Reading a Letter

Martin’s eyes lingered on the familiar handwriting. It was cramped, hurried, the lines looped over and through one another. They seemed to convey the urgency of the message, and he read it over again one more time.

“My dear,

It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen you, and I know things have been difficult. We’ve barely spoken for a while, yes, but I wanted to let you know that you’re still in my thoughts. More than that – I wanted to tell you that I love you. I never stopped and I don’t think I possibly ever will. I don’t know how you feel, obviously, but I’m letting myself hope that you feel the same way.”

Martin paused here to reread that last sentence. Just looking at the words made his heart flutter in his chest. He swallowed the emotion welling in his throat and read on, mouthing the now-familiar words.

“At least that you won’t be shocked and disgusted and annoyed by this. It can’t be a surprise, I suppose. But I’m waiting to hear back from you, my love, so please send a response as quickly as you can. I’m waiting for it, every part of me waiting for you. Just send me one message to tell me that you love me too, and I will be happy.

With so much love,
Martin”

He folded the paper again and slipped it back into the envelope. There was something sickening in his throat that he thought he might choke on, and his fingers caressed the words stamped onto the envelope: RETURN TO SENDER.

 

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