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El,

Of course I won't tell Mike. Pinkie swear. I know I gave you a hard time about still dating him (which I totally stand by) but I do get it. You guys have been through a lot together, more than I can know, and I get why you'd want to keep that however you can.

But I mean, does it help? Like seriously? Cuz I don't know, I... When I met you guys that Halloween—well, everybody but you—the first time I was there when the world almost ended, it was super fucking scary, but it kind of just happened, and at the end it was like wow, holy crap, we saved the WORLD. How awesome is that? Like a movie.

But it wasn't about me, you know? I was just there. Billy was in the way a pain in the ass, sure, but he I didn't have anything to do with the monster crap. I wasn't really involved in the whole thing is what I'm saying. Sure, it was fucking scary crawling through those creepy tunnels, but at the end of it, it's not like it had anything to do with me. I was fine, you know? I got out fine. Honestly I came out the other side better than I went in, cuz I got you and the guys and Lucas...

But last summer was different. It was about me. It happened TO me. Real shit. And I don't think I'm the same person anymore. And the old Max, maybe she knew how to be you guys's friend and knew how to date Lucas and everything, but this one... I don't know. You know?

Anyway, those girls sound like total bitches. Why would you wanna hang out with them anyway? But if you like roller skating you've gotta try skateboarding. There's so many good places out there, I'll make you a list. Don't go to Venice Beach.

Love, Max

DELIVERED


El,

I wasn't really an angry kid. Were you? It feels like it just sort of happened at some point, and then it became my whole personality. Do you ever feel like that? Maybe it's just easier to not be angry in California. Do you feel like that?

Pissed off (not at you),
Max

UNDELIVERED


Hey El.

Did the guys ever try to make you play DND? It sucks. There's so much math. I thought it was nerdy because of the wizards and stuff, but it's way worse, they're doing math for fun. But here I am, doing math in Mike Wheeler's basement so I won't ~embarrass~ them in front of their cool new Party. (Dustin made me capitalize that.) After this though? Screw that. They can go hang out and do their lame sweaty boy stuff. More time to work on my ollies.

Plus Lucas is doing basketball now apparently.
???
I know, but he is. Apparently he's "tall"—yeah right.

— Max

P.S. LISTEN TO PURPLE RAIN ALREADY. I will send you my tape if I have to. I'll sell everything I own to get a plane ticket just to make you listen to it, I'm serious.

DELIVERED


El,

Sometimes I'm not totally sure everything about last year really happened.

I know it did. I know that the mall didn't really burn down because of the Russians and that Billy didn't die the way we told everyone. I remember, trust me. Most of the time I really wish I could forget.

But sometimes it's just... Last Halloween I was stealing a Mike Meyers mask while Billy tried to get a "date" with the cashier at Melvald's. This Halloween I'm passing out discount candy to my fellow trailer trash kids. And in between a whole bunch of shit happened that's so totally impossible it's kind of hard to believe that anything was ever different. How could things get so insane and then go right back to normal?

I just kinda feel like there should be proof that it happened the way it actually did, and not just the bullshit story we told everyone, because I think I'm starting to believe it when the only other proof is my own fucked up brain.

What the hell am I talking about, fuck, it's not like I

UNDELIVERED


El,

Yeah, maybe winter break. I miss California. I haven't been back since we I miss hanging out with y But if Mike comes too, you can't just spend the whole time hanging out with him. Don't leave me and Will in the cold. And before you ask, it's just a saying. I do know what the weather out there's like.

— Max

DELIVERED


Hey El.

Do you ever feel like... Like you're outside your own body and you can see everything happening but you can't feel it?

Shit, wait, I just remembered your psychic stuff. Not literally: like something's happening to you, and you're there in the moment, but it's not happening to you. You're just watching. You don't FEEL any of it, you just know it's happening to you and don't care enough to do anything about it one way or the other. You're just an observer in your own life.

This is a really stupid way of saying I broke up with Lucas. I don't know if Mike's told you already. Maybe. I know it's not the first time, but it kinda is. It's definitely the last. We're not getting back together this time.

It didn't feel good. Dumping him. It felt like crap. Not at the time, but after. Definitely after.

— Max

UNDELIVERED


El,

We should've hung out more. I wish I would've liked that.

— Max

UNDELIVERED


El,

Is it okay to call you that? I guess I never asked. I always went with El cuz it felt weird to call somebody a number, but maybe that's what you want? Or Jane? I never knew where that came from and yet here I am, writing it on the outside of every envelope. What do you call yourself in your head? Anything?

My mom's always insisted on Maxine, but I've been telling people to call me Max forever. Not because of her, I mean, that's always been me, but.

When my mom and stepdad started dating, they had a dinner for me and Billy to meet, really early on. And we never really liked each other, but at first he kinda thought it was cool or I guess not lame that I skateboarded. He's the one who started calling me Mad Max. And I thought it was kinda cool. Plus there was already a bunch of MAX and MAXM and MAXXXX on all the arcade high scores so I needed something different.

And yeah, he turned out to be an asshole. But that's still my name on all those high scores.

— Max

UNDELIVERED


El,

I think I saw you last night. I don't know what I thought that: I mean, I had a dream, you were in it, big whoop. But it felt real—like, you didn't look exactly the same as the last time I saw you, did you get bangs?—and knowing you, I guess it made me think it could be. Your whole—What did Dustin call it? Remote watching? Does that work on dreams? Cuz I think I felt it. Maybe sleep is like the closest a normal person can get to your sensory deprivation thing and I could see you. Do you check in on us? I know you haven't had your superpowers like moving things with your mind, but maybe that's still around, and.

I know I haven't been sending these. Or answering your calls, or hanging out with the guys, blah blah blah. Maybe you're just checking in. I'm fine, by the way . People keep bugging me about it but I am. You don't have to be checking in on me every twenty minutes like I'm a baby in the other room. I'm not sticking any forks in the outlet, okay? I'm FINE. You don't have to stalk me in my sleep.

— Max

P.S. But if you are... I don't know. Thanks.

UNDELIVERED


El,

I hate it here I hate it here I hate it here. All I ever wanted was for me and my mom to be free of this bullshit and I finally got it and it cost fucking EVERYTHING and now I'll never be the same, I can't even enjoy it, I can't

UNDELIVERED


Dear El,

I should've come to visit for spring break.

I bet you and Mike and Will are all living it up at Jack in the Box and watching kids fall off their boards and trying to get Mike to go in the ocean. I bet Mike's getting the crap sunburnt out of him. I bet you're going to a mall that hasn't burnt down with my stepbrother's corpse inside it, stuck under a bunch of alien meat. I bet you

Eleven, I should've fucking gone to California. I'm sorry.

Love, Max

UNDELIVERED


Dear El,

I don't know if you'll ever even get to read this. If this doesn't work—if we don't stop Vecna, even after I he takes me—you're probably gonna be too busy saving the world again to read a letter. And if that doesn't work... Well, I guess it doesn't matter what I write. Nobody will be around to read it.

I just wanted to say that I'm really, really glad I met you. Everybody, but you especially. I've never really had a lot of girl friends. Or friends in general, but you know, you hang out at skateparks and arcades, it's 80% dudes, which was fine til they started getting all sweaty and creepy.

But I liked being your friend. Doing girly stuff. I never do that. I liked being normal with you. I've always kinda felt like a freak, and... I didn't with you. Or I did, but it was okay at the same time, because you were a freak too. I didn't have to act girlier than I was to fit in, I didn't have to act like a bitch to keep you from getting close. I didn't have to act at all. I could just be me, even the parts that don't fit the version of myself I like to pretend is who I am. I could do all those things with you. You were kinda my best friend, y'know?

I can't imagine what it's like for you. Not having your powers or your dad or even your name most of the time, or any of your friends around except Will (who I always thought was kinda lame, even though he's probably the nicest of them), and then having to live in this whole other world you don't know anything about. It's been hard for me, but that's only been one thing. You had your whole life blown up and now you're probably gonna have to save the world again. I don't really know if I'm worth saving, but if it... If I can help it, getting you dragged back into this, then I'm glad for that and that alone. You're a really good friend, El. And I'm really gonna miss you. I love you.

Your friend,
Max

DELIVERED BY PROXY


Dear Max,

Please come back. Please.

We love you. Come back.

Your best friend,
Eleven

DELIVERED IN PERSON