Dear Mike,

You found me in the rain. It was dark, cold, and scary. You and your friends looked just about as scared of me as I was of you. I wasn't the lost boy you were looking for and they wanted to leave me behind, but you wouldn't let them. You gave me the jacket off of your back even though it was pouring, and you took me home.

You took me to your home.

I'd never had a home before... But you took me to yours and made one especially for me. You took me to the basement with pillows and blankets and you built a fort for me to sleep in. It was warm, and for the first time in my life, I felt safe.

You were shocked when I told you my name was Eleven. And then you told me your name was Mike; short for Michael. When you asked if you could call me El, I said yes. I went my entire life before you without a name. Before, I was just a number. But you, Michael Wheeler... You changed everything.

In just one week with you, you showed me true kindness and human compassion unlike anything I'd ever known before in my life.

You gave me a home where I could be safe. You gave me fresh clothes to keep me warm. You gave me food that my weak body so desperately needed. You gave me a real name of my very own: El.

Your El. Always your El.

I love hearing you talk; the sound of your voice is one of my very favorite things. I love how excited you still get every time you explain something I don't understand. You taught me what it means to be a friend. You taught me what it means to make a promise. And with each new thing you taught me, are still teaching me, you always go into great detail and have never once lost your patience with me.

I love how you always keep your promises. You said one day I'd have a bed of my own and all the real food I could want and people to take care of me. And even though it's not how you expected it to turn out, I have all of those things now. I have my own bed and my own clothes. I eat three meals a day and all the Eggos I could want. And I have Hop and Joyce and all of our friends, but most importantly, Mike, I have you.

You called me every night for 353 days just hoping to hear my voice; hoping I was okay. You never gave up on me.

You promised me the Snow Ball. You kept your word. We went. You kissed me.

You found me in the rain and you SAVED me, Mike. You saved me.

Everything good in my life is because of you.

I love you. Forever. I promise.

Love always,

Your El