Opening Minds And Envelopes

Rummaging through another’s private nothings could be considered a sin in and of itself. But little does a teen, lost in the hope of discovering ones Christmas gift: a newly released shining beacon of new age technology harbouring the promise of bestowing envy upon all others, factor propriety into one’s escapades. So to discover, in a box of perfect console proportions pushed flush to the back wall, envelopes fashioning a delicate florid script, lack any sort of interest by comparison. Thus, quickly forgotten, a few moments more of digging gives way to ennui. For nothing of a size able to fit the coveted gift remains. Forfeiting the search and replacing the many objects, his hands touch once again the innocuous box. Little does he know Pandora herself sanctioned this boxes ensealment. But with naivety, and complete disregard for his parents personal boundaries, he places the box upon the bed.

Removing letters, which to him represent the symbol of an impersonal email more-so than a more private correspondence, he lays them out before him. Two distinct scripts: one beautifully crafted, with exact lines and artistic flourishes; the other messy, quick and unrefined. The first addressed to Simon: or dad, the latter Helen: mum.

Taking up the first, thankfully conveniently dated letter, he finds himself buried in his fathers love confession. Corny pro’s relating to hair color, eye color and a short summation of varying admirable qualities. A love sick teens inadequate ode to womankind.

One particular line: likening his mother’s blonde hair to a wheat field dancing in the wind, saved to the memory bank for future cannon fodder against his father.

Having made his way to the end, jaw clenched and wincing, interest in the boxes contents was now considerably diminished. Gathering up his fathers letters, he pauses. It does not seem right. With only one side of the conversation revealed, and with such inexperienced a hand, his mind wonders at what, and how, his mother would respond to such painful -comical even- comparisons.

So, without much ado, he ventures into Helen’s response… or Helen’s rejection? For she is in love with another. Going on to thank him for his ‘elegant’ letter, -scoff- she goes on to apologise for any heartache afforded him.

Interest now piqued, he finds himself shuffling through Simons letters searching for the next date, unceremoniously removing and unfolding it.

Not one to be rebuffed, his father flatters her by stating that he would ‘not be surprised if whoever she loved would share her affection’ - smooth-. As sorry as he would be, he hopes she will be very happy with the man and he will try his hardest not to dual him for her heart, for he ‘is obviously the superior dualist’.

Another mad dash for the sequential correspondence.

Not so simple. Helen very much doubts ‘she’ returns her affections. Mic drop. She?! It’s deemed an ‘unfair fight for a man to be fighting a girl’. Yours truly… Helen.

Letters beginning flying as a sense of urgency takes over. How?

His father is intrigued rather then offended. He even has the audacity to ask who his stolen her heart? ‘ If she is as beautiful as you then I’ll concede defeat’.

Flurry of papers.

‘Susan, she is in the form above us.’


‘She is gorgeous, you have amazing taste my dear. Maybe we could all get together sometime?’

He pauses, his mind reeling. To go on, or not to go on? Could this truly be. Not to continue would leave a question forever unanswered, only one regret-less path remains. Or so the boy thought.

The letters begin to take a sordid downturn. Both Helen and Simon like Susan. Susan also seems to like the teens parents. A throuple eventuates. Insinuation’s on enjoyable dates. They refer to a parking lot. A movie theatre. All manner of public spaces. And Susan.

Susan, Susan, Susan.

Finally, to the young readers relief, the school year ends. Susan travels abroad and finds herself settling in Europe. Both express their sadness at losing such a dear acquaintance.

Then he looks to the box. There, in an unknown scrawl, rests letters addressed to ‘Helen & Simon’.

“Hey, we are home.” Comes the yell from downstairs. The boy freaks and scrapes the letters back into the box. He can hear footsteps banging up the stairs. Thrusting the box back into the wardrobe he shuts it and turns to exit the room. Helen stands there, puzzlement on her brow.

“What are you…?” Her eyes rest on a lone envelope on the floor. Her familiar scrawl on the front.

Her cheeks flush and she smiles nervously.

“Susan,” she says, as though far far away.

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