Dear J. K. Rowling,
I write a letter to you that I will never send, so I can share to everyone that you have changed me. Every day I see posts of fans who truly admire your work in different ways, and I am one of the many who can say that you have saved my life.
I first was introduced to the world of Harry Potter in 2001 when I was 6, and Sorcerer’s Stone came out in theaters. I remember that day distinctly because I saw the film 3 times after my parents had fought, and my mother and I were locked out of our home from my father. From then on, the series became a safe haven for me.
One memory that I will never forget is the night, out of many, that my dad’s temper was particularly bad, and my mom told me to lock myself in my room. As I walked down my hall to get to my room, I could feel the tension boiling behind me, The second that I could close the door, I put on the Sorcerer’s Stone. Wanting to be somewhere else, anywhere else, I identified in Harry in wanting to escape. All I had was the DVD for comfort, so I played it. Over and over. Out in my living room, I could hear the sound of shattering glass; my dad had thrown a hammer to the TV, but simultaneously I could hear the thuds and banging of Hagrid when he tried to get to Harry in the middle of nowhere. A smile came to my face for the first time that night when Hagrid said “Sorry ‘bout that” while he picked up the door he broke off the hinge and put it back in the frame. The next hour and a half of that night went by quickly, and this became a routine every week. By the age of 7, I felt that what seemed to just be just a disc in a fold-out case was the only thing that I could trust to be there for me. It’s funny. I can still recite the script of Sorcerer’s Stone word for word.
Since then, I looked forward to every film that came out for the series as each of them gave me hope. For almost 16 years of my life, I lived in fear of my dad, often afraid to come home from school because I didn’t know what would happen. There have been countless times when I felt the need to run away. Every allowance I earned from either of my parents went straight to a secret wallet underneath my clothes in the second drawer from the bottom just in case I had to stay away, and I told myself that if I never end up doing that, then I would use the money that I save up to go to Hogwarts, my dream world.
Years passed of me looking out for the next trailer for the next movie or a release date for each of the DVD’s. As I grew older, I knew that soon, the adaptations would stop, and Harry Potter would be over. However, it never failed to be in sync with my life somehow. In 2011, the year that Deathly Hallows part 2 went on the big screens. I couldn’t believe it that my childhood comfort blanket was coming to an end. During that same year only a month after the movie released, my dad decided to leave my mom and me, and I was severely depressed. Isolated and alone in my own head, I spent a lot of that year making mistakes, telling myself that nothing mattered. The only thought that kept me going was all of the scenes that got me through life in the past on constant loop in my mind. I was close to losing trust in everyone, but the word “always” reminded me that things could and will get better. I am grateful that I had a place that I could go to no matter where I were. Now, I am still here. Thanks to you.
P.S. I still have the money that I saved, and it’s going into post-graduation housing just in case my degree fails me.
Photo Source: Nicole Son