Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Her Last Letter (Excerpt)



1.

     Charlie sat outside the Hospital entrance on the steel bench by the ashtray that passed for a smoking area, studying a white envelope that he held in his hand.  There was only one word written on the outside.  She had simply written ‘Charlie’ there on the front and for now all he could bring himself to do was just stare at his name written there in her cursive.  He just sat on that cold steel bench while he traced and re-traced his name with his eyes and tried to let it settle in that the time had come to read it.  Until then, he just couldn’t open it, not yet.

2.

     Sarah had found out last November about the cancer.  Unfortunately though, they had found the tumors far too late to fight the disease. The cancer that was attacking her body had already progressed too much to fight, but Charlie had still found the best Doctors in the country, and although every specialist was honest of her chances, they all fought it hard at first.  Three months ago though, no one else would fight anymore no matter how much money Charlie would pay because it was over.  Now all they could do was treat her pain.
     Sarah took this news in that final specialist’s office without a single tear, and when they got home that night she sat down and wrote Charlie a letter.  She gave the letter to him later that night and she told him the rules of the letter.  There were only three.  The first was that it was only to be opened if and when the time ever came for Charlie to decide her fate because she couldn’t.  The second rule was to carry it always so he would always have it with him when he needed it, and the third rule was the one that would no doubt end up being the hardest.  She made him swear aloud to her that one before she would even hand it him.  
     She made him swear that no matter what the letter said he would respect it and remember that even if he couldn’t agree with it, what was in that letter were her wishes and they were what she wanted.  He swore, she gave it to him and that was the end of it.  It was as close to talking about the details of her coming death that they ever came.  Even when her dying was accepted, and only a matter of time, neither of them wanted to focus on it much.
     Charlie swore to her that he would honor all of her rules and she gave him her letter.  After that he had put it in his pocket and even though he had carried it with him every day like he said he would, neither of them mentioned it again.  With that little piece of business done they had just cuddled there together on the couch in front of the fire.  They spent the rest of that night together on the little couch in front of the fire laughing and kissing each other until finally they ended up on the floor and they had made love there on the floor in front of the fireplace before falling asleep in each others arms. 
     Those last months had all been that way.  They loved very hard those last months.  They spent all of their remaining time together visiting family, and friends, and they even went on a cruise before she got too sick to travel but, mostly they laid naked in bed and just held each other.  They kissed a lot, made love constantly, or just held each other while they talked for hours laughing, and eating too many pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.   
     Sarah had lived out her last months of life with Charlie to the fullest.  They filled all those days with love and joy and instead of mourning the loss they honored a happy life that had been well lived.  That’s how Sarah had wanted it to be so Charlie loved her and decided he could mourn her later…

7 comments:

  1. What a lovely story but tinged with sadness. I would love to know what's in that envelope though. The fact she made Charlie swear to respect her wishes of that letter, makes it even more intriguing. So c'mon, spill the beans :)

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    1. This is going to sound like a cop out but, I don't know what's in the letter yet.

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    2. Shawn, what's in the letter then? I just came back to check....

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  2. You don't know yet?! Not fair.

    Susan Kane

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    1. Ya, I know. I feel bad now. I'll have to get working on it.

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