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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.

Love,
Padma Patil.
  • He still had the letter in his hand. He unfolded it now and read it again, repeating the lines in his head. He wanted to memorise it. It was part of her and he would never forget her, not for as long as he lived. He thought again about knocking on Michael's door. He doubted the other boy was asleep. He knew Michael and Padma had had a strange friendship and he had been convinced at one point that one of them might have liked the other more than merely as a friend. Terry made up his made and despite feeling guilty for disobeying Mrs Corner, he left his room and knocked lightly on Michael’s door. There was no response but Terry opened the door anyway.

    Closing the door behind him, he found the other boy sitting on the floor. A candle burned on the bedside table, casting pale shadows across the room. Michael didn't look up. He continued to gaze down at a photograph he was holding. Terry noticed there were various photographs and letters lying on the floor around where Michael sat.
    Terry waited. Michael finally looked up and briefly met Terry’s gaze.
    "I’m sorry, but I had to see you" Terry said as he walked over to where his friend sat. He noticed Michael's eyes were red as he sat down beside him. Picking up some of the photographs closest to him, Terry looked at them.
    "What do you want Terry?" the other boy finally spoke.
    Terry turned and looked at Michael. He couldn't make out his expression.
    "I guess I didn't want to be alone" Terry said as he handed Michael the photographs he had picked up. Michael didn't say anything in response, instead he handed Terry the photograph he had been holding.
    Padma smiled up at him.
    "She looked amazing that night" Terry said as he remembered the ball during their final year at Hogwarts.
    "She’s not really gone you know" Terry continued, passing the photograph back to Michael. He watched Michael for a moment who seemed as though he was barely containing the sadness and grief that Terry was sure he was feeling. Terry decided he wouldn't show the letter to Michael, not tonight, not with the state he was in. He would show it to him eventually but this wasn't the right time.
    "As long as we remember her, she’ll never really be gone" Terry said.
    "Stop. Terry...please. Just go away" Michael finally spoke, his voice breaking with emotion.
    "Ok, but before I go, I just need to tell you..." Terry stopped, and took a deep breath to control his voice. He was hurt by Michael's response but he knew that he hadn't meant to be malicious.
    "You're not going to believe me, and I'll explain it some day, but she’s safe, wherever she is, she's happy. And she loves us. And, we will see her again. Some day" he stopped, and gazed again at the photograph in Michael's hands before continuing, "...in that little space of time between dreaming and awakening, that's where she'll be"
    Terry didn't meet Michael's gaze this time, he got up and left the room, quietly closing the door behind him.
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