To the girl from the prairies that went to England on a school trip in 1980,
Maybe I should have written this letter long before today but I’m somewhat of a procrastinator, still, as they say, it’s better late then never. I’m Brad. I don’t know if you remember me. When I was 15 we meet in a hotel corridor in London, England. It was the first day of your school trip to England and the last day of mine. Throughout that one day our paths crossed several times. There were smiles and nods and greetings as you and your friend were assigned the hotel room next to mine.
That evening, the last official activity of my tour, a dinner and a dance, was winding down and there was about an hour left before lights out. I was returning to my room when my roommate, John, rushed up to me very excited. “Brad, they invited us over!” I glanced down the hallway and you and your roommate stood outside your open door and waved. A lot of noise was coming from inside your room as a large number of your group had chosen it as a place to hang out. You both smiled and shared your names and told us you were from one of the prairie provinces. I apologize that in the 35 years since that encounter I have misplaced both names and locations in the depths of my memory. It was very nice meeting you just the same.
We hung out with you and all your friends for a while. I get the feeling we may have been somewhat of a novelty as most of the people in your group had never meet a Newfoundlander before. Whenever we would say something, your friends would laugh; whether it was because we said something funny or because of our accents, I never did figure out. The night was getting late and we had flight to catch the next morning so I excused myself and retired to my room. John stayed, deciding to sit in on a card game some of your friends were playing. He must of been there about half an hour when your group’s chaperone arrived and sent everyone back to their own rooms.
I was nearly asleep when John opened the door and woke me up. I had just met him a week before on the day we first arrived in London. The tour group I was with was made up of students from four different schools, and we had been assigned as roommates. I had never met him before that.
John is the reason I am writing you this letter. When he returned to our room that night John was extremely happy. Even happier then that first day when he won over a hundred pounds from the slot machine in the hotel lobby. (It’s too bad he then proceeded to loose it all, and more besides, the next day trying to score jackpot again.) But that night, back in our room, all he could talk about was you. How pretty you were. How beautiful your voice sounded. How he’d like too… he started making strange giggly, mumble noises just then so I’m not sure what he wanted to do exactly, but it seemed to make him happy thinking about it.
He really liked you a lot.
Suddenly he went very quiet. I opened my eyes and saw him with his ear pressed to the wall separating our rooms, listening intently. “She’s still up,” he would inform me. “They are laughing about something.” Then he’d sigh long and loud. “I bet she is getting ready for bed.” That was when he jumped up and opened the door. “I have to see her one more time!” He darted out into the corridor and then darted back. Your chaperone was monitoring the hall, so if he was going to see you again he needed another plan.
I had no idea to what extremes he was willing to go, but love can make you do crazy things. He raised the curtains and pushed open the window. I sat up in my bed. “John! What are you doing?” He just laughed. He really wanted to see you bad. He climbed out on the ledge of the building. Yes, I know, we were on the fifth floor. It had to be love. Unfortunately there was a wall blocking the ledge between our rooms and there was no way for him to get past it to peer through your window and gaze on your loveliness as you changed for bed. Dejected and despondent he returned to our window and sat there dangling his feet over the edge, tossing pennies down on the sidewalk five stories below.
You may have heard a loud crash soon after midnight. Sorry if it disturbed your sleep. It certainly kept me from mine.
It was John.
A police car had suddenly pulled up to the curb outside the hotel and thinking they had spotted him sitting on the ledge John had jumped back into the room, tangled in the curtains, tipped over the small table, crashed into the chair, and tripped over his suitcase as he dove into his bed. He was terrified that the bobbies would be pounding on the door at any moment to drag him off to jail.
They never did.
The next morning your group had departed early for a morning tour and when you returned John and our group were already out over the Atlantic Ocean in flight back to Canada. John never saw you again after that. Maybe I should have wrote you this letter before we left and slid it under your door, letting know how much John liked you. I believe true love has the ability to always make a way, even after 35 years. I felt it was time to lend love a helping hand and play cupid. I am posting this letter with the hope that you may actually chance to read it and remember John, realizing how much you meant to him and the his sudden surge of desire for you. If this love is meant to be and you two are truly meant to be together I want to see it happen and take pleasure in knowing the tiny part I played in bringing it about.
The Procrastinating Cupid