Love Letters #35

When they arrived there was a downpour. An opening of the heavens, cracking like the earth’s skull, and the rain gushed down like a broken tap. The footman would not hear of her stepping out unaided, he took his own coat off to shield her from the torrents as he guided her out of the carriage and up the steps, which became a waterfall, sloshing around her perfectly gleaming shoes and ruining them.

They entered the building and he bowed, folding his coat to himself before dashing out again. She watched as he clambered aboard the back of the coach, sodden, and said something to the driver before they clattered away down the cobbled street, the sound of the wheels vanishing amid the clamour of thunder and pattering rain.

If it were not for her dress she would have chased him down the street, letting her carefully pinned hair fall and soak up the rain. She clutched her skirts now in her hands, and let her dainty, sodden shoes take her across the perfectly polished floors and through the main doors of the cathedral. One last glance back, but the street was empty, vendors packed away and doorways tightly shuttered against the grim atmosphere. She couldn’t see to the end of the road, a cloudy haze formed of soot and torrential rain formed a wall, blocking her from the world she could not touch, and which could not touch her.

Dear Louie,

It’s better that you know now – the child is yours. There is no way you could claim him, he will have to be the next heir to the throne. 

Yours,

Dorothea

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Love Letters 29

The trees whisper secret songs through the breeze, but it takes a hard and strong wind to create a true symphony.

Their leaves are each a small instrument, thrumming against each other as the air surges between their branches. Swaying to and fro, back and forth, to and fro, and the thunderous sound of a million cheers filling the air, taking over.

If you close your eyes for just a moment, you will feel like you are flying. Your heart will swell along with the currents, and you will put your head back and let the sound wash over you.

I have always loved that sound. It is a sound that transports you to another world. The voices of the earth and humanity become distant memories in the background, life recedes in the face of this magnificent phenomenon. They are in harmony, and they speak to each other, telling one another things we can never imagine.

The wind does not roar, the trees do, in a deafening welcome.

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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. 

D

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.

‘Nothing.’

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.

‘Nothing.’

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 #8

Walking down the street with his hands in his pockets. He always cleaned up so nicely. His hair slicked back, his face tidy and trim, his suit brushed and straight with the crease in the trousers, shoes shined up to perfection, like brand new, reflecting the street lamps in their gleaming glory.

The pavement was shining with the mist of rain that floated down upon the town. Heels clicked and shoes scraped with the faint gravelly echo of damp street sand. The evening twilight descended upon the world, combining with the golden glow of the street lights to create a surreal dusk stillness, when the streets emptied and families sat around dinner tables, and shops were empty and dark behind their shutters because shop keepers had long gone home.

I stared. Thomas? No. It could not be. Impossible.

But it was, and he was!

He whistled a little as he walked, his step jaunty, and my heart ached. I loved his whistle, his cheery, melodious tunes. His whistle meant he was happy. He turned quickly into an alleyway and vanished.

I peered into the darkness of the alley, squinting a little. It was like a cavern, swallowing up all light, so I couldn’t make anything out. What was in there? Should I follow?

My footsteps sounded loud on the pavement, so I bent over and slid my dainty heels off, holding them by the straps by my side. I followed him.

I heard his whistle, faint, further down. So I hurried, further and further and I still could not see him.

‘Amelia?’

I froze, my toes curling inwards on the cold, damp concrete beneath me. My eyes focused in the gloom; the brick walls on either side of me were illuminated by the faint lights out on the street; they were glistening.

‘Thomas?’

His voice was so clear, as though he was standing right next to me.

‘Thomas?’ I said again. The whistle sounded again, even fainter, and I knew then that the voice I had heard could not have come from Thomas, his whistle was too far away. Or was it?

‘Amelia..’

I jumped. It sounded right in my ear. I looked around frantically; nobody. Nothing. Just the damp concrete and the strangely glistening walls. My heart beating wildly, I tried to shake off this panic that rose within me like bile.

There is nothing to be afraid of, just carry on, it is not real.

I could not do it. My fingers clutched my shoes as I turned and raced out of the alleyway, the long rectangle of light from the street ahead of me looking so far away, every hair on my body standing on end, screaming at me to go faster faster get out of here before I am grabbed.

Finally I burst into the light, as a car sailed past me on the road. A gentleman walked across the street, head cast downwards. Lights twinkled at me in the shiny, shiny, post-rain twilight world.

I glanced behind me and shivered as I walked hurriedly, still barefoot, along the pavement. It was not Thomas. It could not be Thomas. Not my Thomas, at any rate.

It was not real.

Dear Amelia,

I write you from the depths of this ship. My cabin is fairly tight, four beds confined to a space not even wide enough to fit my length. But it is alright, the boys are friendly, we all await the end of our journey nervously. What will the war hold in store for us? I have spoken to some boys who have already been on the front line. They are cagey, and I heard one telling the the lieutenant that it was hard to remain cheerful about it all. I know they don’t want to terrify us with horror stories, and so we carry on. The closer we get to our destination, the more sombre everybody becomes, but we mask it with our jokes and tales of women and joy, and we smoke and smoke and smoke. Write me, Amelia, keep me updated, all the time. Fill your pages with tales of home.

Yours, 

Thomas

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Dear Delilah

I am feeling discouraged of late. Mostly because I am always tired now. I don’t let this stop me going to the gym, however. I need to get in proper shape. I am noticing some differences in my body but there is still a lot of fat to burn. I feel discouraged and demotivated because there is so much for me to do but very little time to do it all. I have obligations which I am not fulfilling, resulting in possible bad feeling among the parties to whom I am obligated, but how can I when my entire day must be meticulously planned so as to incorporate mountainous piles of work as well as the tuition I do online?

I don’t have time to take Mama out for coffee like we planned three weeks ago. I don’t have time to clean the bathroom or hoover the bedroom where we sleep, or even wash clothes. Time is so valuable and as each second ticks by that I am not spending studying, my anxiety and frustration increase.

Those around me don’t understand this dilemma. They think that because I work and study from home I must have all the time in the world. I am teaching for five hours a day. I have to drop my brother to school and go to the gym. Today this took me four hours. That leaves me with only a three hour gap daily to study my full term course; which is a. not enough and b. not always manageable.

I am becoming more and more demotivated as days go by. When I ask my husband why he doesn’t support me, he says because he is worried if he agrees with me I might begin to feel demotivated and stop doing all the ‘good things’ I am doing.

I won’t. No matter how tempting it is to find some nook and fall asleep, I won’t stop. I will plough on through, dark circles, weak muscles and all.

I just want somebody to listen to me. I want somebody to understand why I have to be selfish. I don’t want to be selfish. I want more time in the day and more energy too.

I am just finding it hard to accommodate all the emotions of all the people around me.

I have faith, though. Faith is powerful. I also have love for both my families, my new one and my existing one. I know this isn’t forever. I am so lucky to have provision for my day(s) and a roof over my head, warmth in my bed. I am very very lucky. People have it so so much worse.

I don’t want to complain. But here I am again. Complaining.

This adulting business is way more than I bargained for. It is also harder because I am living under somebody else’s roof, following somebody else’s rules, and my day is planned around other people. But nevertheless, it is hard, and I want my life back.

People experience difficulty, I find, when they aren’t in control of their lives.

I am sorry for always moaning. I need to get this out of my system, so I can carry on and dig my way through this. It is like wading through water up to my knees. Every step is effort. The more steps there are, the harder the effort. It helps to stop and look up at the sky and moan a little. I will do it. I know I don’t have it that bad. I know it. I keep telling myself that when I want to give up.

Yours sincerely,

Lenora.

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