Paper Memories

I don’t know what came over me! As a young child, I was sitting in my sky blue room that had white daisy wallpaper bordering the top of the wall, when the idea struck. Nonchalantly I wondered into our downstairs bathroom that had a box full of magazines in it. I grabbed two or three magazines and hid them under my shirt and ran up to my room. Locking the door behind me, I wrestled some scissors out from underneath a stack of paper that was on my desk. I began to cut feverishly. Random letters soon sprinkled our vanilla colored carpet. As if I was playing scrabble, I began to sort the letters into words.

After all the letters were in place, I took out a glue stick and fastened the letters onto a white piece of paper. It was then and there that I composed my first ransom note.

Everyone may wonder who a  skinny little blonde girl would want to take ransom, but with no real enemies at my young age who else was there to take ransom but myself. I was going to pretend that someone wrote me the note and make my parents pay them money. Not fully grasping the idea of a ransom note, my little heart took joy in my evil plan.

Stuffing my ransom note that looked more like a kindergarten craft than a note into a snow-white envelope, I licked the edge of the envelope and sealed it. Placing no stamp on the cover, I simply scribbled “Ashley Park.”

Sneaking down stairs, note in hand, I brushed up against the wall to keep from being seen. Hearing my family’s voices in the next room, I decided it would be safe to sneak out the front door. Heart pumping, I darted out the door and up the street to the mailbox. Placing the envelope in the mailbox, I suppressed an evil laugh. I just knew my mom would be in shock that “someone” had sent a ransom note for me, and horrified that she had to pay money.

The next day, I eagerly awaited the mails arrival because mom would finally get my note. Can I just say how hard it is for a kid to wait all night for something? Finally after what seemed like a century my mom walked in with a stack of letters, bills, and a coupon looking thing. With anticipation in my eyes, I glanced up at her and asked, “Is there anything for me?” Trying to hold back a guilty smile, I watched as her hands sorted through the letters. Her eyes looked at each name in the stack of letters. My heart rate quickened as she neared the last letter. I knew it would be mine.

“No, honey there is nothing for you. Sorry.” She replied calmly as if she could not see my heart beating out of my chest. My eyes widened as I stared at her. Shocked, I quickly turned and walked away without saying anything. My mind was racing, “Where is my ransom note?” I raced out the front door, to see if it was still in the mailbox. It wasn’t there. I had just seen her go through the stack of mail. She didn’t have it.

I was practically in a full-fledged panic as I reentered the house. “Mom!” I yelped. Looking at me with concern she responded, “What is it?” I gulped and proceeded to report my evil plan. Standing in amazement at her delinquent daughter, she asked “You put a ransom note in the mailbox?”

Practically in tears while guiltily smiling, I hung my head in shame, “Yes!” I blurted out. In my mind someone had picked up their mail and was reading the ransom note right at this very moment and panicking about how they would pay the money. Nearly beside myself, I looked up at my mom who had to conceal a laugh. I don’t really remember what she said after that, but I knew right then and there that I would never send a ransom note again.

Fast forward to the next day, mom walks in a stack of mail and giggles as she hands me a note. “Looking for this?” she said half teasing. I snatched the note from her hand to find my name scribbled on the front. It was back! My ransom note had made it. Apparently the mailman took it, and then returned it. As a grin appeared on my blushing cheeks, I wished I hadn’t had said anything, but I learned a lesson that day.

Never send out a ransom note- not even to yourself! This will only make for paper memories.



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