Video Calling is Not Enough

Video Calling is Not Enough

by Panagiota Xenitidou


With the clang of a packet being pushed into a tiny slot and the bang of it falling on the floor, the long wait ended. I rushed to the front door, and I saw my name beautifully written in blue ink against the white package, while my sister’s name, occupying the upper left corner of the shipping label, was drawn in an equally artful way. I could hardly repress my squeal of excitement for the sake of my sleeping flatmate. That was the closest we had been since I moved to Nottingham to study four months ago. As if I was holding the Holy Grail, I took the package to my room.

Opening it made me feel like it was Christmas, as there was a great selection of little gifts inside: a set of pink, wired headphones, a baby blue pencil case containing two black pens and sticky notes, a bracelet and socks. The greatest surprise, however, was the folded white sheet of paper crumpled by the weight of all the stuff at the bottom of the little box.

Just by reading the greeting, ‘Αδερφούλα μου’ — or ‘my little sister’ — I felt tears streaming down my face. I could picture her sitting at her office and putting all the words she had already said to me time and again on paper. Writing down how much she loves and misses me gives it more value somehow. It’s like signing a contract and confirming that all the information you’ve provided is true and valid.

Although the Internet has helped us keep in touch, there are still approximately 1500 miles and the two-hour time difference that keeps us apart. I can’t call her at the end of a long day to complain about my little mishaps, and she can’t bring me a cup of hot coffee while I’m busy working on a bazillion assignments.

At least now, whenever I feel blue, I can read this letter and hear her voice in it. Having this tangible evidence that there is at least one person out there that cares about me always makes me feel better. So, until I can squeeze her in my arms and tell her how much I’ve missed her, I have this letter to hold onto.

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