Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sarah's prompt: "You write long letters."


You write long letters, day after day; my dearest darling, my only love, and my one true heart. You chat about the inconsequential things: The daffodils may be blooming early this year. I bought a cake at the market today, lemon like you like. The important things: The Thompson’s had their baby on Tuesday. Mr. Wilson, the butcher at the market finally retired. Long letters written in perfect penmanship, on beautiful stationary, boxes and boxes of it on the shelf in the closet halls.
Everyday at four you make your tea and write your letters. I watch you as I clean the brass door knobs, sweep the carpet, clean the kitchen floor. For the last three years 5 days a week as I've worked here I’ve watched you, you smile or frown as you write. Putting bits and pieces of yourself down on the parchment paper. Sometimes scented and printed with little tea roses, sometimes plain as day but always very expensive. I’ve seen you in town at the stationers studying the paper, feeling it, weighing it in your hand.
Every afternoon, sometimes on the porch you’ll sit at the little white wicker table, or sometimes in the library if it’s rainy or cold outside, even every now and again in the little nook off the parlor, you’ll drink your tea and write your letters.
I've wondered about who you've written them to, some secret lover perhaps somewhere far away. I even pictured him reading them as he sits alone on some army cot in some jungle hut half a world away. Imagine my surprise then to find them. Boxes and boxes of beautifully written letters, hidden up in the attic, all waiting to be read by someone someday with bits and pieces of yourself tucked up inside of them.

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