Coming home from school, I did my usual routine. As I walked towards the door, I gave the metallic mailbox a hard look. It was my mailbox, it was my family’s mailbox. Of course there was nothing particularly unusual about the mailbox itself, interesting things do not generally happen spontaneously to mailboxes. That being said, I did notice something peculiar today. The metallic box’s lid was not completely closed off, instead it was slightly open. Sticking out was one big envelope. “Big” is actually quite the understatement in this situation, but the word will do. The envelope was decorated very well, and it was very fancy. The letter seemed important, I was compelled to look at it right away. I quickened my pace up the cement blocks that lay on my yard and hurried towards the mailbox. I lifted the metallic flap that covered and protected the contents of my mailbox and quickly looked at the envelope. The sender was anonymous, but on the letter, there were two addressees. Both names were written very neatly. I saw my father’s name, followed by my own. Something about the letter compelled me, the gold embroidery on the envelope shining brightly attracting my eyes to the letter more and more. As I stood there, I felt very compelled to rip open the envelope and check its contents. Unfortunately, a cold wind blew past me, I decided that it was best that I head inside and check the contents in there.
And so, with haste I stuffed my hand into my warm pocket and searched for my house keys. Fumbling slightly, I found the brown semi-rusted key that would allow me passage into my own home. Another cold wind struck me as I pushed the key into the doorknob. Turning the key, I heard a harsh click indicating that the door was successfully unlocked and in a haste that I can not describe, I opened the door and rushed in. Taking off my shoes in a rush, I kicked them into the closet that lay to my right. I then rushed straight into the room, giving a quick greeting to my dad as I passed by and lay my backpack down. I made my way to my computer desk and immediately opened the beautiful envelope with golden embroidery. Inside, I found a beautiful letter. The border was filled with exquisite art and the handwriting that I saw upon the letter was beautiful. It was so legible that I was amazed. I usually had a rough time reading handwriting because I was used to printing, but the words were very easy to read, it was almost as if the sender was speaking to me himself. My eyes zipped from side to side and I read the contents of the letter as if they were from a person that I loved dearly and had not seen for many years. That was the exact feeling that I had as I read the letter, I felt as if a really dear friend was speaking to me for the first time in many years. This person knew me, whoever had sent it, knew me.
The start of the letter was quite normal. The general formalities, “Hello”, “How are you”, “I’ve been doing very well”, the general stuff that one might see in a letter between close friends. I realized that I couldn’t respond to the sender because I did not know who sent it, but I felt compelled by something within my heart to keep reading. So I did. The latter part of the letter was an invitation for my father and I to attend a party. It seemed that it was going to be a very big party, a very important party. The letter said that clothing would be sent and that my father and I were to wear the clothing that was sent to us to the party. There was a date, a time, and a place. I completed reading the beautiful letter and looked at the bottom of the letter where one would usually sign their name. As per usual convention, I saw “Best Wishes” written, but no signature underneath. I sighed, wondering whether the letter was real or a prank. Something within me however compelled me to attend the party. It seemed that the party was really something I did not want to miss. I decided that I would find out if the letter was real or if it was a prank when I saw the supposed clothing that was to be sent to my house. The letter had said to invite as many friends as I possibly could, the more the merrier, but what would I tell my friends? “There’s this party that someone (I’m not sure who…) is hosting, do you want to come?” That sounded pretty awkward. Regardless, there was another piece of paper in the envelope. The letter was written in perfect Vietnamese, I was certain that the letter was addressed to my father. Handing the letter to my father, he read it over and it seemed that he understood completely. Immediately, without hesitation, my father began calling his friends, inviting them to this party.
A week later, a week before the party, I was astonished. There dangling out from the mailbox were two sets of beautiful clothing. The most handsome dress pants, dress shirt, blazer, and dress shoes were simply hanging outside of my mailbox. I decided that this party was likely not to be a prank as it would be a very expensive prank to pull. I looked around the neighborhood and saw that there were a few more households with similar apparel hanging outside of their mailbox. It seemed like they too would be at this party. Something about the idea of the party really excited me now. Last week it seemed something more like a dream, but now, it seemed like it was becoming a lot more “real”. Taking the clothing from the mailbox, I opened the door and stepped into my house. I left the set labeled with my father’s name on his bed, and proceeded to my room to hang mine in my closet. Something about this party was starting to sound very exciting and I really wanted to tell my friends about it, but I wondered, “What would I tell them?” Sighing, I proceeded to do homework and undergo my usual routine, after homework and dinner, I played some online games with my friends and let time simply pass by.
It was the evening of the party. The party was on a Friday evening so that it would be easier to attend. My father was driving me to the location of the party, and as he did, I felt anxious. Who was the host? Would the host be disappointed that I didn’t invite anyone? I could only find out once I arrived. My father continued to drive for quite a while longer. The host’s house was coming into view, it was… massive. I had absolutely no idea that such a grand house existed just on the outskirts of Calgary. The perimeter of the house was massive, the yard had a massive parking space, and the garden continued millions of bright and brilliant flowers. The fence surrounding the mansion gave a majestic feeling, and on the main pathways, red carpet was laid out. Bordering the red carpet were signs that guided the many guests to the front door. The front door was massive, the knockers were gold, everything about the mansion was grand, big, gigantic, majestic, out of this world, simply crazy. So crazy that I can not begin to describe.
Just beyond the front door were the servants of the host. They did not seem to be the “oppressed” type of servant, but a joyful type of servant, they were pleased with their master, and their master pleased with them. They invited my father and I into the mansion with smiles. We returned their smiles and stepped in. The inside of the mansion was even more impressive than the outside of the mansion. The garden had been so astounding that I had forgotten that it was dead in the middle of winter and the flowers should have actually been dead. Disregarding that now however, the inside was much more amazing. The red carpet, the golden chandeliers, the impressive staircase with articulate designs on the railings, the very detailed artwork on the ceiling, the expensive vases and works of art on the imperial walls, the beautiful stained glass, everything you might see at a rich man’s house was here. Despite how out of place I was being a middle-class myself I felt hugely welcome in the massive building as did my father. My father went to join the friends that he invited and the friends that the host had invited and I was left to my own devices.
I walked by a couple of my own friends, but they were talking with the friends that they had invited. They were very engaged in conversation and I did not feel that I had the right to interrupt. Instead, I continued to wander around the mansion by my lonesome. As I wandered, I picked up some food for myself and gave some of it a try. The food at the party was marvelous as one might have expected, and yet, I had not invited my friends. Suddenly I felt guilty that I had not shared this experience with them. I felt lonely and sad. In my poor state, a very familiar voice called out to me. The voice was a voice that I knew, one that had spoken to me every day of my life, one that had comforted me when I had been sad, one that had praised me when I had done well, I knew the voice, yet I had never heard the voice before. I looked up to confirm my suspicions. His face, His body, the scars on His hands, the scars left on His feet. Yes it was, it was Him.
I cried as I realized what this party was for. I cried as I realized what had probably just happened to my friends. I cried as I realized that I had been brought to heaven, but had left my friends in the cold dark world. I cried as He asked me,
“Where are your friends?” To those words, my only response was,
“I’m sorry… I’m sorry…!” As I exclaimed those words loudly, I ran into His arms and cried. He wrapped His arms around me, and stroked my back comfortingly.
“This party would have been much more fun if you had invited your friends…”
“I’m sorry… I’m sorry…!”