When I was 10, I started writing letters to Mark - even though we spent so much of the day together, there was something soothing about keeping a journal I knew someone else would read. Even as a child, I didn't relish face-to-face conversations about my own feelings.
It became a shared diary of sorts - one of us would write in it and hide it somewhere in the house for the other to find and add to; a continuous conversation that we knew wouldn't be overheard. Out of all our quirky childhood traditions, this one is probably my favorite. I've kept the habit going since Mark went missing but it isn't quite the same without his entries.
A good deal of the pages have been lost to time and various wear and tear. But since July, I've been going through them again, organizing and digitizing the ones I can. It's a frivolous project, from which nothing can be gained. But it has been bringing me some measure of comfort.