As he flicked through the letters, a small, handwritten envelope caught his attention and his heart began to thump. His name was engraved on the front in an elegant, swirl of a pen on the heavy, parchment paper envelope. He turned and quickly dumped all of the other envelopes out of his hand, dropped them onto the counter in his small kitchen. Hands trembling, he peeled open the envelope as gently as he could.
There was no weight on her heart when she sat down, resolve in mind, pen in hand, to write the truth, and nothing but the truth. Her last class of gangly teens cleared the room and from where she sat at her desk, she could see the kids wandering off in droves to be collected or otherwise for the evening. Dusk was beginning to creep in, and before the night could take her courage away, she tossed her dark hair over her shoulder and began to write.
He had to read the letter over three times to actually digest what it said. Tears were falling, free of inhibition, from his eyes now. He was shaking, partly because grief was trickling in, partly because the morning cold was too expensive to get rid of. He embraced the cold like an old friend, let it hold him captive. Frozen in the moment of trying not to recall her. He stood up and reached for the kettle, slamming a teabag and mug on to the counter. His eyes wandered to the window above the sink. There was the bus, crammed to the brim with business men and women, schoolchildren and people with purpose. The click of the kettle reminds him of his urgent mission of tea.
The envelope was slid into her diary, in an attempt to keep it safe against the other contents of her bag. She collected a folder of tests from the week and tidied her desk up, pen back in the jar, chalk back in the drawer and picked her mug up from the table. As she leaves the room, she flicks the light off, to save the bulbs from overworking – like she feels sometimes. She walks down a extra empty looking corridor, focusing on each echo of her footstep on the well worn floors. A flight of stairs back to the ground floor bring her to the exit, but she takes a left and heads to the teachers’ lounge. Abandoned, thankfully. She strides over to the small kitchen and throws the teabag out of her mug into the bin, rinses the mug and leaves it in the dishwasher. Pushing the dishwasher shut, a heavy sigh leaves her with a heavy resolve.
The rich, brown colour of his tea, swirling so perfectly as he stirred sugar in, was chiding him. He tossed his spoon into the sink and took the mug and letter to the couch in the small living space he created in his flat. The first sip reminded him of how cold he was. Her words didn’t seem to budge, no matter how many times he looked at it. He tossed the letter onto the minature coffee table he managed to squeeze in. Holding the mug in both hands, he crossed his legs on the sofa and made every attempt to enjoy the one beverage that reminded him of her.
Comments are always welcome. I’m not sure where I was headed with this, but if you want to give it a shot, the writing prompt this week was:
As he flicked through the letters, a small, handwritten envelope caught his attention and his heart began to thump.
I’m starting to enjoy these. That’s a great sign, right?
Categories: Short Story