Dear, Ella,

How's Heaven?

Life in Texas isn't the same without you. I wake up every morning and I still expect to feel the humidity wafting from the bathroom during your early shower. Now when I wake up, the coldness is disconcerting. It's isolating.

It seems like you've been gone for forever, but people say it's just been a few weeks. What do I know? My mind refuses to operate without you, El. I need you. I miss you so much. I can't really remember much of what I've been doing since you left.

I remember when we were little kids. Every fourth of July you would drag me to the playground by the community so we could watch the fireworks over the lake.

"Look, Danny!" you shouted once at the crowd a few yards away from us. There was a dog chasing his tail. Do you remember that? You laughed for about five minutes straight watching that dog. I never saw what was so funny about it, but I couldn't stop smiling. Listening to your laugh—even fifteen years ago—made me euphoric.

I remember the Christmas I asked you to be my girl. We were Juniors in high school and your mom had just finished getting a really bad perm.

We ate a lot of eating turkey that day. So much turkey that you were almost passed out an hour after we had all finished eating. I wouldn't let you go to sleep, though. I wanted to see your eyes more. I forced you to stay awake. I dragged you to your room, where you almost collapsed on your bed, but I held you up. I was always good at holding you up.

"Ella," I said slowly, brushing a strand of your fiery red hair out of your beautiful brown eyes. Groggily, you smiled at me and nodded.

"Yes, Danny?" You sounded eager. I think you knew all along what my intentions were. You were so good at figuring me out.

"Will you—you wanna…" I couldn't stitch together the perfect sentence. I wanted that moment to be perfect, Ella. You were there, though, so I don't know why I was striving so hard for perfection. It was already placed in the scenario.

"What is it?" you asked. I pursed my lips and, and decided that the only way I could get you to know for certain what I wanted was if I showed you.

So I did.

Your lips tasted like strawberries. They've never stopped tasting like strawberries. That was the sweetest kiss of my life. And when you kissed me back, I think my heart melted like a snowman during July.
I remember the day I asked you to be my wife. That was just a few weeks ago, Ella. A few weeks before you decided to leave. I did the math right, I know I did. Did you know that you could have been my wife before you left me?

We were watching a movie—don't ask me what movie because it was a horrendous film. You had your head rested on my shoulder, and I think you were sleeping. Your head felt so good there, so right. It makes my tongue stutter just thinking about it.

"Ella," I mumbled into your delicious-smelling hair. You didn't respond. "Ella." I said it louder this time, and you stirred. I smiled to myself and kissed the top of your head. "Come with me."

I stood up and took your hand. You looked at me like I was crazy. The only thing I was crazy about, babe, was you.

"What is it, Danny?" you groaned. I pulled you up off of the sofa we were sitting on and dragged you outside.

We went walking for a while, and I think you knew where it was, because you began leading the way.

I took you to the park. Our park. The one we always went to during the summertime. I led you to that massive yellow slide—the one we always sat on while waiting for the fireworks to start. You sat down on it, but I took my place on the ground.

"Ella," I said clearly, my heart racing excitedly. "Will you marry me?"

And you said yes.

I was the luckiest man alive.

I remember the day you left.

But I don't want to talk about that.

I was so mad at you—with you.

You were yelling, I was yelling. It wasn't necessary.

And you slammed the door behind you, leaving me alone. For the first time.

They came to the door. Your body was in the car.

Your wreck was terrible, they said.

"She died on impact."

"Rammed right into another car."

I'd do anything to get that day back, El, anything!

Please write back and tell me how lovely Heaven is. I want to know what it's like there.

I'll be with you soon, El. I promise.

I love you,
Danny