Part of the ‘Project: Chain Reaction’ Series
For the first instalment of this story please check out: You’ve Got Mail
No address, no title, not even a stamp. Simply beautiful cursive loops forming the letters of my name and a mystery that peaks my curiosity. It’s a simple envelope, nothing fancy; cheap and functional, like any common envelope you’d find in a post office. The self stick flap is stuck as in haste I open, jaggedly tearing the top seam. A mild OCD irritation, but no matter, it’s not like anyone reuses envelopes. One gently folded piece of paper rested inside, not the same cheap material like the envelope, it screamed class. It was obvious from the feel alone this wasn’t a normal letter, as if I needed any more evidence. Unfolding the page it was handwritten, the same cursive flourish from the envelope filled the page. The letters flowed across the page, the delicate strokes of the pen bled ink into the page. These words had purpose, not merely scratched out in biro, this letter was important.
Resting against the rusted mailbox I read the letter, once, twice then thrice. The words on the page didn’t make any sense. Sure I understood them but I couldn’t believe the words. I literally just gave up a career, my money is gone and the only reason I’m not on the street is the kindness of my mother. Well maybe more obligation than kindness, but that’s not the point. At this very moment in time I have nothing and am struggling trying to figure out what I do next. This is not the time to be teased by letter. I’m at a personal low point, now is not the right time to receive a letter like this. I don’t know if there ever would ever be a good time, but it’s certainly not now. I should have just read the bill; it would have made more sense. Depressing, financially soul crushing sense, but at least I would understand it.
You know when it’s gorgeous outside like today, when the sun is out and the world is alive with positive energy and you’re feeling a bit down. It feels like the world is taunting you. It’s like everything in nature is converging to torment you for not joining the world in good spirits. That’s what this letter is like. Someone is laughing at my expense, trying to get a rise out of me. Strolling back to the house it just annoys me, I want to throw it away, but instead I follow my same mail carrying routine. Tossed onto the breakfast bar in the kitchen, the envelopes glide across it with speed till they crash into the empty fruit bowl. That reminds me, I need to go shopping as well today. Not for me of course, a chore for mommy dearest. Along with the vacuuming and all the dirty dishes from last night’s dinner and this morning’s breakfast, she’s left money for me to go get groceries while she’s at work. Always looking after me but never one to let me rest on my laurels, she’ll make me work, even if it’s housework. I’m used to it though, reminds me of being a teenager, it’s only ever been us so it’s not the first time I’ve player housekeeper while she’s out at work. Still the lethargic unemployed bum wants to be couch-ward bound, while the good and dutiful wants to son wants to power through the household chores. Staring over at the dirty dishes, I grab the cash left on the counter and head out to the store, the lesser of two evils.
A trip to the supermarket is just the kind of distraction you need when you’re unemployed. Get out the house and remember that there’s a real world to get back into. Sadly it’s a fleeting distraction. Arriving back home, weighted down by bags upon bags of groceries like a glorified pack mule, everything is as I left it and the lethargy kicks back in. Dishes, dusting, vacuuming and that damn letter staring up at me as I fill the fruit bowl. My confusion and annoyance has passed, replaced with anger, but I’m compelled to keep reading it. Grabbing the letter I read it once more…
This letter is long overdue. I apologise that it has taken this long to write. You won’t recognise my handwriting, but I assure you that I know you very well. It’s true that we have never met and though this has been a great sadness and is a burden to my life, it is my hope that you will come to understand my decision. I have been watching over and protecting you for your entire life and am marvelled at the man you have become.
Choosing to give up on a fruitless career finally showed me that you were ready for the next stage of your life to begin. You have far more importance that you can imagine; you know this to be true. It is time to realise your worth, your potential and your true self.
I have been waiting for this day for a long time, as I must imagine have you. I must now ask a difficult question. Abandon your preconceptions, clear your mind of all ill will and meet with me. There is a bar at the harbour, ‘The Lighthouse’, be there this coming Saturday at 7p.m. and I promise you answers and adventure.
How dare he! What answers could justify not being around my entire life! The rage, the curiosity, it’s making me dizzy, making me feel sick. I hate him, I hate this letter, I hate how I feel. I want to burn it, let flame turn it to ash and be blown away in the breeze like he vanished on my life. I want to tear it up into little pieces like he tore up my heart. I want never to have received this letter.
I hate myself for this, but I still want to meet him…
The next chapter in the Project: Chain Reaction series will be courtesy of Eric. Come back next Wednesday for more to this tale.
Project: Chain Reaction is a collaborative story telling concept by a small group of WordPress bloggers, brought together with the intention of writing a photography inspired story. Each participant will write a passage inspired by a photograph left at the end of the previous writers chapter. Each piece of the story will not exceed a 1000 word character limit, hoping to capture the 1000 words that a photograph is said to contain. We have no idea where the story is headed and plan to challenge each others creativity to make the full story a riveting tale.
The participants of Project: Chain Reaction are;
Cameron: Cameron D Hamilton
Eric: Wisps of Smoke
Cara: If Pandas Could Speak