Edit in JSFiddle

<div class="removeFirstAndLastLetter">
  Oh no, I lost two letters
</div>
@keyframes showUp {
  0% { opacity: 0; }
  100% { opacity: 1; }
}

.removeFirstAndLastLetter {
  background: #fff;
  font-family: monospace;
  white-space: nowrap;
  position: relative;
  display: inline-block;
}

.removeFirstAndLastLetter::before,
.removeFirstAndLastLetter::after {
  content: "\00a0";
  background: #fff;
  top: 0;
  display: block;
  position: absolute;
  height: 100%;
  width: auto;
  animation: showUp 2s;
  animation-fill-mode: forwards;
  animation-delay: 1s;
  opacity: 0;
}

.removeFirstAndLastLetter::after {
  right: 0;
}