Dear Frankie, Dear Ian

nostalgic_paper_picture_series_26_169273Watching the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons makes me think of the days I wrote quite a lot of short stories at work–in the form of test questions.  A reading comprehension, a cloze test, filling in a blank, and even just a short sentence, all of them are the places for me to create conversations and stories.  And for a time I have written quite a lot of stories with only two characters names Frankie and Stella.  They are classmates and good friends.  Their stories appear in the part of reading comprehension of a test sheet, one story for one lesson and a few for  review sessions.  These test sheets are the free gifts from my company to the junior high school teachers who use the textbooks published by my company.  So, I think the only one who knows that all those reading comprehension are stories focusing on the same two persons will be the leader of my team as she is the final reviewer for everything from our team.  (I think the teachers will be too busy to notice that because they are already too busy to make test sheets by themselves.)

In my company, the main reading text in the junior high textbook we publish will be written only by native speakers.  It is only in publication like test sheets will we non native speakers have a chance to handle everything–but still not without any reviews from senior members. So as long as what I write has reached the goal: testing student’s understanding of things he/she will learn from a single lesson, no one cares if the stories are involving the same two persons from Lesson 1 to Lesson 8. But it is just too bad I didn’t keep any of the stories after I left the job.  Perhaps the stories of these two characters, Frankie and Stella, are part of my dreams at that age.  They really care for each other and help each other along the way: Stella gets Frankie a new part time job.  Frankie helps Stella fix her computer.  Stella asks Frankie to go with her and to check on a guy she meets on the Internet.  They walk along the beach and have a talk about the future.  (As for others, I forgot.)  But the dream has never got a chance to take place in my life. I only keep a small part of the stories I wrote during the two years I worked there.  Those are the ones that are too hard for junior high (now I think it is too easy for them) or, too realistic to appear in educational materials (separated parents, a cheating spouse, a unfriendly mother-in-law, mean boys at school, girls who are dressing to impress boys).  But sometimes I might just keep some stories for no obvious reasons.

There is a short story in the form of letter that I remember it is related to the movie “Cold Mountain."  I try to write a letter from the perspective of Ada, who is portrayed by Nicole Kidman.  I need to change names as Ada and Inman maybe too hard for students (by the standard of our senior members)  I’ve got mixed feelings about it as it may be a bit childish as an imitation, and I still cannot help changing it here and there in the hope of making it better, although it is so short.

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Dear Ian,

Where are you? I haven’t got your letter for three months. Why did you stop writing? Did anything happen? Are you safe? Every day and night I hope someone can knock on my door and gives me your letter, but I’m also afraid of hearing the sound. I fear that someone will come and tell me that you are dead. Many of our friends and neighbors died in the war already. The town office hung their pictures on the wall. I really don’t want to see yours there, but what can I do? I can only wait for you here. Where are you, my dear love? Please write back. Please come home soon. Jerry and I need you back. 

Love, Eva

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