The Letter: Part 12

brown bear plush toy on bed

Did you want to start the series from the beginning? The Letter: Part 1

JUNE 1949

He’d been standing in the driveway for 15 minutes. Just staring up at the house. The neighbours must think he’s crazy. He just couldn’t go in.

“Dad!”

“Dad! Someone stole our money!”

The boys suddenly flew out the front door and were running down the driveway towards him.

“Dad! Someone came in while we were at school.” Victor shouted.

“They stole all of it.” Sam said, he had tears streaming down his cheeks.

“Nu-huh!” Victor said, turning to glare at him with his hands on his hips. “The losers left the best coins behind. Probably didn’t know they were rare. We must have fooled them.”

“Yeah!” Sam said. “We fooled them.” He half-smiled a watery smile, not quite sure why that was such a good thing, especially since most of their coins were gone.

“Boys, lets go inside. I need to tell you something.” He put a hand on each of their shoulders as he guided them inside.

When they were all sitting at the kitchen table, he couldn’t figure out where to start. They were staring at him from across the table. The silence felt like it was gaining weight as it crashed down on him. He could feel sweat breaking out along the base of his neck and forehead.

“I went to visit you mother today.”

“Without us?” Sam asked, his eyes opening wide.

“How? I thought we didn’t have enough—” He stared at Richard who watched the childhood veil of innocence slide from his eyes. One moment he was Victor’s hero. And now, that look of disappointment and accusation as the realization hit him. “You took our money?” he whispered.

Richard hung his head, unable to look at his son’s face anymore. But there was still more to say. He took a deep breath and was going to say that their mother wasn’t coming home. Both of them looked at him with hurt etched in their faces. Instead what came out when he opened his mouth was: “Your mom passed away this morning. I went to say good-bye.”

He was sure his own shocked face mirrored his sons’. He hadn’t meant to lie. But he’d just watched Victor realize that one of his parents was a loser. He couldn’t do that twice. Not in one day.

“You didn’t take us with you?” Victor’s face folded in rage.

I wanted to say good-bye,” Sam said, his face crumpled in sobs.

Victor stood up, glaring at Richard. As tears ran down his cheeks as he swept the coins that were sitting on the table away with one sweep of his hand. They scattered and rolled onto the floor. He stormed off stomping down the hall and slammed the door just as the last of the coins clattered to a stop.

Sam sat in his chair, his lower lip trembling.

“I’m sorry son,” Richard said. As he bent down to pick up the coins, Sam quietly slid off his chair and followed his brother to their room.

He picked up each coin and carefully dusted them off and laid them out on the table. Then he pulled out the remaining coins from his pocket and added them to the collection. He flipped open the book and began to read about the rare coins his sons had been searching for. He’d find a way to make this up to them.

The End

Up next: A Grave Mistake

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