Dear Virginity,

I have always been one of those people who lose items: keys, phones, purses, with an undesirable regularity. Before I lost you, I had a particularly talent for losing guitars and school coats on public transport, do you remember? I still regularly experience that sinking feeling upon my realisation of loss, quickly replaced by rising panic as I dash around erratically, trying to locate the lost item.

“Retrace your steps,” my eldest daughter will tell me in her best nine year old appropriation of a calm adult (since the real one leaves the room in these moments).


Dear Pink Sparkly Jelly Shoes,

The night before I first laid eyes on you I was having trouble sleeping. It was August and as usual we had come to stay in Thorrington, Essex, in a house owned by my Dad’s cousin. I say ‘as usual’ as if I found it a bore but that was not true: I lived for our one and only annual holiday that always straddled my birthday. …

During the first lockdown back in March 2020, my writer friend suggested we each write a letter to something we had lost as a way of keeping ourselves motivated to write during that period. What follows is my first offering:

Dear Merry,

I bought you from a pet shop in Lewisham on a whim when I realised a change of address to a quiet life in a sleepy London suburb was not going to change a thing. I bought you because he was missing his own cats, because he was stuck in an eternal rebound of longing for his childhood…

Sarah Thomas

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