Here is the second part of my ongoing short story – Part 1 can be read here
She didn’t know how old the letters were, but by the colour of the fading paper and the dry texture under her fingers she guessed they’d been there a good many years. The ink was still readable though, a smooth blue tip, that seemed to swirl across the paper. Another guess told her female, something about the flow and care of the pen stroke. She looked for the signature at the bottom of the page just to be sure. ……. ‘Mark’, well that was a little unexpected.
She went back to the start,
“20th May 1969
Dear Ms Wade,
I hope this letter finds you well, and does not cause too much distress. I really do not know how to say what I must but think it would be for the best if I state the facts I have been given and how they may relate to yourself. My name is Mark Roberts and I believe I may be your son………..”
Sally gripped the letter in her hand, her eyes instantly pulled from the page to the photo frame on the wall. It was her graduation one, mum looking radiant and dad grinning like a peacock. The three Musketeers he’s called them, oh yeah it was clichéd, but that was dad to a tee. Her parents had been so thrilled when she came along that the feeling never left them. After years of struggling to conceive and then dad’s illness, they never thought they would be able to adopt. But Sally had been offered to them when she was 4 months old and her dad had been smiling ever since.
Sally swallowed and looked back at the letter,
………………… I was born on the 13th March 1943 in Deal in Kent. My birth certificate states my mother was Julia Ava Wade and my father, unknown! I have reason to believe you are the Julia Wade I seek. Please believe me when I say I hold no ill will and do not look for any form of recompense with regards the past. My situation is such that I need to find information with regards my medical background and this is my sole claim to your person.”
Jesus, he writes so impersonally, Sally thought. This guy was writing to his mother. Surely there should be something more, something else, although she didn’t really know what. She’d always felt so secure in who she was that she’d never given any thought to her own background. It had never been an issue. Sure, she knew she was adopted; Mum and Dad had never kept it a secret, but it never left an after taste or a yearning to know more.
She turned the page and carried on reading,
“If you are the Julia Wade I am looking for, please send a reply to the address above. I implore you to acknowledge your receipt of this letter and hope we can meet in person at your earliest convenience.
Mark Roberts “
Sally put the letter down, unfolded her legs and made a pit stop to the kitchen. Instead of refilling the glass she grabbed the bottle and brought it back with her. Habit made her check her phone. Two texts from Simon. She stopped, she thought about answering but then looked back at the letters and changed her mind. Instead she switched off the phone, threw it in her bag and swallowed another mouthful of wine. She didn’t have the energy to deal with him tonight. She sat back on the sofa, picked up the second envelope and opened it.
“14th June, 1969,
What happened, I waited under the clock at the station, as you asked. Why didn’t you come……………
Check back next time to see what happens……………