Dear Kid,

I couldn’t help but look at the calendar as the day approached.

Three more days. Two more days. 

Though only  ten, she felt it too.

Only once did she ask me why she had to go, why she couldn’t live with me.

The question floated over my sea of bitter resentment me like a scrap of paper drifting across a bed of molten lava, burning away before it could touch.

I swallowed.

You just can’t, honey.

Later, I dragged out my old Hermes Rocket and started the first of many letters to her.

You can’t save a box of emails.


Friday Fictioneers

 Since my daughters moved away in 2013, I have written more than three hundred letters to them, typing almost all of them. They seldom write back, but that’s not why I do it.


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    • J Hardy Carroll

      Thanks, Rochelle. I remember finding letters my grandfather wrote to my grandmother while he was courting her during a 1927 drive across the country in a Model T. I wish I had the letters, but I think they wound up in the Arizona Historical Society along with the other family papers.

  1. Lynn Love

    That’s so true, that line about saving the letters and not saving the emails. There’s a different quality to a box of papers to leaf through, to smell, the physicality of it. How many of us reread emails, look at pics on our phone. But a box of physical letters where the person who wrote them actually touched them, there#s a magic to that. Lovely, sad, beautifully written

  2. msjadeli

    THE worst part about divorce. The rest is irrelevant. You did an excellent job of conveying the strong emotions. And you are so right about emails vs. snail mail.

  3. Sandra

    So much in this short piece. I have a huge archive on my laptop of letters/responses. I seldom go there – it would be too haunting. But the fact that I can…

  4. Dale

    I could repeat what everyone else has said. Instead, I shall say thank you for sharing a part of you. I have a box of letters from friends and ex-boyfriends. Every now and again, I take a look-see.

  5. mjlstories

    So sad. I had a thought to start writing real letters during the lock down. My husband lived in France for a couple of years. Hidden in the house somewhere we each have a pile of letters. Maybe one day we’ll join them back up. I remember going places and doing things when he was away and thinking, now that didn’t quite work out but I could put it in a letter. Keep well!

  6. Mike

    You have set me thinking…It is special to handle such items, truly e-mail just don’t have the same nostalgia.

  7. susanmehr

    Keep doing what you’re doing. You’ll never be forgotten. Beautiful. Words on paper touch the heart no matter how many times they are read. :)

  8. subroto

    Beautifully done. I don’t know when I stopped writing letters, maybe it was with the advent of emails but I still have some letters written to me by my parents. They are treasured. Maybe I should scan them for safe keeping.

Don't just stand there.