Sophie -

You don't know me, well not yet anyway, but I wanted to introduce myself to you. My name is Faith Harris. I'm the woman who has been dating your father. Before you decide to get rid of this letter, please hear me out. There are a few things I want to tell you, but it's up to you to believe it. The first is that I am not trying to replace your mother. Having lost a parent myself, I would never consider doing that, because I know how much that would hurt. I am not trying to be anything but a friend to you, if you'll let me. The second is that I know you may not think the best of me, and I know that. I am not blind to the fact that it's never easy to welcome in your father's new girlfriend -- I've been through that myself. But I want to prove to you that I am not that bad of a person, and that I have your father's best interest at heart.

So, to do that, I'm going to tell you a story. (Feel free to roll your eyes, I know I would be if the tables were turned.)

I'm going to tell you something that not even your Dad knows, okay? No one knows. Not him, not my friends, no one. You'll have this information, before anyone else. But this story has a purpose, and I hope you'll read this all to the end.

About six years ago, I fell in love for the first time. I mean, I had been in relationships before, but they never really meant that much to me. But this man did. His name was John. John was a carpenter who was working for my father, and when we met, we hit it off instantly. It wasn't long before we were dating, then moving in together, then a year after we met, we were engaged to be married. The whole 'what you're supposed to do when you're in love' thing. All of that.

John had come into my life when I was falling apart, and he had saved me from falling deeper into the ground, due to events that had happened to me in college. I don't need to go into details, but, well, I think a Google search on me can tell you what I'm talking about. Most recent article, dated a few months ago. You'll know it when you see it. Just...don't search me now. Later, okay? (Not that I can stop you from looking into things while you're reading this, if you're anything like your father, you want all the facts.)

Anyway, we had gotten into an argument, I can't even remember what it was about, it doesn't matter anymore what it was. But he left the house in a huff and I was too stubborn to go after him. Hours went by. No word. A day went by, and I wasn't angry anymore, I was worried. Then, a policeman showed up to my house. John had been killed, a mugging gone wrong. And my life felt like it was over in an instant.

That was six years ago. And so from then on, I had told myself that I would never let anyone else in. That I was going to be on my own, because it was better that way. That I deserved to be like this, because if I couldn't some how save the man that I was to marry, how did I ever deserve him in the first place? Through the years since then, I've been attacked, I've been blackmailed, I've lost my father, I lost contact with my mother. I've lost over and over again, and there was no light at the end of that tunnel. I was sure that my life would end up with me working my life away, with no real happiness in it. Sure, I had my friends. But I was still alone, and being alone is one of the worst feelings you can have, especially when it weighs on you for years like it had with me.

That was, until I met your father. Like John had, your father came into my life in a very unexpected way. We hit it off instantly, and he helped me through an extremely dark stage in my life. He's protected me, he's stood by me, and he's cared for me, like no one has in years. And being with your father has lifted that crushing loneliness that I have felt for years, that I swore would weigh me down and destroy me. Your father has shown me that I can and deserve to feel happiness again, that I deserve to have good things in my life. It wasn't hard for me to fall for him.

And, it hasn't been hard for me to fall in love with him either. I don't need to sing his praises to you, because you know what type of a man that he is. The type to put everyone's happiness ahead of his own, and I swear his heart is too big for his body at most times. He talks about you a lot, how proud of you he is, and it's so obvious that he adores you, and he wants the world for you. I know he didn't tell you about us right away, because of what happened in October, but also because he was scared to tell you, and I understand how he feels. I've been there. I know how you feel, and I know it's got to sound crazy, coming from me, but you and I have some things in common too. I know the feelings you have more than you know, and maybe one day, if you'd like, you and I can become friends and discuss everything. Or, discuss nothing at all.

What your father and I have in common, is that we put others in front of ourselves. He does it for me constantly, and I in turn, do it for him. I want him to be happy, and to know that he deserves to be happy, but I also know how much your approval means to him as well. I love your father, Sophie. I love him, and I would like to be with him for as long as he'll have me, and I hope that in turn, maybe you'll learn to like me too. Or, at least tolerate me, but I would love to get to know you and be your friend. (Plus, I have loads of embarrassing photos I can share with you. That's gotta be of some use, right? )

I know that things are fresh right now for you, but like I said at the beginning, I'm not looking to replace your mother. All I want is to be with your father, continue to make him happy, and for you and I to become friends. I promise you that my intentions are good, and I just want him to be happy. It's all that I want.

I hope this letter reaches you in good health, and if you've made it to the end of this letter, and have questions about me or anything I said in this letter...or even just to yell at me, then you can text me at any time at (617) 555-3545.

I really look forward to meeting you in person one day, but only if you want to, and when you are ready. Until then, the ball is in your court.

Take care, and stay safe. I hope to hear from you soon.

- Faith