This post is part of WordPress’s Writing 101 daily post challenge. Today’s prompt: “You discover a letter on a path that affects you deeply. Today, write about this encounter. And your twist? Be as succinct as possible.”
I found it, a letter, settled into the slats of a park bench. The corner had been torn away, as if someone had considered tearing it up and thought better of it. Instead they left it to the elements; the threatening rain storm, the playground kids, the careless birds.
The curious eyes of a stranger.
“I think of that day often. The words that fell off my lips, slinking away, as if even they were ashamed.
That face you made, not even bothering to look away, obviously pained.
I miss you every day.
People tell me I would be proud of the person you’ve become “if only I knew”.
They don’t realize; I do know and I am proud.
Every moment. Every bat of an eyelash, every breath, every sigh…
every creak of the floorboards that I wish was you.
I am proud of the person I knew you would become, even then, and mostly of the way you picked up your jaw and your strength and walked away that day. I’ve yet to meet someone stronger.
I do miss you though…”
I read it twice, wondering if this had been left here intentionally.
Perhaps for the now grown child who used to sit here after school, or the betrayed spouse who used to hold hands here. I toyed with what those jaw dropping words could have been, or how long these two had been separated.
Maybe it was left for the storm, hopes that the raindrops could destroy what the writer couldn’t quite find the strength to tear. I considered trying to find the person it was meant for, but one glance at the sky said I should have already closed the windows at home.
I tucked the words back into their nook on the bench, before setting off across the field towards home. I glanced back a few moments later to see a young woman reach hesitantly for the note. I slowed my pace and wondered for a moment, “Could it be?”
When she made that face, I turned and gently tiptoed away from the storm.