Dear Lesley,

Do you remember the Bonne Bell Rollerball lip glosses you had when we were kids? You kept them in a row atop your dresser. I loved to admire them, the brightly labeled tubes of clear liquids with fruit names: strawberry, grape, cherry, watermelon. Do you remember when we were young how you wore my pom pom socks, the happy fluffs of bright color bobbing behind our thin ankles, how you wore my socks into the pond? So yours wouldn’t get dirtied by pond scum or sand. How you’d collude with your friend, Heather, to cheat me out of money while playing Monopoly? Or the time you broke my Christmas present? The child-sized grocery cart, its bright yellow plastic reeking of newness. You hopped inside though Mom warned you not to and said you were too big. Your weight crushed the cart, debilitating its wheels before I got a first push. No matter. I love you. I’ve forgiven you all those things years ago. The reason I’m writing is that I was in CVS yesterday, picking up one of those heating pads for my back. When did my back become so unreliable? Like an appliance you can’t trust not to short out. I was walking through the aisles and I saw a Bonne Bell display. Oh! And I remembered your lip glosses. And the cold feel of the rollerball as it slid down my pale, pink tongue, releasing a burst of sugary glaze. How I’d carefully replace the gloss’s cover. And set it gingerly atop your dresser, perfectly aligned to its neighbors. I was always so careful with your things.

Love,

Stephanie