Love Letters #16

Handle with care. Don’t bark or bite. Step on egg shells around her. Oops. Made her upset again. I don’t know why. Or how. It’s all crumbling past my ears. I don’t know what I did wrong. Why is she so distant and moody. I only want to make her happy. That is all I care about. Why can’t she see that.

Dear Len

What if we both got in your old micra and drove down to Bradgate one evening. We could stay there till the sun sets, and have a little picnic. Maybe listen to some tunes. Spread a rug on the floor. Watch the horizon light up in flames, and as darkness spills over from the other edge of the world, slowly encompassing everything, we could watch the city lights twinkle on one by one. Until there is a crescendo of lights, magically winking through the distance. 


P.S. On Saturday. It’s forecasted to be sunny.


Sour expression. Again. Mouth set firmly. Slightly downturned. The left corner crinkles, pressed tightly. That’s how I know he’s upset. It’s because I didn’t sleep in that long car journey when I had that UTI and felt like there were knives slicing me open, and nausea and dizziness were threatening to tip me over the edge. How can you sleep when you feel like that, in a car? You just can’t. He was being too controlling. I didn’t sleep and now he’s been ignoring me for two days.


Fingers clutching ends of sleeves, hands barely visible, arms pulls over her chest. Head down. Can’t see her eyes. Don’t know whether she is sad or angry. Maybe both. Who knows these days. She doesn’t listen to me. Doesn’t she know I only want the best for her?


‘What’s wrong?’

Dreading the answer. Because I know what its going to be. He is always like this.

A shrug.


Well it can’t be nothing. Else you wouldn’t be so distant.

‘There is something wrong. Talk to me.’

Set mouth. Staring at laptop. Watching Last Week Tonight.


My heart is heavy. I hate this tirade. It’s exhausting. Over and over again. It’s too much effort. Something small could have set him off, and then he is moody for days. Days. Until I confront him about it, and these days I really don’t want to. Unnecessary effort. And he says am high maintenance.

Shall I give in and say sorry? I am cold at night. I need him to hold me. But why should it be like that? Why should he hold a grudge against me over something so insignificant and unnecessary?! It drives me mad!

Why should I say sorry when I didn’t do anything wrong? Why is he such a grown ass child? I am so sick of it. I have to torment myself for days while he becomes colder and colder and….

‘Maybe I am sick of my job. Maybe I have way too much on and very little help. Maybe I am sick of telling people what to do; because they are too useless to figure it out for themselves. Maybe there are too many demands on me. Maybe I am sick of travelling three hours a day to a job that doesn’t let me do what they employed me to do; that is, engineer their cars. No. They give me the filing paperwork crap that is useless and unnecessary. They employed an engineer to do secretarial work. What a waste of money and energy and brain cells.’

It burst out of him. The frustration only barely contained in his calm voice.

And that was all he said, all night.

Maybe I overreacted. Or maybe he used that to cover up some real resentment towards me. Or maybe I was being selfish and thinking his mood was all about me. Still. I don’t think he should take out his frustration on his wife, the only person who isn’t putting demands on him. I try to help him as much as I can. I don’t deserve such harshness. But. Well. People deal with stress in different ways. And he is under a lot of stress. I will give him a break.

For now.

But oh. My heart is so heavy.

N.B. He doesn’t really write like that. But in with his limited spelling and vast vocabulary, I am sure he could if he tried. What he did say sounded so much better, in his own special words, because I know him so well. It doesn’t translate so clearly in writing, though. Writing is in a league of its own.



Love Letters #13



It was late. His letter was late. And when it fell limply through her letter box she could see that it wasn’t akin to the thick volumes he used to send.

It’s alright. He is busy. It makes sense.

Still, anxiety gnawed at her as she put her small index finger gently under the envelope flap, coaxing it open with her nails. She didn’t want to rip it. A part of her didn’t even want to read it. Her heart was thumping wildly under her thin nightdress, her hair hung like coiled honey, resting on her shoulders, gleaming in the light filtering in through the glazed window on the front door. She was aware her breathing was shallow, and when she had prised the flap up and pulled out a thin piece of folded paper, she had to sit down.

It’s okay if it is just a small note. I do understand. I won’t be like those petulant housewives waiting for their husbands to pay them attention, hankering for it, living their lives around their husbands. I have a life. I have. A life.

She glanced out the window at the rising sun, behind the mountainous rosebushes outside her front room window. White and peach blooms against a backdrop of dark green and a low stone wall. The street was quiet. She saw the postman across the road now. She wanted to go outside and return her envelope to him.

‘Here,’ she wanted to say, ‘Take it. Deliver it again when it gets fatter.’

She wanted to throw the window open and scream, ‘My husband doesn’t love me anymore!’

How long had it been? Six months? She couldn’t even remember anymore. She missed him so sorely, and would tell him freely, of course, until that fateful evening. She missed his letters filled with sweet nothings, filled with details about his days, filled with love and warmth and the promise of his arms around her and his mouth on hers and his comfort and kindness.

When did it even start? When did his letters stop being novels and start being harried notes, almost resentfully explaining how he couldn’t write because he was snowed under.

He will come back.

Even as she thought it, slowly unfolding the weak little letter, she felt her heart turn to lead. There was a metal lump in her throat that she couldn’t swallow. She didn’t want to. She didn’t want to move, or think. She just looked listlessly down at the meagre words, in her own darling’s handwriting, that crossed the page, no doubt ripped out from one of his journals.

She sat there for the longest while, staring down at the note, until eventually it fluttered out of her small little hands and sailed gently down onto the carpet she had chosen with her husband three years ago.

My darling Pamela,

The boss has asked me to stay on, I’m afraid. I have accepted. I will call you from the post office on Tuesday at 3PM. We need to talk.



Love Letters #10

Dear Amelia,

One day, when I return, there will be summer and rain at the same time. There will be a rainbow over our apple tree, and we will watch the seasons merge into each other, the apples growing larger and sweeter. One day, there will be a future for us.  After the rot of the city has lifted. After the destruction has become a faint memory, we will live again. Life will sprout through the cracked crevices of what once was our solid foundation. It has been shattered, but we haven’t, dearest. We haven’t.

Yours truly,