I turned it over and over, not sure if I should even open it. So much time had passed. The hurt, the sorrow, the rage had been gone for a long time.
My first thoughts were just to throw it in the trash but then I decided to burn it. Screw her! Why now, after so many years. I had purged my body, my mind, my sole of her memory and what she had meant to me. She can't come back now!
I went to the candle drawer for a match. A ritual...a ritual of fire...on the patio...I'll dance around it and scream voo-doo curses while it burns.
But, the candles brought back memories...our time together..the nights..the walks on the beach...the smell of her skin...her body...her moans...the devils look in her brown eyes when she teased me.
I thought about her. I slapped the letter against the table...again and again...why now?...what does she want now?...after so many years...I have another life... a wife..two beautiful children...two grandchildren...
I looked at my name and her writing...so crisp but delicate...the return address...the postmark...
...and I realized the letter had been sent thirty years earlier...when we were lovers...when she disappeared...
The "Dear John" she had never sent?...Lost by the stupid post office. Why didn't they just forget it? Why deliver it now?
Should I open it? Could I open it?
I had to think. I laid the letter on the table and went to the shower. The hot water always made me think better.
I couldn't shower...I knew I had to open it...to read it...to know why...
I tried to call you but you and your damn hunting trip with no interruptions..."
My trip with the guys...two weeks...hunting...no women...no phones...no interruptions...now it comes back...she was gone when I returned...mad a bout my time with the guys (I thought)...mad about some space for me (I thought)...
"...I left a note o n your door but i am sending this letter to make sure you know where I have gone and why.
My mother is dying of cancer and I am the only one she has to be with her in her final days. I have no idea how long I will be gone but her is her phone number and address...
...Please call me when you get home.
I love you so much and it will be hard to be away from you.
The hunting trip...my refusal to buy an answer phone...but why wouldn't she at least call or write again...
It wasn't her it was me...but what happened?
I called the number and wasn't surprised to hear that it had been disconnected. I google the town for a paper and found a monthly farm letter. I called the editor.
She was very pleasant but had never heard of Jennifer or her mother but maybe her father had. She would have him call me.
The next day he called and asked me if I was relative?
"No," I replied. "I'm just an old friend."
"Then you never heard?"
"It was a tragic story. Jennifer was driving back to be with her dying mother and she was killed just two miles from her mother's home when a big big semi strayed across the center line. She never had a chance."
I didn't know what to say. "Thanks" was all that came from my mouth as I hung up the phone.
I read the letter again and then again and then again...my tears falling on here delicate writimg...
written by gsbatty for "Theme Thursday"/July2013
Posted by George S Batty