The Letter: Part 3

black and white books education factsDid you want to start the series from the beginning? The Letter: Part 1

SEPTEMBER 2018

Susan followed the cacophony from the back room, through the hall and kitchen and into the living room where Sam was ripping books off the bookshelf and dropping them into a box.

“I see we’re in a good mood,” she said, pulling the top layer of disordered books back out of the box.

“He took it.” Sam glared at her.

Susan waited to see if there was more. There wasn’t.

“Who took what?” she asked, when he didn’t elaborate.

“The letter Dad left. Victor took it.” He turned back to continue dumping books back into the box. “He doesn’t even want it. He just wants to erase any evidence our dad existed. Fine. He doesn’t have to remember. But what if I want to?”

Susan was silent as she rearranged the books to fit flat against each other into the box. Finally, she asked, “Are you sure he took it?”

“Of course he took it. It was here yesterday. Now it’s gone. Who else would have taken it?”

“Maybe no one did. Maybe I accidentally packed it last night.”

He arched his eyebrow. “I put it on top of the fridge with yesterday’s mail. Everything else is there, but the letter’s gone. Did you even know it was up there?”

“No,” she admitted.

“See, He took it.” Sam grabbed the tape and began taping up the box. The tape screeched and crackled as he ripped it from the roll.

“So what if he did? Maybe it’s better he has it for now. Just until we move. Things can get lost in the move.” She started filling another box from the stacks of books sitting on the coffee table. “Now you know it’s safe.”

“Safe?” he looked at her. “He’s probably destroyed it by now.” He sat down on the coffee table. “Richard may not have been a great father, but that was the last thing he said to us. It’s his handwriting. And I wanted to remember.”

Susan stroked his back as they sat in silence.

“It’s going to be different with our kids.” He said, finally. “I’m not going to have one of them hate me so much that they have to burn all our memories.” He stood up and started packing again.

“You’ve been an amazing father.” Susan said. “You need to stop punishing yourself for your father’s mistakes.”

“They might be grown up, but it’s not too late to ruin everything. Plus, we’ve got grandkids to worry about too. But, in two weeks we’ll live closer and I can make sure I do this right.”

Susan sighed as she watched Sam haul one of the boxes out to the garage, plagued by the ghost of his father.

Part 4

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