Love & the Letterbox
It's Easier Goodbye, Then Hello
The wind batters against the window as Marie stared out across the urban landscape. Odd, that not a sound rang out in the cold apartment. Barren, from a child, long gone off to live her life and the recent departure of her husband. The storm started to blow into Beaver Falls yet the darkness in her heart is already beating down her doors. Reaching down to pick up an old picture frame she smiles; her daughter, her lover, and herself all standing in a field laughing in the summer sun. Turning the frame over she takes the photo out. That's when she heard something hit the ground, an old photo. He seemed familiar with kind eyes, yet they were sunken into his skull and his skin seemed to hang loose on him. Scott, the name seemed to spring from the depths of her mind and a soft smile played at the corner of her lips. As quickly as it came, it left without even a thought. Looking back through the window, her reflection stands out against the thunderous clouds on the horizon. Her dark hair having strands of grey telling her age; looking worn down with bags under her eyes of lonely sleepless nights. A knock came to her door so suddenly it startled her. Walking to the door, the mail slot opens and a letter left. When she picks up the letter it reads,
"Dear Marie, I don't know if you remember me. It's been too long since we last saw each other. I have become very ill, please if you could come by Memorial Hospital I have something to give you. Oh and the staff here is superb if you got this letter! I know how you hate hospital food so I included a gift card to that burger joint around the corner. Don't spend it all in one place. Hey, I got a smile didn't I? Oh and the room number is 320, good luck finding it these hospitals are mazes I swear. Sincerely, Scott Christopher Long."
As she finished she found herself shaking her head back and forth, this time, not a smile in her thoughts. The only thoughts that came to her were when the moment the goodbye came. Years have past since they split, both walked away with a broken heart. She couldn't remember if he ever found someone, but didn't really pay much mind. Laying the letter down on the sofa next to as she sat down and closing her eyes, sleep came quickly this night. Though this time all she saw were two red lights as they were speeding away into darkness.
Marie awoke with a start, pulling herself off the couch she stretches hearing her back crack. The smell of fresh cinnamon rolls being made from the shop down the street. She smiled softly as the sun came through the window. Getting herself ready for the day she walked around town doing her usually errands. She smiled at everyone who greeted her, and with a nod of her head she walked around town with her head held high. Days turn to weeks as every dawn brings her calm steady self and every dusk brought back the memories and the heartache. A month after receiving the letter, she remembers his request. After getting prepared to meet the man who was almost, she left for the hospital.
Heading through the hospital with the letter in hand she stopped someone every once in a while for help finding room 320. He is right this is a maze. Thinking to herself that smiled played at the corner of her lips again. The door to room 320 lay before her, she feels her heart beat quickening as she reaches for the handle. With one deep breath, she steadies herself and opens the door with the full confidence that she shows in every aspect in her life. When she opened the door, her heart fell. There in bed laid a man with pale skin, his eyes closed, his hands by his said as tubes ran all around him. He was Frankenstein incarnate with some much technology, he was being kept alive by those machines. She looked shocked, the letter fell from her hand as a hand grasped her mouth to prevent the soundless scream that was forming. She walked out the room almost bumping into a nurse. "Excuse me," Marie asked, blinking the tears from her eyes, "this is Scott Long's room right?"
"Yep, that's the one. Are you family?"
"An old friend," she muttered half-hearted, "What happened?"
"Came in and his IBS was so bad that they had to do some surgery to help. There were some surgery complications and then he became very forlorn. He asked one of his neighbors to bring him his quill and some old paper. I haven't seen someone use a quill since I have been to the Renaissance Faire. Anywho, he wrote almost every day. Even asked me to deliver a letter on my way home, he was a great guy. After I delivered that letter I never saw him so happy. He held onto a box every day, engraved with ML on the lid. A couple weeks ago, he went into a comma. We've been trying to reach his daughter, but we've been having a hard time. Do you know her?"
"Yeah, I'll give her a call." Marie looked pale, she felt cold and the darkness in her heart began to show its hold on her. Pulling out her phone she dialed her daughter's number, leaving a voicemail she began to cry, "Hey Hunny, your father he is..." the words were hard to hear out of her own mouth, "...he is in the hospital. Please give me a callback, I hope you're enjoying your honeymoon." With that, she hangs up the phone and walks back into his room. She pulled up a chair and sat for hours, hoping and praying that he would wake up.
Hours passed since she sat down by his side, not a word was said yet the sounds of the machines wearing, beeping, and pumping to keep his heart alive was almost too much to bare. She began to wonder around the room looking at the things that he had with him in the room. It looked like at one time he had a wheelchair to help him around, and a little writing station set up in the desk in the far corner. She smiled to herself thinking back on how much he would blather on about some random fact in history or the coolest new gadget that came out. He was a nerd, in a good way and at one point, was her nerd. Something caught her attention, from the corner of her eye she saw a wooden box with the initials ML written on the top. She picked it up, sat down at his little writing station and open it up. Inside was a folded up leather backing with what looked like a mini book written in his handwriting. Flipping through briefly she kept reading "Dear Marie" over and over again. This is what he wanted to give to her? A bunch of letters? She placed the letters back in the box and moved it back in place. She left to go to the cafeteria and she grabbed a coffee and sat down.
She began to wonder, what was going through his mind when he wrote her that letter? She stared into her coffee hoping that the answer would come to her, It didn't. She mustered herself up and began to start making her way home. Those letters kept edging back into her mind with every step she took towards the doors. Even in her dreams that night, thoughts of what could they say? What could this mean? She kept wondering why, and the more she thought in her dreams the more it drove her crazy. The next day she drove to the hospital again to look at those letters. She went into his room, barely gazing at the man, and headed straight for the box. She opened up the leather backing and began to read.
It's been what feels like years since we last saw each other. This letter is meant for you when you are ready to listen. Every passing day since we walked out of each other's life was a mistake that I regret to my dying breath. Every time I have tried to talk to you about how I feel you have not wanted to listen. Now, by reading this, I hope you are ready.
These letters are the stories of our lives that I wish could have been, I have written this for you every day that I can because I love you. My love for you has never died, and if you doubt my words please look through every page as I have poured my heart and soul into these pages and I hope they show you everything I wish I could have shown you.
I tried to find someone else in my lifetime, and every time that I truly get to know someone they have never been right. You are the one that I think about, from the first drop of drawn till the last stroke of dusk. No matter how painted the skies have become, no matter how beautiful the world may seem it never means anything because you were not there beside me. I haven't moved on and I can never forget True love. It's funny as we age and grow you have never lost your beauty and our daughter grows more beautiful every day that passes. She reminds me so much like you: in spirit, in life, and in every little thing that she does.
Scott Long aka Your Forever Boo Bear"
With shaking hands she puts down the letter, Staring over at the bed for the first time since she arrived today, she spies what looks to be at the corner of his lips, a smile. She reads on from there as tears fall down her cheeks, for he poured his heart out to her in every word.
Soap Box Writer
What would add better qualities to this story?
© 2015 Scott Cheuvront Jr