulled out the thick paper, and opened it up squinting through my shut eyes, as I rested them on the first two words…. Oh the heartache that ran through me as I read the sincere and concise sentences and the last few words –
On behalf of Prince William, I would like to express for him, his gratitude for your kind letter and thoughts. Yours Sincerely, Secretary to the Royal Family, Buckingham Palace.
And poof, quicker than a flash, went my visions of my fairytale, my white dress, my hours of practicing my royal wave from a horse drawn carriage. But all wasn’t lost; my parents, the neighbours, all my friends and even strangers I didn’t know came to see the “royal mail” the young girl from number 9 got. I basked in the attention, taking it to school, careful with whom I let touch it. In time, I forgave Prince William for not replying to me directly, the attention I was receiving lessening the blow of rejection. So it came as quite a weird experience when years later I watched Kate Middleton smiling from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, Prince William on her arm. Her smiling face beaming out through millions of television screens around the world. Every woman feeling the same emotion of jealousy, saying “that was supposed to be me”, but feeling happy for her all the same. A real life Cinderella, just like we would be someday. He may not be Prince William, but he could be a Prince for a day at least with some spit and shine and a nice suit. No one will notice, surely? I don’t know if I will receive anything that will top this in the post, who knows someday maybe I might….
* This post is Day 1 of 40 days of Lent, where I am writing an article a day about any question from any area or subject, to try to commit to being a better more productive writer and to help others do the same. Would you like to join me? Or maybe you would like to challenge me to write about a topic or ask me a question. Get in touch via the comments section below or via my Facebook or Twitter which you can follow me on via my “About page” *