A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art

Pen Pals



Dear Elijah,

My name is Jess, short for Jessica . My entire family is from Hollywood, including myself.

We used to move every two years because my dad’s job moves a lot. Since he enjoys it, we just move with him. I am five foot nine. My family’s a tall one. I am the shortest in my family and I’m not even the youngest. My little brother is two minutes younger than me. We’re twins if you didn’t get the memo. I obviously am the mature one. It’s scientifically proven that girls are two years ahead of boys when it comes to maturity. {Well most boys and girls are like that.}

I enjoy playing soccer and basketball, but I love volleyball. Basketball and soccer are just to keep me fit so I don’t blow up like a balloon. If people do say that you are bigger than everyone else then, I’m sincerely sorry for that comment. You can’t blame me because I don’t know how you look and we aren’t allowed to send pictures of ourselves, because of some safety issue but I don’t know what could be wrong. We’re sending letters about ourselves to strangers and we can’t even see what one and other looks like.

I have a pet dog, her name is Cupcake. Cupcake is the world’s most spoiled dog. My mom was having another child. We knew Cupcake knew about this because she used to sit on my mothers stomach and start to make the cutest little howls like she was trying to sing. Cupcake is the most sanitary dog. I tried to take Cupcake on a walk and she wouldn’t touch the floor so we had to buy her shoes. Anyways my mom was two weeks away from her due date and then Cupcake started to open the crib door and then slept in there every night. So they moved that very expensive crib into my room and got a another one of those cribs for the baby. Don’t get me wrong Cupcake is very sanitary but, dogs and babies don’t mix.

Here are some questions that you may want to consider answering in the letter you send back to me. Where do you live? I mean that in the safest way. How old are you? Do you live in an apartment or a house? Do you even like your school? I heard that you don’t even have aquariums or animals in your school? That’s kinda mean don’t you think? When will you come to New York? Our school usually travels to the place where our pen pals are.  Isn’t that cool. My school rocks. Oh yeah and what color are your eyes?

I may have come off a little too strong but I think we might be able to be friends. Like I said, I don’t know you, but I’m going to try to let you know me so your letter won’t  be as awkward as mine. You don’t know how much stress I put into this letter. Good bye.



Dear Jess/ica,

You seem like a very loud person. I admire that you like to express what you say but you do tend to talk continuously without stopping. You’re like a racehorse that is scared to stop. I know that this letter is going to be short because my show is coming on very soon and I can’t waste my time on someone who I don’t even know. I’m not a very friendly person and I don’t care what you think about me, I won’t change for you. I hope that you enjoy this letter because this may be the last one that you get. These aren’t letters, they’re emails. You sound like a real pain. I already have a handful of siblings and the last thing that I need is a super spoiled friend. You know what I do need, if you haven’t guessed it already, it’s for you to leave me alone. My show is coming on in ten minutes. SO goodbye.

Sincerely, the boy who does not care how you feel,



Dear boy who does not care how I feel,

The only show that’s coming on in seven minutes is a baseball match. See we have something in common.

I really don’t enjoy your attitude towards me and I suggest that you fix it before I fix it for you. I may seem all perky but it takes two to tango and trust me, I will be in the lead.

Sincerely, girl who will win this argument,



Dear Jess/ica,

It’s funny how you think that I care about how you feel. I told you I won’t change for you. I don’t know you and won’t change for you. I am not going to play your little who can win the argument game because it’s silly and you’re silly. I bet you if you had to survive on the streets by yourself without any of your parent’s money or help, you wouldn’t make it right now. I would bet all of my money on you not making it, but you might just have your butlers just follow you around and do things for you.

Sincerely the boy who really doesn’t care,



Dear Elijah,

I am not trying to make a game out of your feelings, if you have feelings anyway. I just want to know if you wanted to become friends with someone because if you aren’t, you will be #foreveralone, I mean, is that really you want to tell your grandchildren? I would never want to tell them that.

Why do you always have to be so cranky and annoying about everything. All I’m trying to do is be nice not mean.

Christmas is coming up and I am trying to give you the opportunity to be my friend, that’s really a great present. I don’t know anyone who would disagree with me on that. I know that you really don’t want to be my friend, but when people tell me no, all it does is make me want to work even harder to get that.  For each no that I read then I will take away a letter that I send you. I have a lot so it really doesn’t matter how many no’s you type you take away.


Your pal Jess/ica


Dear Jess/ica,

I no know no that no you no want no to no be no my no friend no but no it no takes no two no to no paint no, one no something no to no paint no on no and no two no the no paint no. You no see no what no I no did no there no, I no bet no you no have no no no more no letters no that no you no can no actually no send no.

Do you see how smart I am?

So if I was forever alone how would I have grandchildren?


Dear Elijah,

If you want me to stop emailing you, I’ll stop. If I can avoid getting my soul crushed by someone then I will, and I don’t need to hear it from some strange boy almost halfway around the world.



Dear Jess/ica,

I didn’t mean to be so mean it’s just, that my mother just died and my father left because he wanted an entire family instead of just a son. He doesn’t even like me, the only reason he stayed was because my mom told him to. My dad left me with my aunt and then she has this dog that I’m allergic to and she gave me to my grandma who hates kids so she gave me to my grandpa and all he does is talk about football, golf, and squash. He’s always trying to make me look all fancy and proper. He made me burn my old clothes. And then he made me go get some more wood for the fire. Then after I burnt the clothes he gave me a little talk and said that this is going to be a very big change from where I used to live. I used to live in New York where people had no manners and everybody always wears the same nasty old clothes. Over here you wear clothes once and throw them away. In New York, hot dogs, pizza, and Chipotle were romantic. Over here, babies throw up at that type of food. My grandpa doesn’t like the way I used to live.

I’m sorry if I haven’t been in the best mood, my life is harder than you think. The hardest thing in your life is probably that you didn’t get the right nail polish or something. But I’m not here to judge you, I’m here to make amends. My sister had triskaidekaphobia which is the same reason she died. But I’m not here to make you feel guilty for me, I just want you to know I’m having a rough day but getting a letter from a girl who’s super rich and has it all wasn’t exactly the thing I really wanted to hear or see or get letters from at the time.


Dear Elijah,





About the Author

Zindzi Lucas grew up in Brooklyn and Manhattan, eating crab cake, fish fritters, and coconut shrimp. She likes writing because she has control over what happens and she can make the decisions for how her world is constructed. Zindzi also enjoys writing because she can bend the rules.

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