The Letter [Fiction] (60)

Okay, I’m breaking my own rule by posting this today – I wrote it yesterday – but it was meant to be one of my four other posts that never happened yesterday.

It had been a long time since they were all together; nearly ten years to the day since they occupied the same space. Julie kept in touch with Michael though that was mainly because neither of them had ever left their hometown of Brooklyn.

{This story takes place before cell phones were commonplace and even before the advent of the popular use of the internet. I know, hard to believe such a time existed).

For the first few years they all kept in touch with one running letter mailed around to the group (kind of like your modern day message board). When the letter got too long to fit in an envelope Julie, who was the record keeper, so to speak, archived the pages – a trophy to their collective friendship.

But as tends to happen with life the letter made a stop somewhere and never left. The most recent ten pages lost in someone’s house among baby toys and clutter. At least this was what Julie assumed. Julie knew Michael didn’t possess the pages as she had searched his place one night after he had fallen asleep during a movie they were watching together.

Michael probably would have been the first to stop writing – his conquest over man after man always taking precedence over everything else – had it not been for Julie’s constant nagging that he keep the tradition going.

The last time three of the four were together was at Beth’s wedding. Seth hadn’t bothered to show up.

The reunion would be this coming Friday and Julie found herself to be a pleasant combination of excited and nervous. Everyone (from the group) had RSVPed. She knew this of course because she was on the reunion board and had personally seen each RSVP come in.

In this case Michael had been the last to come through. He still wasn’t sure he wanted to go. He hadn’t yet come out when high school ended. He went so far as to ask Julie to be his date.

– Oh come on Michael.

– What?

– You know it wasn’t exactly a secret, right?

– It was for me.

– What do you care if these people know?

– You know how hard a time I had in school.

– But ten years is a long time. Every one has their own thing going on. No one will care.

– You know John still works at the gas station?

John had been Michael’s bully.

– What?

– He still has the same job that he had when we were in school?

– So? What does that have to do with anything?

– He didn’t even recognize me.

– Oh Mike you didn’t.

– I went in to buy a pack of cigarettes and he didn’t bat an eye. Just handed me my change.

– Why’d you even go in there!

– Just to see.

– Why do you do these things to yourself? It isn’t like you were happy with the results. Were you?

– Not particularly.

He fingered his cuticles, and like she was so used to seeing him do, put his fingers in his mouth and began chewing the skin from the tips. She batted his hands down.

– He spent every day of high school making my life hell. He couldn’t even recognize me?

– So what’s it matter if you go as yourself? Why pretend?

– He’ll be able to put a name to the face. He’ll know that I…

Though it was unlikely that Michael would have to interact with John (200 others from their class were attending as well) Julie understood his plight. She decided to stop pushing the issue.

– I’ll go with you if you want.

I feel like I have more from this story in me, stay tuned.


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