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Unread letters

 

December 1986

I finished writing my letter. 

I poured out my soul in this letter. My blood, sweat and tears. 

I sign my name at the bottom, careful to make the strokes. I read the letter one last time, just to make sure I didn’t have any mistakes. 

After reading through, I pressed the letter against my lips, saying a silent wish only I could hear. ‘I wish…’

I seal the envelope with a personal sticker. Then I scribbled out, For Timothy, across the front. Beneath, I wrote, With Love, Anna.

Happy with my letter, it was time to get it across. Better be the courier instead of sending it through the post office, I thought. 

I get my coat, the one with hand pockets and get out the front door. I patted my cat Butch, saying I will be back soon.

As I walked past houses in the thick snow, my heart sank. With every step, it sank deeper in my chest. When I neared the house of subject, I gathered all courage and knocked. I heard footsteps coming my way.

Then, there he stood. In front of me. With a red and black checked flannel shirt and drawstring pants. His black hair was a bedhead mess, his beard was unkempt and long. It was unlike him to see him this way, probably he hasn’t showered in the past three days.

‘What is it you want?’ he asked in an irritated voice. It was unbeknownst to me he had asked me for the fourth time already. ‘I’m busy’. He holds the door half open to me.

‘I just want to…’ and I fished out the letter from my coat pocket.

He quickly snatched it from my hand. ‘Is that all?’

I was silent. He could be so foul sometimes.

‘You may now leave’ and I  took it as my cue to turn and go.

One accomplishment. I almost jumped with joy.

Thirty years later

Why hadn’t he written, I thought. I only lived five blocks away. 

I checked my mailbox again. Nothing. I go back to my computer. Does he know my email? No, he doesn’t know my email. I’m stumped.

I caught a reflection of myself. Aging. With wrinkles and lines.

Does he know I never married waiting for his answer? 

She picks up her pen, stretching her long hands before writing on the paper. It was stationery she bought at the bookstore, and perfumed, too. 

Before signing at the bottom, she stared after the hundreds of letters she wrote to Timothy and never sent. 

She sent a letter once. That was thirty years ago, when she was twenty. 

But Timothy never read it.

Until the letter had collected dust, and when he moved with his new bride to a new home, it had been forgotten. 

After it was forgotten, it was binned.

And here she sits, looking out the window, waiting for a postman to arrive

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