The letter

6 Aug

Daily Prompt: Everything Changes
Walking down the street, you encounter a folded piece of paper on the sidewalk. You pick it up and read it and immediately, your life has changed. Describe this experience.

It’s thick paper, the expensive kind. It is creased and crinkled, but I suppose at one time it was embossed with roses or lilacs and accordingly perfumed. I slow to a stop, my curiosity controlling me. It smells a bit like sewage now, or maybe that’s just how the alley smells. A noise to my left– two men in dark jeans look my way as they pass my street, about a block away. As they go, I notice the tall pale man slip his hand into the other’s back pocket. I wait a moment after they’re out of sight before unfolding the paper. I couldn’t tell you why. Embarrassment? Guilt? I look both ways to make sure I’m really alone, and I feel like a little kid before I cross the big scary street. It’s been folded in half, twice, neatly. I have jitters as I open. The writing is in a curling script, painstakingly hand-written. It’s smudged here and there from dampness, but I can still make out what it says:

My darling Evangeline,
I know I should have told you sooner, but I was a coward. I was always afraid of your father: his men, and his guns. I tried to make things right with him, to get close to him so I could get close to you. Now things have gone south–you understand–and this time tomorrow I will either be dead or in some far away place as George Hinckleman from Connecticut or Steven Shaw from Oregon. You get the picture. I missed my chance to tell you in person: I love you. I always have and I always will. If you love me, keep this letter somewhere safe, and dream of me as you go on with your life. Someday, I’ll return and protect you. I swear. I will return to you whether I live or die.
With these words I enclose my entire heart. Love forever,
M. R.

I fold up the forgotten parchment and lay it carefully on the ground. I pray for M R’s sake that Evangeline never received the now sullied letter. I stand and walk back in the direction I came, in my mind practicing how to beg Carl not to leave.

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2 Responses to “The letter”

  1. bhumikasept August 7, 2013 at 3:08 am #

    good one.
    My blogs at http://www.anoptimistic.wordpress.com
    Please visit and let me know your feedback.
    Thanks !!!

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