The Letter - Kathryn C. Lang

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The Letter

The words were probably Latin.

She knew that he preferred to write to her in that dead language. Her instinct was to wad the letter up and throw it away. The mere feeling of it made the flesh in her fingers crawl. She wanted to toss the letter. She needed to toss the letter. Instead she folded it and put it in her pocket.

He was watching. He was always watching. She couldn’t see him, but she could feel him. She grabbed the rose that had been perched under her wiper with the letter and darted into her car. She locked the doors without even awareness. He was watching her.

The letters had been coming for over a month now. They first appeared after she broke off their relationship. The breakup had been uncomfortable for her and apparently unacceptable to him. At first, it was only a note now and then, always written in Latin and accompanied by a rose.

Fiction short - The Letter

Lately the frequency had increased. Now the letters were longer and the words were impressed harder in the paper. Daily she moved her car, but he always found it. The sight of the white rectangle stuck under her windshield always made her heart skip and her palms sweat.

At nights, he would sit under her third floor window on the picnic table below. He never tried to get to her apartment. He never yelled or threatened. He would just sit calmly at the table and she would know he was near.

On the nights he couldn’t be at the table, he would call her. The excuses were always the same. He just wanted her back. All the attention was just to show how much he wanted her back.

The evening before exams, he had watched her window until late into the evening. She looked out before crawling in bed and he was still there. Just the thought of him below her made sleep uneasy, but she tried. He must have given up his table side vigil, because the ringing phone later disrupted her restless slumber.

12-30-06 - the letter - he is watching

“You have to come back to me.”

She had heard it all before, and nothing had changed for her. It was over and there was no going back.

“I won’t live without you.”

She was through. He would have to find a way to live without her. She couldn’t take it anymore. She hung up the phone and unplugged it from the wall. Sleep seemed to come much easier after that.

The next morning her whole apartment building was buzzing with the news. The neighbors had found him lying in his apartment unconscious from an overdose. The ambulance arrived in time to save him, but he would be in the hospital for a while.

Would she go visit?

No, visiting would make it worse for him, or maybe just for her. By not visiting, she might finally be able to convince him that it was over. She was going on with life. That it did not and would not include him was something he would have to choose to live with for himself.

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