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The postmaster plonked the mail into the slot in the door. Scooping…

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Watchful and worried.
The postmaster plonked the mail into the slot in the door. Scooping up his bag, he made his way to the rest of the houses.

At this last house, the mail had been rather normal -- credit card letters, random tickets for various concerts, and letters addressed to "Terry" from "Mum." In the very middle, however, laid an envelope that read: "To Terry." It had nothing else on it. No address, no return address. Only a name.

Dear Terry,

I know it’s been quite a while since we’ve talked due to, well, territorial issues, but I never got to properly say goodbye to you. Actually, I never got to properly say goodbye to anyone. I thought there would be so much time before now, but I suppose that just didn’t happen, did it?

I know that this letter sounds quite impossible, but I assure you, this is no joke at all. If you need proof, I know that your worst fear is of lobsters because you heard one screaming in a restaurant once. I am afraid of cockroaches and being alone. My middle name’s Hemangini, and it means “girl with the golden body.” Fair enough?

Before I go away forever, I want you to know that I love you. With all of my heart and soul that still lives on, I will always love you, in this world and in the next. Because I know that you’re the only one who would ever read any of my letters, I’d really like it if you told everyone else that we were ever close to. I know it’s a lot to ask, but Terry, if someone can keep our group together, it’s you.

Terry, I really am happy here. It’s for the best, and I want you to know that I am safe here. Everything is so careless. And you wouldn’t believe it, Terry, the stereotypes are right. Everything is so light. I feel uplifted just because of it. Even the tiniest bit of darkness can’t slip through. I don’t feel anything. …In a good way.

And because I may never get a chance to say another goodbye, I want to clarify that I really do love you. You were always my friend, and I will always consider you my best friend, through it all. I hope you know that I do have high hopes for you in the future, and I will always be watching over you. Know that even through the darkest of times, I’ll be with you, protecting you. Because that’s what friends do.

I can’t quite say what made me depart this world, but I do know that this was meant to happen. Everything will turn out all right because of this, and I know it. Keep calm. Be safe. Remember that in that little space of time between dreaming and awakening, that is where you will find me.

I love you, Terry Boot, and you will always be my best friend. Goodbye.

Padma Patil.
  • He noticed the letters again on his way into the living room. Picking them up, he flicked through them. Various letters addressed to his mum, probably bills, something for one of his sisters and a single letter addressed to him. At first he assumed it was from his mother except her envelopes were different and this wasn’t her handwriting. Besides, she would never use a quill. He stared at it for a long while. His mum had written to him often, she was currently away taking care of his Nan and despite calling him every day, she would also write to him. Perhaps she thought the double reminder would help ease some of his anguish. She also regularly called their neighbour, old Mrs Harrison, to ask her to check up on Terry. He could understand his mother’s concern, she knew he and Padma had been close, she had even cried when she’d heard the news but Terry had insisted she go and take care of her mother, who needed her more. Besides, Terry hadn’t wanted anyone around. He avoided his sisters when they were home and they mostly left him alone, not really able to console him.

    Sitting down on the couch, Terry dropped the other letters on the coffee table and opened the envelope addressed to him. The first sentence baffled him, he thought perhaps it was Michael or Anthony but he had seen them during the day and he was quite sure that they would have talked to him at the funeral if they hadn't been overcome with grief, rather than sneak a letter through his door. He continued to read, his eyes moving over the page slowly, stopping every so often as a puzzled look settled across his features. He drew in a sharp intake of breath as he came to the second paragraph. The room suddenly felt cold and dark. His hand trembled and he felt the hairs on the back of his neck prickle. He didn’t know what to think as he turned the letter over, examining every inch of it. He then picked up the envelope, examined it closely for some sort of clue. This is definitely a prank he thought, feeling angry and disgusted as he read the letter again. Without thinking it through, Terry got up and left the house, running towards Mrs Harrison‘s door. He rang her bell and when she didn’t answer, he impatiently pressed his finger down on the button, listening to the sound echo across her house.

    The old woman finally opened the door, hesitantly at first but when she recognised Terry she offered him a smile and asked if he wanted to come in. He declined her offer and asked instead if she had seen anyone approach his house during the day. She told him she had only seen the postman in the morning. Terry, without a response or explanation, turned from her and ran down the street. Turning the corner, he kept running. The sorting office’s only a few more streets away he thought as he ran, clutching the letter in his hand. It was cold for autumn and as he reached his local sorting office rain had started to fall.

    Terry knocked on the heavy red door. When no one answered he angrily kicked at it repeatedly, yelling for someone to open it. Eventually a tired looking man with thinning grey hair and pockmarked skin opened the door.
    “What’s your problem? Bugger off before I call the police” he said gruffly.
    “I need to know how this letter got to my house” Terry asked desperately.
    “The same way all the letters do, now sod off”
    The door slammed in his face. Terry stared at it and was about to knock again but decided it was pointless. He turned around and walked away. He knew if he lingered someone would probably report him to the police for being drunk and disorderly.
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