Letters: Dear Old Friend

Dear Old Friend,

We haven’t spoken in years. I have no idea what you’re even up to these days. You may not even be you anymore. Who am I writing to? Nothing more than a figment of the past?


I can’t possibly know.

I debate contacting you sometimes. After all, the past is in the past, and I’m not angry anymore. Now there’s just nostalgia, and I long to have that friend I had back in the good times. But every time I stop because you’re not that you anymore, and I know I’ll only be disappointed in the end.

I have lifelong friends. Friends who I only speak on the phone to sometimes, but when we see each other in person it’s like we were never separated.

You’re not one of those friends. We don’t keep even a semblance of contact. We haven’t spoken in more than five years. When we see each other in public, you look the other way.

It’s not like we were never separated. There’s an entire world between us.

And it will always be that way. Because the past is in the past.

At least I have the memories.


Haley Keller

Dear One Direction

I wrote to Little Mix, so it was a given that you guys would be getting a letter too at some point. While both you and Little Mix are so important to me that it’s useless to decide who’s more important, I have been a fan of you guys longer.

I’m willing to admit that I was hard on you guys at first. I was judgmental about the boyband thing, and obviously, you guys weren’t going to have fans except for annoying ones.

I remember sitting at work one day and listening to the radio in one of the rooms. Since I didn’t have control over what customers played while tanning, I was subjected to every type of music during the day. I still can’t listen to most of the songs that came on the radio back in the days of working there. It’s when I solidified my opinion that the radio is useless because it does nothing but overplay the same thing.

Anyway, What Makes You Beautiful started playing, and it was the first time I’d heard the song. My first thought was that it was catchy, and I kind of liked it. But I couldn’t figure out who was singing it because they seemed unfamiliar. I sat there listening to about half the song before it dawned on me. It was definitely a group of guys singing and what was one boyband that I had heard about everywhere on Twitter but had yet to hear? One Direction. I feel bad admitting this now, but I was immediately mad at myself for liking the song. I didn’t want to be a fan of One Direction.

Fast forward only a week or so, and my friend Haley comes to school one day going on about you guys and, in particular, Larry Stylinson. It was obvious she was excited about it, and I knew that, if Haley liked you guys that much, you couldn’t be that bad.

After that, I was at home and wanted to take a break from homework. What Haley had said about Larry Stylinson was running through my mind, and I was curious.

I ended up watching way too many Youtube videos that day, and I went to school the next day and gushed about it all to Haley. Everything else naturally followed from there, and not long after, Haley and I had tickets for a concert that was more than a year away.

My parents didn’t think I’d still like you guys by the time the concert came around, but now I’ve been to two concerts and have a ticket to a third. Needless to say, they were wrong.

You guys have become so important to me, and I really do love all of you. Although this raises the problem of who exactly I’m writing to. Is it five members or four?

Yes, Zayn is no longer in One Direction, but he was for the vast majority of the time I was a fan. He can’t be taken out of this letter. Maybe I should address it “dear One Direction and Zayn,” but that just doesn’t work for me either. Zayn was one part of One Direction for so long that I have to include him in the name for now.

You’re always going to be a part of One Direction in some way, Zayn. I’m sorry, but you’re not going to escape easily.

The future for you guys does seem as unsure as ever now that you’re having to adjust to being four members, and I wish you all the best. We all know I’m going to be eighty years old and listening to your music (or buying it if you’d like to keep going that long), so you’ve got a continuous fan in me. However much that means.

I want all five (yes, five) of you to be happy above everything else. Even through all the stuff you’ve been going through lately, I keep thinking about that. Zayn, you do what you need to do if it makes you happy, and same for you other four boys. That’s what I want more than anything else, as cheesy as that sounds.


Haley Keller

Dear My Past Teachers

Maybe it’s unfair to some of you to be lumped together. After all, some of you were great and some of you not that much.

But I do believe all of you became teachers with good intentions, which makes me want to give you the benefit of the doubt. Still, I would like to believe some of you eventually learned that certain things you were doing just weren’t working.

All of you shaped me in some way though, and that is worthy of recognition, if nothing else. And all of you pushed along my academic “career” at least a little bit. I have to give you all credit your job is hard. As an education major, I get it.

I don’t want to be down though. Most of you were great, and had such a positive impact on me. There’s only one of you who I have nothing positive to say about, but I won’t name names. (Really though, why you are a teacher remains a mystery.)

So, thank you for everything you taught me, and for inspiring me to follow in your footsteps.


Haley Keller

Dear Hermione Granger

I’m starting another new thing where I write letters to various people (or maybe even objects, concepts, etc.) who I can’t actually write to (or can but they would be unlikely to see it in some cases perhaps). In this case, it’s to a fictional character.

Dear Hermione,

Considering how many books I’ve read in my lifetime, I’ve been affected by a lot of fictional characters, but you top the list. In all honesty, there are these two characters who have had a much larger impact on me than I expected. Plus, there’s Ron who’s always been a close second to you.

But when I think back on my childhood, you definitely had a huge impact on how I viewed myself as a kid. Such a huge part of my childhood was trying to idolize you and be like you. I don’t even think I realized the extent of it then, but I do now. There are the obvious instances where I begged to play you every single time we played Harry Potter at recess. (But usually I played Ron instead because Summer wanted to play the girl, and I wanted to play Harry Potter so much that I would play anyone.)

There were less obvious ways too. I don’t think I would have self-identified as a nerd so readily if I hadn’t had you in my life. I’ve always loved reading. I think that’s why I was drawn to you in the first place. (A pretty shallow reason if I kind of think about it.) There’s no doubt Nerdfighteria played a part in my acceptance of the label, but I think I was open to that community in the because of you too.

I never felt like someone should hide their intelligence to be cool. You didn’t hide yours and were part of the greatest fictional trio of all time. I saw intelligence as important, and while how I value intelligence has grown more complex over the years (primarily by realizing there are more ways to be “smart” than just book smarts), that still holds true today.

As I’ve grown older, I’d like to think I’m working on being myself more than a carbon copy of you (which I never realized I was doing but definitely think I was at times), but you’re still having a huge impact on me in so many ways. There’s still everything I valued in the past, but now I see things like how you went on to become Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and work on legislation to better house elf and werewolf rights. Things that are inspiring to me now in a way that I just didn’t comprehend as a kid.

So, thank you Hermione Granger. The number of people that I owe as much as I do you is limited, and one of them even created you.


Haley Keller