WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WSFX) – There's a special place on Wrightsville Beach where people pour their hearts out to complete strangers.
It's a place where broken people look for answers to questions they never thought they'd have to ask. People can write letters to clear their conscious, place them in a mailbox, but never have them sent.
"Why did you take yourself from SOOO many people that loved you?" asked a young woman whose childhood crush has just committed suicide.
Names aren't necessary in the mailbox, but you can guess what type of person wrote the message by their handwriting. One note written in large, loopy handwriting, characteristic of a teenage girl, read:
I'm pregnant. I haven't told my mom yet. I'm scared out of my mind. I don't know what to do.
Some writers give more of a clue into who they are, like in a letter written by a man from New Jersey that read:
Now living in Charlotte. Recently separated three weeks ago and I miss my girls.
Some of the letters reveal more of their identity and go as far as leaving their initials.
If you ask me, I'll say yes. I'm ready now.
Those intimate, personal writings represent the voices of a little-known spot in New Hanover County that's located in the sand dunes. Their thoughts are written for anyone to see – at least anyone who stumbles across the mysterious mailbox that somehow stays stocked with paper, pens, and stories year after year.
Just like the shells and ornaments that adorn the scraggly tree nearby, each note is different from the next. Some stories are heartbreaking:
I am sad today that I am losing the man I love so deeply...
...I'm letting it go and giving up.
But other messages are heartwarming:
She's perfect and I'm keeping her forever.
The only thing all the letters have in common is an underlying appreciation for the mailbox and the intimate, handwritten communication it offers in a tech-crazed society. The mailbox offers a place to reflect and sometimes offers some answers from others:
I'm pregnant -- I don't know what to do...
I was once young, pregnant, and scared. Now 18 years later, my baby girl is the BEST decision and aspect of my life...
And if answers are not found, at least hope is delivered.