A Letter Too Late

No one in town knew his name. Generations have passed on, but he was still there. All they knew was the little house on the corner of Brindmore Street. It was a house covered by nature, once thought to be inhabited, but that was far from the truth. Edward Trake lived there; alone and delusional Edward was becoming claustrophobic.

He was now eighty-nine-years-old and had been a resident of the town More for eighty of those years. He worked in More, got married in More, settled in More, but never had children in More. His name would eventually die out, just like his marriage did when his wife Linda knew he was sterile. He forgave her after some time and heartache, but always thought of how things could of been different if he was able to conceive a child. He loved Linda; they got engaged and talked about children, both fond of a family life. After two years of trying they both decided to see a doctor and fix any potential problem. Linda was in full health and in her prime, Edward however was not. He was told he could not produce a child. A month later Linda left.

Linda eventually re-married and had the kids her and Edward had dreamed about. And although Edward was not the man to deliver Linda’s wants he became another father figure in her children’s lives. He became Uncle Edward and was involved in their lives as he would of been if they were his children. The only problem was that they weren’t his children. He was glad to be apart of their lives, but to him it felt like owning a house and sleeping outside. He had the convenience of being in their lives but nothing else. He could not help in their development, because at the end of the day he was just an outsider. Uncle or not he was nothing.

The last time he saw Linda or the children was one of the last times he left his home.

The argument started after Linda’s husband, Allen, had yelled at their seven-year-old Patricia for coming into the house covered in dirt. Patricia was in the backyard playing house when she decided to make “mudpies.” Edward loved Patricia’s imagination and often fed into it, but her father was a strict man that lacked in creative thought. To him she was being disrespectful and needed to learn a lesson. The problem with Allen was his way of teaching a lesson came through physical contact. Edward didn’t approve of smacking a child, whether they were wrong or right. He knew Linda felt the same way -after talks of children they also came to agreements on discipline- and he felt that he had a right to step in. He thought the title of “Uncle” meant he could express opinions. Unfortunately he was wrong; after a few years of marriage Linda lost her right to have an opinion as well.

“She was just playing, Allen.” Edward yelled over Allen’s intimidating voice.

“Mind yourself when you’re in my fucking house,” Allen screamed back, directing his attention to Edward. “This is not your child and you have no right to say anything. When you have your own children you can discipline them however you want. And since you can’t have children you should shut your damn mouth.”

Edward was fuming, “You think that’s fair? Do you think you can attack me personally like that?” Edward said while clenching his fists, “You’re something else, you know that? I feel bad for you.”

“You feel bad for me?” Allen erupted into laughter. “You’re pathetic, you know that?” Allen continued, “You come here and entertain my kids and wife because I got what you can’t have. I have a family you loser. Why do you think your wife left? Because you can’t have kids? No, it’s because you’re a loser. Now get the fuck out of my house.”

Edward stood still. He was doing his best to stay calm, but Allen was hitting him where it hurt. He knew about his insecurities because he knew Linda’s past.

“I’m not leaving with you like this. I couldn’t care less about you, I’m here for the kids.” Edward said still holding back his frustrations.

Allen looked at Edward in shock. “I don’t know who you think you are, but you have two fucking seconds to leave my house. Now!” Allen screamed while cracking his neck. He was ready for a confrontation with Edward.

“This is Linda’s house too if you forgot.”

Allen charged after Edward. Edward stood still and when Allen drew near he reacted swiftly. Allen tried to hit him and missed. When Allen leaned back to get in his fighting position Edward landed one clean punch to his jaw. Allen dropped to the floor and was out cold. Patricia ran out of the room screaming and crying, and Linda stood there in disbelief.

“Get out of my house,” Linda’s monotone voice sending shivers down Edward’s spine.

“What?”

“Get out of my house now, Edward.”

“But-I-but I was trying to stop him.”

“You have no right. You need to leave.”

“Linda, I know you don’t mean this.”

“I do, and you’re not welcome here anymore,” Linda said through teary eyes. “You should go before Allen wakes up.”

“If I leave now I won’t be back.”

“I know. Now go before he wakes up.”

Linda walked to the front door, opened it, and stood by waiting for him to leave. He looked at her and they both had tears running down their cheeks. He walked toward her and they stood there speechless. He tried to speak but found it impossible. He leaned in and kissed her cheek before he walked out. She stood at the doorway and he walked off. After five steps he turned around to see her still standing by the door.

He stared at her for a minute before he found his voice. “I still love you,” He finally said.

“I don’t love you. I love Allen.”

“I know that’s not true.”

“Edward, you’re not my husband. Allen is and you need to accept that. Goddammit, you can’t keep doing this to me.”

“I was your husband, Linda. I love you, and I know you still love me.”

“You’re mistaken,” She said through tears, “Now go. You’re not welcome here anymore.”

He walked off and never looked back. He knew he was out of line, and couldn’t put her through this. He walked off and never had the chance to see if she saw him walk off into the distance. When he vanished from her view he also vanished from society. He felt his life was pointless without having Linda and her children in his life.

At the age of eighty-nine he decided he couldn’t dwell on this incident anymore. He lived a long life, maybe not the happiest of lives, but a long life nonetheless. He went into his bedroom and sat on the edge of his bed. He was staring into the prescription bottle help firmly in his wrinkled hands. His sleeping pills were his fate. Twenty pills would give him the sleep he has been searching for. He wanted to leave this life through sleep and enter the next life feeling fully awakened.

He took his medication, not recommended by his doctor, and rested his head for the last time.

One week after his death he had a visitor. It was the first visitor he had in over thirty years.

Unaware that the man she was looking for was dead, Patricia knocked on the front door and eventually left. Before leaving she left a letter in his mailbox.

Dear Edward,

You not might remember me, but you were at one time involved with my mother. My mother, Linda spoke very highly of you. After my parents divorced she was hesitant to contact you, and she wasn’t sure if you were still around anymore. I loved the times we would have when she would talk about her youth, and your name was always brought up. I believe I heard your name said more than my own father’s name. I spent the rest of my years wondering where the man my mother was so fond of ended up. After a few years I was able to reach a few people that led me in the right direction. When I told my mother what I was doing she was very supportive and wanted to know every detail as it came along. Unfortunately she passed on before I could find you, but I know that her will is still as strong as it was when I told her about my decision to find you. In Heaven or on Earth I know she would be delighted that we could have the chance to reconnect. I’m sorry if this is too big of a shock to you, but I knew deep in my heart I had to find the man that was so special to my mother. I hope you are well and this letter is still significant after all of these years. And thank you for being by my mom’s side through her worst even though she wasn’t aware it was at the time. I am grateful even if she wasn’t at the time. I hope we can meet soon.

Sincerely, Patrica.

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