He couldn’t get the words out of his mind. The first line his eyes had glossed over before he balled the parchment paper in his hand and tossed it towards the waste paper basket.
‘I’m sorry, I never meant for it to end this way.’
The words made his eyes sting and his vision blur but he couldn’t face it, he couldn’t accept it. Yet, every time he emptied the waste paper basket he left it on the floor, just next to the trash. Deep down, he knew there was no way he could throw it out without knowing what it said but he wasn’t ready.
Days past – a cold winter turned into a warm spring and a surprisingly hot summer had passed. He’d nearly forgotten about the letter. He’d been so busy with work and family and friends that the letter found itself kicked under a jacket that he’d dropped in front of his wardrobe. His sister had told him his flat was a tip and they were having an intense cleaning day with the occasional break to run to the coffee house on the corner to get hot chocolates and Christmas songs were ringing around the apartment.
He’d picked up the jacket and saw the same, scrunched up piece of paper on the floor.
He smiled, almost fondly – maybe forgetting the letter existed at all was his way of knowing he was ready.
He dropped the jacket back where it was on the floor and flattened out the A4 paper, wondering towards his bed and sitting heavily.
‘I’m sorry, I never meant for it to end this way.
I was careful. Perhaps too careful, that you never suspected, but clearly not careful enough if it ended this way. I’ve had this letter written for a long time, originally it was addressed to my parents but as soon as I met you I thought about rewriting this letter.
I suppose at this point you know – I’m a spy. I go undercover on a regular basis and I’m shot at nearly every day.
I don’t need to talk about that though, it’s irrelevant now – all I want to say is I’m sorry Charlie, I hope you’re safe and happy and I’m sorry I never told you about who I really was. I just want you to know I love you with all my heart – when I turn 35 I hope this letter has never been delivered and I can retire with you, I want that so much.
I hope it’s all okay. I hope you still spend Christmas with your family and put that dorky singing dog in a Santa hat on the mantle piece at Christmas.
I love you Charlie, even now. I love you.’
“Charlie, what’s wrong?” The only thing that tore him away from the letter was his sister’s panicked words as she stood in the doorway to his room. He looked up and smiled, realising tears had been streaming down his cheeks.
“Nothing, I’m fine. Genuinely.” He smiled, folding the letter neatly in half and placing it on his desk, pulling his sister into a tight hug and getting back to their tidying.
He’d been so angry that she’d lied to him for so long when she first passed, he didn’t know how to not be angry with her. But a year later he understood – she was protecting him and she still loved him, in the same way he still loved her.
Seems like this post is in the wrong order – it’s not, I just didn’t want the story to be prefaced with ‘hi I’m going to do some creative writing!’ and interrupt the flow.
I used to write posts like this fairly regularly – it was good for me to do a little bit of creative writing and I really enjoy writing these little posts so I might do them more regularly this year! I got a book last year called ‘642 things to write about’ so I might post a few of them here.
Finding time to write is something I really struggle with so being able to write here occasionally feels really refreshing and enjoyable – I miss how I used to write all the time and work on stories and characters and plot lines.
I will get back to it, I’m working on getting back to it, it’s just picking my battles and my priorities but I am working on it – I am!
Also bonus Sunday post to make up for my being ill last Monday and missing a post. Regular posts again next week!
Thank you for reading, I have a lot of love for this blog and being able to write these little posts if I feel like it!