To All the Objects We’ve Loved Before

Once schools closed, we reminisced about the beloved objects that we tragically left in our lockers. Through a collection of love letters, we hope to rekindle the strong and blazing passion that was once there.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Cover Image
By Karen Zhang

Once schools closed, we reminisced about the beloved objects that we tragically left in our lockers. Through a collection of love letters, we hope to rekindle the strong and blazing passion that was once there.

Half-eaten Sandwich

Oh Sandwich,

Nothing nourishes me. I roam the streets, silent and starving. I think of the cruel revolution of the Earth around the Sun, all the time that has gone by while you stay locked inside those metal doors… And I wander west in my dreams sometimes, and I mingle with soldiers and sailors and catch constellations, and yet I want nothing more than you out of that locker and your decaying layers clothed inside a Terry’s special, so close that I swallow you whole, with all the maggots and termites and beautiful monsters inside you.

Gym Clothes

Dearest Gym Clothes,

Ah, my most stylish outfit. I wish to feel your damp fibers rub on my bare skin once more. I long to mingle with you again, but alas, we have been separated for a year and counting. I miss your scent––a unique and fragrant combination of body odor and sweat. I just desire to be with you, square dancing while your nylon fibers dance on my thighs and your cotton rubs my back.


Dear Confiscated AirPods,

I am reminded of you every second of the day, from the moment I wake up in the morning to my afternoon strolls, long baths, and bedtime. Before I lost you, you used to fill me up with music every morning. Mr. Moran would be jealous every time I walked the halls with you, but I didn’t care. I loved your two little pods and how they fit perfectly in your sleek case while everyone else’s horrendous strings watched in jealousy. We overcame obstacles together. My heart broke when the bitter Mr. Moran took you away the first time from me and locked you up in a cage. The long distance was truly a traumatic experience, but when we reunited and I locked your pods into mine, I once again was filled with your beautiful music. But alas, we are separated once again. I miss you. Very much. I am sorry that I left you, but I will always imagine you by my side, our bodies entangled as one and your music igniting fireworks.

My Friend’s Pen

My Dear Pen,

I made a promise to you and to myself that I’d return you after that one chemistry test. Yet days passed, and I never let you go home. I used you as a harlot, employing you for my notes during first period and pimping you to a neighbor during second. I never even thanked you for it. You opined to return to the satchel from whence you came, but I never listened. I managed to look my friend in the eye, knowing I used you who was theirs. Then, I cast you away without a second thought into the black crevices of my locker, of which we will not speak. You became a never-ending reminder of my failure to live up to the person I want to be. I write this not for forgiveness, as I expect none, but for closure and for the declaration that I might do the right thing.

The Milk Carton

Dearest Low-Fat Milk,

Our love is now cheese—left alone for a while to ferment, only to be taken over by bacteria as our tenderness grows thick and curdled. Yet always, cheese ages like a fine wine when left alone; it becomes hard and firm with a touch of tart, and it is ever so delicious.

I know I said we had to take a break, but I had no idea that would be our last meeting. I didn’t want to break up forever… I just thought we needed some space. But with this space, I realized something. I found myself dreaming about you and how liquidy, how refreshing, and how saturated with calcium you were every night. I realized that… that I loved you and that I absolutely cannot let you go. I need you back in my life, Low-Fat Milk. I hope you feel the same. So I write this letter to you in hopes that our love has aged like a fine gruyère, ready to be melted down by the heat of the fire inside us, burning for each other and made into macaroni and cheese.

Cookies Stolen From the Cafeteria

Oh Cookie, My Cookies,

I must remind you that our relationship is forbidden. As I stole you away from that horrid chrome tin––a princess from an ivory tower––I teemed with malicious intent. The risk of getting caught was always evaded, but I was constantly electrified by the threat of a rebuke that never arrived. Though you might be stale and unsavory from your unmoving journey, I lust for you all the same. I desire that brief trip from lap to mouth, ferried by my unsatisfied hands, and that final, crisp snap as I take a bite, the unquestionable climax of that overwrought moment. I’m afraid the only resolution for you, my lost love, is in the shower of crumbs that topples from the folds of my shirt to the smooth linoleum floor.

Photo of Bald Teacher

Dearest Locker Photo of Teacher,

I miss the sight of the shiny gleam on your bald head. You must feel lonely taped deep within the crevices of my locker. Remember how shy I was when I first taped you there? Every time a group of people walked by my locker, I would hastily close it because I was ashamed to be seen stroking that hairless patch of skin. Now, withering away in quarantine, I regret my shame. If I could go back to the past, I would openly proclaim my love for you. I would yank open my locker, rip you from my walls, and thrust you into the light, holding you up for the world to see. It is time for the world to see that nothing, not even the authorities, can prevent us from being together! Though I still see you from my laptop screen, it could never replace the true sight of you lecturing in front of the classroom. Until then, I have already pinned another picture of you on my bedroom walls. But it’s not the same. I eagerly await our reunion so that I may once again stroke the smooth skin of your balding head. Our love is as boundless as the condition eating away at your hairline!

Lost Glove

Dear Faithful Glove,

How I miss thee. The sensation of your fuzzy fringes upon my clammy palm is one I will remember for all of eternity. I miss the gaping hole between the third and fourth fingers and the way I could feel the cool breeze pass between the ridge while the rest of my hands remained toasty within your depths. Do you remember how you got that hole? It was during that one chemistry lab, when I insisted that your fabric would shield me from the harms of hydrochloric acid despite my teacher’s urgent warnings. Ahh… how very wrong we were. My scars from that fateful day will forever remind me of our unbreakable bond, my special mitten.

Lab Equipment

My most beloved Lab Apron and Goggles,

Where are you meant to be if not on me? I need you, helping me and protecting me as I click through the virtual labs and as I break down over not being able to light an online bunsen burner for the 20th time. You shielded me from anything that would trespass my personal space. Goggles, remember when I said I didn’t need you? I lied. I miss you and those blush pink circles you would leave around my eyes and forehead, exposing the things we’ve done together. How will I pass chemistry without you, and what will happen to the chemistry between us?