Got Mail

She’d stopped checking for mail a long time ago. Handwritten letters were now in the same list as dinosaurs, flip phones and Orkut. That’s why she was taken aback when she saw a letter sticking out of her mailbox while returning from work.

It could only be from one person. Him. Only he knew how to catch her off-guard, make her feel like no one else ever did; even after all this time. She took a deep breath and grabbed the letter.

She let herself in, dropped the letter on the coffee table and went to the bedroom. She took a shower, wore her nightclothes and came out. She went to the kitchen, put the coffee pot on and took out the chocolate cookies. Now was not the time to ration. All this while, she was acutely aware of the letter being there, like it had a heart of its own.

She didn’t know if she was trying to postpone opening it or if she was waiting for some kind of feeling to kick in. She had thrown his memory away in the endless dark depths of her heart. To bring it to surface would be going back in time, breaking the dam she had so deftly created and letting the memories flood her conscious again. So all she felt right now was annoyed.

This was the first letter he’d ever written to her. You need a certain kind of courage to put your feelings down in writing. He never had that, until now apparently. As for her, he’d featured in all her journal entries since the day she met him till the day she realized the redundancy of it all. Plus there were several letters. Few she gave him and few she kept for herself; about things she would never tell him and things he would never know. So it was her million words against his, she was guessing, two fifty.

Finally, when the coffee was ready, and there wasn’t really anything else left to do; it was time to open the letter. She had a mad urge to play Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony on the music system. But as she scanned through the letter, she was glad she didn’t. The letter was highly anti-climactic. Actually if she ever wrote an autobiography, it would be titled anti-climactic.

The letter was everything a letter is supposed to be; heartfelt, well phrased, funny at the right places, and ending on a hopeful note. Timing was the only problem. It was a bit too late. There were apologies she’d long given up on receiving, there were confessions of mistakes she had long forgiven him for, there were questions about second chances and she was no longer a person who could answer those. She was almost disappointed. In him for being so… ordinary; and in herself, for having let go so easily when at one point she’d claimed she never could.

But the coffee still tasted glorious, there were three more chocolate cookies to go before the jar was empty and if not Beethoven, there was still time to play some Top 40.


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