Christian Sad Friendship


They say if you write a letter and tie it to the end of a balloon, it'll drift its way to heaven. I never really believed in things like that, and really only thought of it as a bunch of crap.

But I was desperate.

Lila had been dead for over a month. Everytime I picked up the phone, I knew it wouldn't be her sweet voice that I'd hear.

It would never be hers, not ever again.

Everytime the doorbell rang, everytime its sound echoed through my house, I knew it wouldn't be her beautiful face that I'd answer to.

How can someone you love so much leave you behind?

God, I missed her.

I first found out about the Letters to Heaven when I had only been slugging down the grey streets of London, grief still imprisoning my sleep deprived body. I had just been trying to get by and life had been hard enough before the balloon.

The balloon.

I can still remember its baby blue color and how it's latex figure glinted in the sun. Back then I had only scoffed at the stupid thing, not wanting something happy to try to ruin my long streak of depression.

It wasn't until I noticed the envelope tied at the end that I realized that the balloon must've been something special. It dangled loosely, the string around it slipping.

I stared at it for quite some time, hypnotized by the curiosity.

The ribbon unraveled from around the envelope and the white paper twirled in the air with grace, spinning, spiraling, until it landed right in front of my sneakered feet.

I stared at it.

The paper was crinkled, little folds infesting the paper. A sticker of a dove sealed it and I felt like the bird would jump out at any given moment and fly away.

I don't know why, but my hands shook when I picked it up. Smoothing the deep wrinkles, I turned it between my fingers until I could see who wrote it.

To: Grandma Jules

From: Your grandson, Tim

Address: Heaven

I would've dropped the letter if my body hadn't been frozen solid.

Heaven wasn't real. Like I said, that stuff was just a pile of crap.

But still, here I am, my black inked pen positioned in my hand, it's tip touching the snow white notebook paper that's been placed on my desk.

Dear Lila,

No, No, No. She's not just some friend I'm mailing a letter to. She deserves more. So I start again, this time with

My Love,

It's been so long since I've seen your lovely face, and I've missed you dearly since you've parted with the earth. I want to tell you, or I want to let you know that it hasn't been the same without you. These days in London are quite dull, and there is an empty void in my heart that was never there before. I wish you could see me. I need someone to tell me I'm doing a good job. Life is just hard without you, it's not the same. It's empty and lonely, and every morning I awake, I feel like the sun has disappeared from my sight and will never come out again. I'm afraid only dark days are ahead of me. Very soon, I hope to join you in that wonderful place you're living in called Heaven. Well, at least I hope you're living in heaven. How is it up there anyway?

Hope to see you very soon.

Your one and only love,


I don't realize that I'm crying until I feel a warm teardrop slip down my face.

I can't do this without her.

Not anymore.

The next morning, at 3:05, I trudge down the darkened London Streets like always, only this time with an envelope in hand and a lavender colored balloon bobbing in the other. The wind whistles.

I smile. The balloon pulls this way and that and I have to tug it so it won't be whisked away into the harsh breeze. A cold breeze drifts through my bones, causing an earthquake to rumble inside of me.

When the wind is howling and my fingertips are tinged blue, I know it's time to stop. A dim light post illuminates a small section of the street, casting a shadow that stretches underneath me.

It's just enough light. My fingers work quickly, looping the ribbon around the letter and tying a tight knot to secure it. The envelope is a bit crinkled, and at first I worry that it's disrespectful to send something that looks so trashy up to a place so glitzy like Heaven.

But then I remember who I'm sending it to.

Lila won't mind.

I hold the balloon in my hand, its ribbon slipping from my grip. The wind screams, pushing me backwards and I have to put up a fight to stay on my feet. My hand tightens around the balloon.

For some reason, I don't want to let it go.

The wind howls before punching my chest.

The ribbon slips from my hand.

My head slams the stone ground and I can feel blood spilling from my temple.

The world spins. A darkness creeps into my vision, twisting in my eyes.

I see the balloon. Its figure is blurring, it's shape is shaking.

But I can still see it. It cuts through the air like a knife, drifting higher and higher and higher.

The balloon disappears behind the clouds.

The darkness takes the last of my vision.

I black out.


I was five when my mother told me the baby hadn't made it. The memory is like a song stuck in my brain- as soon as you've forgotten it, the radio decides to play it again. Before that day I had never seen my father cry. I can remember his face; wet with tears, eyes red and puffy. My mom had cried too of course, but I'd seen her cry before. I'd just shook my own head, denying the fact that my baby brother hadn't made it. It wasn't until the next day that I realized it actually happened.

6 years later, I'm still here and still brotherless.

I had always known about the Letters to Heaven. The idea had been passed through our family for years, and right after the baby had died, my mother had sent a letter to him. Of course, I had sent a letter too, that is when I finally learned how to write. Back then, I had always believed that my brother would write back, would tell me how much he loved me, would tell me how much he missed me.

I was so naive.

I first noticed the balloon when I had been walking home from school. It was one of those days where the sun was a bright yellow, the sky was a clear blue with puffy white clouds, and the grass was a vivid green.

One of those perfect days.

The balloon was just as perfect as the day. Light pink, my favorite color. Its red ribbon danced in the air and the balloon bobbed in the sky, seemingly not wanting to go any other direction but up and down. I grinned at it, something I hadn't done in a while.

It drifted downward, floating in the wind gracefully and it does a spin before softly landing between my pink converse sneakers.

I'm drawn in. Like a thief to a bag of diamonds-it's too hard to resist.

My eyes move down the balloon to the ribbon, which is slightly frayed, but I don't care.

That's when I see the letter. The top right corner has a deep fold, the envelope is a pale rose color, and a red stamp of a cross seals it.

I gingerly untie the bounds around the letter and it makes an annoying crinkling sound at my touch. My fingers tear through the stamp, and I carefully remove the letter, as if it is a precious glass vase.

My heart stops.

Because in black Sharpie, scribbled in the messiest handwriting you could imagine, is my name.

Olivia Martinez.

My body lowers to the curb and my hands tremble as I unfold the paper.

Hey sis!

Hope you haven't forgotten about me. (If you have, this is your brother, Luke.) First off, I would like to say I'm sorry that we never got to meet. Ever so often I think about us, about what we could've done together. In my dreams I see us, I watch us play in the creek, splashing each other, pretending we're pirates. I watch us walk to school, you protectively holding my hand, and me bravely looking ahead. I miss you. I miss you so much.

Guess what? I turned six yesterday. My friends up here gave me a giant chocolate cake that was three layers tall! I wish you and mom and dad could've seen it. I really miss mom, even though I only saw her for like, three seconds. But I can still picture her sparkling green eyes and her white teethed smile. I miss dad too, of course. (What kind of son would I be if I didn't miss both my parents?) I remember dad's kind brown eyes and his goofy smile. Tell them I say hi please.

I love you, and I miss you!

Your brother,

Luke Ramirez.

Tears pour down my face as I read the last words of the letter.

He said he loved me.

I sit on the curb for a while, not aware that the sun is beginning to set and the darkness is beginning to steal what little light is left.

I just cry. Tears slice down my rosy cheeks and my vision shakes and blurs. I cry, croaking sobs spitting out of me until my voice is hoarse and quiet.

He said he missed me. My brother missed me.

Buzz. Buzz.

I hear my phone vibrate in my back pocket and as if it's a wake-up call, my mind flips on.

I push the home button on my phone and the screen illuminates awake.


A red number 30 sits in the top right corner of the messages app. I tap on the text bubble icon and scroll through a long list of texts my mom has sent me.

Mom: Olivia where are u?

Mom: Is everything alright?


I grimace.

I'm going to be in so much trouble when I get home.

I push myself up from the curb, brush my clothes off. The sky is blanketed with a black cloak and little stars twinkle in the air.

What time is it?

If on cue, the screen of my phone brightens, showing the thin numbers 8:28.

I walk quickly through the quiet night, the only sound echoing through the streets is the wind singing. The letter in my right hand flaps energetically as I sharply turn down my street. I come to a stop when I see the wooden cross that hangs on my front door. Breathing out a slow, uneven breath, I prepare myself for the scolding and yelling when I open that door.

I turn the doorknob.


My steps echo through the brightly lit hallway of my house.

"Mom! I'm home!" My voice bounces off the walls and as quickly as I called her name, a flurry of warm embraces pulls me in.

"Where were you, young lady?"

"Darling, are you alright? What happened?"

I glance up at my parents' faces. My mom is crying and my dad's face is crinkled, his skin a deep red. But his eyes are full of happiness.

I smile at them, something I've done now three times today. My mother's brow crinkles.

"What in the lord's name are you smiling about?" My mom stares at me, as if seeing me happy is horrific.

I beam.

"Something just...amazing happened today." My mother smiles at my words, a look she shares with my dad. Now it's my turn to crinkle my brow.

"What?" I ask. My mom places her hand on her stomach.

"You're not the only one who had an amazing day." I stare at my mom in ultimate confusion.

What does she mean by that?

My dad wraps an arm around my mother's waist. He grins.

"Your mother's pregnant."


I can't believe it.

"Lydia? Lydia! Are you still there?" My best friend, Marci, yells my name through the phone.

But I don't hear it. The world seems to spin and a hazy fog creeps into the corners of my eyes, moving in at a rapid pace.

It was over. The bullying, the name-calling, the mean pranks, all of it.


"Lydia!" I flinch, the sharpness in Marci's voice surprising me.

"What? Yeah, yeah... I'm here Marci!" I can almost picture my best friend rolling her bright blue eyes.

"Did you even hear what I said? Jacob is dead! I repeat, Jacob Coleman is dead!" Marci squeaks, her voice so high pitched I can feel my eardrums snap.

I guess I should be happy too. Jacob Coleman had been the king of my suffering since the first grade and now I wouldn't have to deal with his torturing for the rest of my high school years.

But still...


"I'm listening, Marci!" I hear my friend grumble something, probably some sarcastic phrase.

"As I was saying, did you hear how it happened?!" Marci finally says, her voice breathy.

"Um...no, no I didn't hear how it happened."

I'm not sure I want to hear how it happened.

Marci gasps.

"The idiot hurled himself off his roof. Hit his head against the sidewalk and just-" Marci makes a gagging noise. I cringe.

"So he...he's gone?" My voice comes out quiet and small. I can almost picture Marci grinning at the other end of the phone.

"Yep! Dead as a doorman. Aren't you happy, Lydia?" I don't realize I'm biting my lip until I feel a thin line of blood dribble down my chin. I wipe it away with the back of my hand and force my voice to sound high and squeaky.

"Yeah! Yes, I am so happy!" I hope that's enough to please Marci.

"Good. But guess what!" Marci squeals. I sigh, wishing that Marci would just hang up already.


"Jacob's parents are throwing a funeral and invited all of Silver Ridge High School. Like anyone would come to that jerk's funeral!" I hear my best friend snicker at her not so funny joke.


The word is like a lightbulb in my brain. I might as well go.

Even though Jacob had been the pain in my arse for a large portion of my life, it would be rude to decline an invitation to a funeral.

"Hey Marci, what time is the funeral?" I can hear my friend hesitating, and for a minute I regret asking.

"Marci? You still there?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm still here." Marci pauses. "You're not actually thinking of going, right?" I shift in my place anxiously. I'm glad that Marci can't see me.

"Of course not! I'm just...curious." I put on my high pitched voice. That always sells for Marci. My friend sighs into the phone.

"It's at 4:30 pm at the Cathedral."

"Thank- I mean, cool. That's cool."

"Seriously though. Why would you ever want to go? He literally bullied you all the way 'till the 10th grade."

"I never said I'm going!" I throw in all the defensiveness I can into my words.

"But you just said-"

"Bye Marci!" I hang up before I can make out what my best friend says next.

I know I should be grateful that somebody like Jacob Coleman is dead. But it feels wrong to make fun of him dying.

I leave for the funeral at 4:15 to begin my journey downtown to the cathedral. I'd never been to the grand church, only passed it when we took field trips to the science museum, or the art gallery for school and usually I would only get a quick glance at it as the school bus zipped off.

I stop in front of a faded stone building with a golden dome roof and know I'm where I'm supposed to be. A thin brown cross reaches for the sky from the tallest point of the roof and a set of sparkling golden doors sits at the front entrance. Faded grey stairs march up to the doors.

I let out a stressed breath before beginning my climb up the steps.


The church bell lets out a deep ring as I reach the doors.

I'm just in time.

I pull open the doors with a grunt and make my way down the aisle of pews. The inside of the church is majestic, like a castle that belongs to a wealthy queen. The ceiling stretches high, curving to the shape of a dome and The walls are a sparkling gold, the pews a wooden brown.

It really is beautiful.

I slip into the last pew closest to the door.

The church is nearly empty and only four people are there, two I can recognize as Jacob's buddies, and the other two I can only guess are his parents.

Or were his parents.

For a quick moment, a sadness so bitter chills my bones, but I don't know why. Why should I feel sad for someone as evil as Jacob Coleman?

A man dressed in a black robe enters the church. His footsteps echo through the cathedral and he stops when he reaches the front.

"Welcome all. Today we are brought together to mourn and celebrate the death of Jacob Turner Coleman." The priest pauses, and I can hear a loud choking sob echo throughout the cathedral, probably Jacob's mother. The priest sighs before starting again. "So, um... Before we start, Jacob had come to me before he died and given me an... interesting letter. Anyways, he wanted me to read it aloud." I hear the priest take a deep breath in. The sound of a paper being unfolded bounces through the room.

"To Lydia Pierce," The room freezes. That's my name. Voices break the tense silence, whispers mostly. Eyes search the pews and I slouch in my seat, disappearing from view.

Or at least, I hope I'm disappearing. The priest continues, appearing not to care that no one understands why the letter is addressed to me.

"By the time you've heard this letter, I'll be dead and you'll probably hear this at my funeral. At least, I hope you're at my funeral, but I can understand if you're not. I'm writing this letter because I want to say I'm sorry. I know that what I've done to you over the past years is probably unforgivable and I realize that now. Seriously, how did you put up with me for so long? You're so strong. You didn't deserve what I did to you. If I could go back in time, the first thing I'd do is fix everything between us, make it better. You'll probably be so happy once I'm gone. And I know if I were you, I'd be. Once again, I'll say I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

Signed, Jacob Coleman."

The church is silent as the priest reads the last words on the paper. I don't realize my mouth is gaping until a sharp cramp shoots into my jaw.

Jacob, Jacob Coleman, was sorry? There was no way. It had to be fake.

But his words are stuck in my brain and I can almost hear his voice and it sounds genuine and beautiful, like a flowing river.

I have to write back.

The next day I find myself in my bedroom, a shiny red balloon tied to my rickety bed post, and a smooth piece of notebook paper on my desk.

I had always known about the Letters to Heaven since the first time I'd gone to church, back when was 14. The priest had been performing the homily, rambling on and on about Christ and how he was sent to Heaven to save us. It wasn't until the end of the homily that the Priest mentioned the Letters to Heaven. Of course, that had triggered my curiosity, and of course, I had to find out more about it.

Now here I am, staring at the white paper in front of me, trying to figure out the best possible way to write a letter.

How do you write a letter to your enemy?

Breathing in a deep breath, I put my sharpened pencil to the paper.

Dear Jacob Coleman,

Um, hi. I've never written a letter to heaven, (if that's where you are,) much less to my enemy. I went to your funeral. It was a beautiful service, very nice. And I heard your letter. I...I don't know what to say about that. I guess I'm glad that you're sorry. I appreciate you understanding why it hurt so much when you said those things, when you played those pranks. It means a lot to me. But if I could go back in time, I wouldn't change a thing you did to me. Because guess what? What you did to me just made me stronger, just made me realize that I can't let words get to me, can't let them take me down.

So thank you for that, Jacob. I'm sorry that you felt the need to throw yourself off your roof, though. What ever happened that made you want to do that?

I hope you're doing okay in that beautiful kingdom in the sky. Your friends miss you down here, so does your family.

Hope everything's alright with you,

Lydia Pierce.


It's sad to say that not all stories end with happily ever after. Peter died that fateful night due to a head injury and hypothermia. But fortunately, he is now with his love, Lila, in heaven. Olivia is still brotherless, but is a proud older sibling to her baby sister, Gemini.

And of course, Lydia. Lydia sent her letter and now her and Jacob talk all the time and are very close, good friends actually. And Lydia unfriended Marci and they haven't talked for over a year.

Hope y'all liked this story!

August 01, 2021 19:37

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Lily Rama
15:08 Aug 05, 2021

Hey y'all! Hope you enjoy this story. This sucker took 6 long days to write!🥱 Also, if any of you have read some of my stories, you might notice that I've written about the characters Peter and Lila before. That's because they are just my favorite two characters in the book I'm writing. Have a good day y'all!


Kathleen `Woods
06:13 Aug 07, 2021

This was an interesting use of a prompt, it was a good idea to name the piece for it's 'pull thread'. I was happy to see a bit of Lila again. Grief is always an interesting part of life to write about. Thanks for writing!


Lily Rama
14:02 Aug 07, 2021

Thank you!


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Tommie Michele
23:29 Oct 13, 2021

My favorite part of this is your use of three different points of view—it just makes your exploration of grief more meaningful. The epilogue was nice, too, and so true: not every story has a happy ending. The part about the lost brother hit me pretty hard personally, too—something similar happened to me a couple years ago—and the note her brother wrote back made me smile. I would love to know where you got your inspiration for this story, if it came from somewhere specific. Nice work, Lily! —Tommie Michele


Lily Rama
00:23 Oct 14, 2021

Hi, Tommie! I'm so glad you enjoyed this story. Honestly, I have no clue where I got my inspiration. (It was one of those random thoughts, you know?🙂) anyways, thank you for taking the time to read my story!


Tommie Michele
00:53 Oct 14, 2021

No problem! I can’t wait to


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Gip Roberts
20:18 Aug 12, 2021

This was one of those stories that overwhelmed me so much I had to pause for a while to gather my thoughts for a comment. I used to write notes tied to balloons and watch them float away hoping for a response, so I can relate to the "letters to heaven" thing. All three characters and stories in this one kept my attention and made me feel emotions. The epilogue at the end was a perfect finishing touch.


Lily Rama
20:25 Aug 12, 2021

Oh wow, thank you so much, Gip! You do not know how much this means to me to read a comment like this! I've been having a lot of fun with this story and I'm so happy people like it! Thanks! :)


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