Soundtrack: Missing You, Tyler Hilton
The mail man couldn't come fast enough. His arrival would be promptly at 2:45PM, and the big hand on the clock had slowly reached 52. She wiped the sweat off her brow and clicked her fingernails on the mailbox. Never before could the little white box of a car excite her as much as it could today. She ripped the letters out of the man's hands, and left a trail of bills behind her, down the driveway like breadcrumbs to a candy house.
She looked for the one with the red stripes. The red stripes always called to her; made her heart skip a beat. And when her eyes constricted and focused on those red bands, she fought back a smile until she ran into her room and slammed the door. She traced the delicate paper package, full of promises and familiar finger print dents. Despite the excitement, she carefully tore open the seal and took out the letter. She could practically feel his presence in the room at the moment. She closed her eyes and envisioned him there, sitting beside her, his hands in hers.
How she missed him. Even though this brought him closer to her, she felt him farther away than ever.
Was it the war?
Change of address?
It was injustice. It was a crime he didn't commit. It was something that he had to get through if he was ever going to see her again soon. The only thing she could do was wait.
She held the letter in her hand but couldn't read it. She knew it would say almost exactly what the others said. Tears glossed over her eyes so there was no point. She would read it at a more appropriate time; when her emotions wouldn't get the best of her. Right now, she concentrated on the feel of the paper, its wrinkled texture, probably from the bottom of the notepad. Her fingers glided over the smudges of ink and crossed-out lines: all the things that he couldn't say or was too afraid to say. There was only hope in those invisible words. They strained to become alive, and very much did so in her mind. She heard his voice, his deep laugh when he spoke of something humorous--he always saw the light in the darkest of tunnels. She heard the sadness as well, but a deeper pride knowing that he hadn't run away from the war, even though it wasn't his battle he lost. He was the greater man, not the lesser man, even though she was the only one that could understand. For this reason, and this reason alone, he would send a letter everyday. And she would wait, by that little black box, for the letter with the red stripes.
And in return, she sent one to him. She wasn't a poet, but in her small talk and unspoken words, she knew he would read between the lines:
"I wait for your sweet return. Until then, always yours."