June 04

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Thank You by Ashton Wronikowski

Dear J.K. Rowling,

Rupi Kaur,

Markus Zusak,

David Arnold,

Ruta Sepetys,

Jeff Zentner,

Thank you. For making me cry so hard that one box of tissues isn’t enough. For the strange looks I get when a burst of laughter escapes my chest at your words. For the sleepless nights in which I’ve had to tape my eyes open to see what HarryLieselMimJoanaDillYou were going to do next.

For the irrational frustration I felt after leaving every movie theater due to the complete inaccuracies that were allowed to take place in the film (“But you don’t understand! It was terrible. NOTHING like the book!”)

For the scoffs I hear and the eyerolls I see when I’m “seriously reading right now?”

I thank you for giving me the honor of wearing the title of geek, nerd, and bookworm. I wear the bruises and suffer the stubbed toes I’ve gifted myself as I attempted to maneuver through life with my nose in your pages with pride. The person who I was and the person who I am now is so different after every chapter, every line, every word that I soak up and digest in the catacombs of my mind.

And now, friend, please don’t be mad when I tell you that your copyright is being violated. I promise I didn’t mean to take your words. I couldn’t help that even as I read, your words were being etched onto the very veins that encompassed my heart. I had no idea that I would begin to live and breathe your stories, or that your characters would become my closest friends and confidants.

To a girl growing up without siblings, without friends, without a voice, you gifted me with the ability to make myself heard. You taught me to see how a period did not just end a sentence, but could also end a life; how a comma was not just punctuation, but was the track that connected all trains of thought together; how a single word has the power to incite every emotion ever felt in the complete history of the human population.

I learned that the greatest weapons in this world are words, and even so, words are the only thing that can alleviate this pain we have become accustomed to feeling. They wound us, strengthen us, unite us all in life.

I hope you don’t mind that I consider you as a friend. Is it wrong of me to assume that? Between two people in a reality not founded with paper and ink, you sharing so much of yourself with me would definitely qualify us as friends. But unfortunately this friendship is all one-sided. I’ve noticed this, and I feel as if we need to adjust our arrangement, just to even the score.

Someday, I don’t know how soon, but sometime in the future I will set this right, and allow myself to be open as you chose to be. I long to set the record straight, and give other people the chance to write to me the same way I am writing to you. I promise you that your gifts and time spent on me will not be a waste.

Sincerely,

Ashton

 

Ashton Wronikowski is a junior at Bronson High School, and is known for wearing many hats. She is an athlete who passionately plays volleyball, basketball and runs track; she is an actress who has found a new love for performing on stage in her community theater; she is a student participating in many academic clubs such as Student Council and the National Honor Society. Take away all the extra-curriculars and she is what we all are: a lover of the written word. An avid reader since before she can remember, she aspires to attend college and become a writer herself.