Welcome to another chapter in Storytime Blog Hop. We have 10 new short speculative fiction tales from authors around the world. Links to all the author’s stories below my post, check them out. We love hearing from you. Please leave us comments.
Storytime Blog Hop April 25th, 2018
THE LETTER BY JUNETA KEY
“Falling in love is easy. Falling in love with the same person repeatedly is extraordinary. — Crystal Woods
I look down at Jack’s handwriting on the letter I found. It was unexpected. Sometimes it feels like he is right in the room with me and will answer me back if I just speak to him.
I can’t believe he’s been gone for ten years and I am still here. I thought for sure my heart would stop beating with his but life doesn’t even blink. It just goes on. God, I miss him. I close my eyes. He feels so close sometimes.
“Our grandsons cleaned out the garage today.”
“I found this letter in that old desk you had buried under junk.”
“It has not been easy going on without you, but I did”.
“It took some time, but I started my own business.”
“I filled my days with our children, grandchildren, and friends.”
“I was so angry, but I was determined.”
“I took a lover.”
“I struggle with guilt about that. I still feel married to you. You left I didn’t.”
“I know it wasn’t your choice, but…”
“You know, Dean asked me again. To marry him. I’m thinking about it.”
I unfold the letter.
My Darling Shaya,
I can’t imagine what you must be feeling. If you found this letter then I know you are searching for pieces of me. It would be impossible for me to imagine a world without you in it.
This was not the plan, but know that I love you, always.
Do you remember the first time we met?
You were wearing those short shorts squatting by your red bug. Your red hair pulled into a wild looking clip on top of your head.
I felt punched in the gut. Mesmerized.
You wouldn’t let me help you. You thought I was a thug on a motorcycle. You even made a snarky comment about my wife-beater t-shirt.
So I watched waiting for you to ask for help. You didn’t. The myriads of expression that filtered across your face told their own story.
Your awareness of me. Your stubbornness, frustration through determination, but you got that tire changed. It took you twice as long as it would have taken me. Broke several nails and skinned up your hands. You were so proud of yourself lit from within. Your grin stole my breath.
You were feeling so brave. We were so young. You asked me to meet you for a coke, as a thank you for waiting, just in case you needed help.
We met at mom and pop’s diner. You, walking in with the local hoodlum by your side, turned a few heads. You didn’t even blink despite the frowns.
Then you surprised me, daring me to go out with you.
It was probably a bad idea. You were a senior in school. I had already graduated and worked fulltime at the mechanic shop. Bad idea. I knew it, but I couldn’t resist. We both felt the connection.
I was used to trouble, but were you? I was not the boy next door.
You surprised me again by insisting I meet your parents. It was a condition. I came close to calling it off. Not sure I wanted the headache, but I was already hooked.
I thought your parents would forbid you to see me. Your dad invited me inside I figured to warn me off or threaten me. Shock. No lectures, no threats or warnings.
We talked in the den about motorcycles, cars, racing and my job at the mechanic shop, while your mom went upstairs to tell you I was waiting for you.
That was a defining moment for me. I realized it was not that your parents trusted me, but they trusted you. They respected you and your choices.
I never had much family, but I recognized the rarity of yours. I wanted that.
We’ve had our rough moments but through it all, you gave me that. Family.
You taught me about real love and what that looks like in the daily living of it.
My life was better because of you. I was better. Loving you, our family… What a grand life we’ve had.
Thank you for that beautiful girl. I have no regrets.
There is so much life in you still. I don’t want you to be alone. Live large, my love. Stay strong. Find joy. Find love again and live for both of us. I dare you. That is what I want for you. It’s okay to be happy.
I love you, always, Jack.
On the back of the last page of the letter, Jack had written a poem.
Falling through the years
One smile at a time.
The daily thought of you.
Always there for me.
Living in mutual grace.
You see me,
Your eyes light for me.
Midway through our lives,
Our hearts synchronize.
You think of me
I think of you
You are the air I breathe.
The last thought
Always Of You.
My Spirit sings…
— Until we meet again,
I folded the letter back into the envelope. I shivered. I felt a brush against my hand, a caress along my cheek and a whisper. “No regrets. Live.” The curtains moved slightly. It was then I saw him. Right in front of me. Time stood still. He smiled. Blew me a kiss, and then he was gone. Was it my imagination?
I don’t know. Horrible grief did not crush me. Instead, I thought of Dean.
This new love might not be earth-shattering, soul moving, the all or nothing kind that Jack and I shared. I knew Dean loved me. He was patience and kind. He was my best friend. He made me laugh. He was quiet and steady, so easily taken for granite but not anymore. I picked up my cell phone. It was time to give Dean an answer.
Storytime Blog Hop April 25th, 2018
A reading list of 10 stories from authors around the world. We love hearing from you. Please leave comments. Enjoy!
A Snow White Morning, by Katharina Gerlach
The Letter, by Juneta Key<-YOU ARE HERE
Trick or Treacle, by Angela Wooldridge
Sugar in the Raw, by Karen Lynn
Inferno, by Fanni Soto
Tae, by Barbara Lund
Interstellar Student Exchange, by Raven O’Fiernan
The Ghost Fighter, by Bill Bush
Hare, by Elizabeth McCleary
The Widow, by Vanessa Wells
Also published on Medium.