Envelope on Table VII
There was a smell in his office, like that of a perfume bottle left uncorked in the small space for weeks on end.
I slid my seat out, the leather stiff under my fingers. I had barely gotten myself settled, legs crossed at the ankles, skirt pressed down over my knees. I tugged my shirt down in place, covering the gap that appears like a smile of flesh between the waist and hemlines, when he slid the bare white envelope across the tabletop. It stopped before me, hung there frozen in time as a picture postcard, a piece of untouchable artwork: Envelope on Table VII.
“I have an address for you as well, but this was held by the adoption agency for the day you came to look for her.”
I nodded and scooped up the envelope. I reached for the paper he held out, just barely within my reach, and noted the address scrawled across it in his heavy handed script.
I evacuated the room. I was all heels and knees, tearing down the hallway to the safety of the elevator, the yellowed foyer, the glass doors, and the blessed freedom of the outside hullabaloo. I stood there, amongst the throng of people passing on their way to the shops, or lunch, or work, and ripped the envelope open.
There is nothing I can say that will make this easier. I can tell you how much I wished it were different, how much I wanted to keep you. I can tell you I was poor, that your father left, that I was so young. I was alone here. But none of that matters. I hope you will forgive me. I hope you will come find me. I have so much to tell you.
I love you, always.
The words ran through my mind, engraving them like braille throughout every cell and affixing to the sensitive end of each nerve. The paper with the address was in my hand and I stumbled down the block, my eyes glued to it.
18 B. Sylvia Manor
The light flashed a big red hand and my feet skidded to a stop as the screech of tires spun around the corner. The crumpling sound of flesh on metal rang like a sonata through the streets. The hood was crushed in and blood bedazzled across the headlight. A wrinkled trench coat. A pale, lifeless hand. A mass of brown hair.
Shaken, I went home. This reunion could wait a day. In the morning, I washed my face and the last image of yesterday from my mind. I clicked on the TV and like summoning a ghost, the news anchor with the short bob of cornsilk hair spoke with indifference.
“In a tragic accident yesterday, 58 year old Susanne Green was struck and killed by a car at the corner of Madison and…”
I stared at the paper in my hand. The address. The name.
18 B. Sylvia Manor
Word Count: 500 (Yep, used every last one. Whew!)