The Love Letter
By Mallory Quinn
It was a beautiful day and a young engaged couple were walking in the street holding hands. They weren’t looking for anything in particular, but they were looking around for things, interesting things to buy. His fiancée saw an antique dress in the window of an antique store.
- It’s beautiful, she said to her fiancé, let’s get in and let’s ask how much it costs!
- It’s an antique, probably very expensive too…, said her fiancé.
- Let’s go see, honey, she said dragging him inside.
- Ok, he said laughing.
They got in the little store and they saw the dress on the mannequin. The owner of the store approached them. The fiancée saw him and she said;
- This dress is exquisite, can I try it on?
- I’m afraid it’s not for sale, said the owner.
- But…why? Said the fiancée.
- It was my grandmother’s I put it on display to attract customers, said the owner.
- That’s very clever, said the fiancé looking around.
He was attracted by a desk in the back of the store. It was old, but there was something about it which attracted him, and he didn’t know why.
- How much would you ask for this? He asked the owner.
- Honey, that’s an old dusty desk…
- $800, said the owner a little old man with glasses.
- What? Said the fiancée, you’re kidding right?
- No, said the owner
- I’ll give you $600, said the fiancé
- Honey! Said his fiancée
- I’m afraid I can’t pay $800…, continued the fiancé
- I can’t take less than $800, it’s 19th century…
- Terry, said his fiancée, you can’t pay $800 for a stupid desk!
- Janice, it’s a 19th century handmade desk, it’s unique…
- But honey, $800?
- It’s worth every penny, said Terry, and I need a desk
- Oh my God! Said Janice
- If, my grandmother’s dress was for sale, I would’ve sold it for $1000, said the owner
- And I would’ve got it for you, said Terry
- Well, you got me there, said Janice, all right honey, go for it! If you like it that much…
- I do, said Terry
Terry paid for the desk with his credit card and the owner helped him carry the desk to his car. Fortunately he had a big car, a Ford Expedition and the desk was fine in the back of his car. When they got to Terry’s house, he carried the desk with Janice.
- How could this desk be so heavy? Said Janice
- I didn’t know you were so strong, said Terry
- I hope this desk is really worth it…
- I’m going to restore it and it’s going to be as good as new
- If the little old man had restored it, he probably would’ve asked for double the price!
- Janice, I love the desk, I don’t regret anything…
- You love that desk a lot… a lot more than me…
- You’re not going to be jealous of the desk, are you?
- Well, you love it a lot…
- Yes, it’s an object… you’re my fiancée and I love you…
He took her in his arms and leaned to kiss her. She put her arms around his neck and responded to his kiss. She was crazy about him, she loved him so much and she couldn’t wait to be his wife. She spent the night at his apartment and she left in the morning for work.
Terrence Grandchester was a young executive in this big firm. He had long brown hair and big blue-green eyes. He was engaged to be married and he had a normal life. Janice, his fiancée, had dark brown hair and she was a lawyer, just starting. She had just passed the bar exam and she was ready to marry her sweetheart…
Over the weekend, he bought everything he needed to clean up the desk. He put on some sweat pants and a T-shirt and started to clean up the desk. He was doing it with so much love and he was wondering why the desk was making him feel that way. He was rubbing for a while then he was finally done. There was a little closet on the desk and he was cleaning it under, he felt something, he moved it and something popped… there was a double compartment, he opened it and there were some writing papers and envelopes. The writing papers add a name on the top “Candice White-Andrew”… One of the envelopes had a letter in it. He opened the letter and he read it.
April 15, 1863
It is after midnight and I am at last free to speak to you, Mother, Father and Stephie, have grown accustomed to my late night scribbling and had bid me goodnight. In my 21 years, I have been called upon by several gentlemen, but you are the one that occupies my thoughts. Even though you are not real, you are dearer to me than the man who asked just this night for my hand in marriage. I do not love him. To please Father, I have tried, and sadly I know I have a duty to obey and must soon accept. But I ache for a love that burns like fire and moonlight. I speak with you in my mind and heart. If you only existed outside of the…, good night sweetheart. Dream of me.
Terry was so moved by the letter he felt sad for her and weird too, like she was talking about him, like she was talking to him!
“I must be losing my mind!” He said to himself. “Well let’s have fun! I’m going to answer her”.
He went to his computer and started writing, answering a letter from the 19th century.
I just read your letter in the hidden compartment of your desk.
I understand that you have a duty and you must obey your father. You can’t marry a man you don’t love. You have to wait, your soul mate must be out there somewhere… Maybe it’s me the one you’re looking for… but I’m sorry, I already gave my heart to Scarlett O’Hara.
Then he read his letter again.
“What on earth am I doing? This desk is driving me nuts!”
He put the letters back in the compartment and closed the little door. But he couldn’t get that letter out of his mind, it was so full of passion and it touched him deep down inside. He decided to go see his mother who lived not too far in a lovely house. She was a drama teacher in a local high school.
- Hey baby! How are you?
- Fine, how are you?
- I’m fine… how’s Janice?
- She’s good
- Why aren’t you with her?
- She had some errands to run, she’ll come to see me later today
- Ok…she’s avoiding her future mother in law already
- Mom, don’t start.
- What? Well I don’t have to like her, you have to like her…
- Are you sure you’re in love with her, because I don’t feel it…
- I have to get married…
- You can at least find a woman you’re in love with, not your college lover! Do you feel any passion for her?
- Well …
- It’s just the sex, isn’t it?
- I say it like it is…
- You’re incorrigible! By the way, I came to see you to tell you about this desk I just bought; it’s a 19th century one and it’s in really good shape
- How much did this antique cost you?
- $800 …
- It’s really beautiful and I was attracted to it… anyway I found a secret compartment with a love letter inside dated 1863… “I dream of you… speak only in my mind and heart if only you existed…”
- Wow! You memorized it! Did you answer it?
- It wasn’t addressed to me…
- That’s not what I asked…
- Just for fun on my computer…
- You can answer it for real…
- Mom, what are you talking about? It’s more than a 100 years old!
- I believe that everything happens for a reason…I saw some passion in your eyes when you talked about that old letter…
- So what?
- So what? Well just for the heck of it, you can answer the letter…
- She’s not going to answer it, she’s probably dead by now
- H.G. Wells believed in time travelling…and Einstein said that time was just another dimension…
- This is nonsense!
- Let me see what I can do to help…
- Mom…well you have time to waste
- Terry, you came to see me, all the way here to tell me about an old letter you found in a old antique desk… that’s nothing out of the ordinary … but the way you talked about that letter, there was this light in your eyes…I’ll call you when I’m ready…
- Oh what the heck! All right mom! He said smiling
He spend the afternoon with his mother and he went back home to find his fiancée waiting for him at the door.
- Janice! I’m so sorry! Were you waiting for long?
- Not too long, I really need a key to your place. We’re getting married, for God’s sake!
- And you will have the key to my house then…, said Terry kissing her on the lips.
They got in the house.
- I restored the desk, said Terry come and see it!
He took her by the hand and they went up to the bedroom to see the desk.
- Wow, you did a good job! It’s beautiful!
- And I found a secret compartment with a love letter inside.
He gave her the letter. She read it.
- The poor girl had to marry someone she didn’t love, probably a loser.
- Maybe, she didn’t marry him…, said Terry
- Terry, it’s the 19th century, she obeyed her parents…
- Maybe, she didn’t…
Terry was feeling jealous…
- What’s wrong with you? Are you jealous somehow?
- Jealous? Said Terry, that’s ridiculous!
- Well it sounds like it… you don’t want her to be married! You can’t possibly marry her, since you’re not born yet…
Terry remained silent for a while. Janice didn’t seem to notice his worried face…
“Did she get married? Why do I care? It happened more than a hundred years ago!”
He spent the rest of the weekend with his fiancée.
The following days, he still couldn’t get the letter out of his mind. He was reading that letter over and over again until he knew it by heart. He called the antique shop owner who gave him the address where he picked up the desk. Terry decided to go there and see the house the desk came from. It was an old, civil war time house still in good shape and people still lived there. He rang the door bell and an African American older woman opened the door.
- What do you want? She said, go away! This is a private property!
- But, said Terry
- Go away! We’re not selling! Tell that to your bosses!
- I just wanted some information on the people who used to live here…
- Go away! Said the woman closing the door on his nose.
Terry had no choice but to leave, but he looked at the house and he felt some sort of connection… He went back to his house. He found his mother who had the key to his house, had let herself in…
- Mom…, hi!
- Hey baby, I’ve got a surprise for you!
- A surprise?
- Yes…I got you everything you need to write your letter to that girl!
- Come again?
- You heard me!
- Mom, how do I write a letter to someone who lived a century ago?
- Through a time slot, time crack…
- A time slot?
- Yes, there are time slots everywhere… did you hear about the middle aged man they found wondering around not knowing where he was… they tracked down is descendants and they found out he had disappeared one day and was never seen again in the 16th or 17th century… DNA tests proved he was a member of their family…
- The odds of that happening…
- Terry, keep an open mind and humour me… what do you have to lose?
Terry looked at his mother. He thought she was nuts…
- You memorised the letter Terry, I saw passion in your eyes I’ve never seen before… Terry, do this for me…if it doesn’t work, well at least we tried…I’ve got civil war paper letters and envelopes, I got the ink made using the exact formula used in the 19th century I got a 1 cent stamp that cost me a fortune!
- Let’s see. Let’s say hypothetically, I buy into this madness, where would I mail this letter?
- There’s the last Civil War post office, built in 1857, everything has to be perfect or it won’t work, here is the address… It’s open 24/7. To use a time crack, everything has to fit…
- I’m going to leave everything on your desk; the rest is up to you…
His mother left. Terry spent the whole day thinking. He went to bed thinking about the letter, it played in his head over and over again. He woke up in the middle of the night to answer it…
I just read your letter in the hidden compartment of your desk.
I understand that you have a duty and that you must obey your father. But you can’t marry a man you don’t love. You have to wait; your soul mate must be out there somewhere… Maybe it’s me the one you’re looking for…
- Ok, said Terry, funny farm, here I come!
He put on his clothes in the middle of the night and he drove to the post office his mother was talking about. He got in and he looked for the mail box, it did look old fashioned.
- Here goes nothing, he said
And he mailed the letter.
In 1863, a young woman named Candice White-Andrew was with her parents in the living room. Her sister was playing the piano. She wasn’t feeling good so she decided to go upstairs to rest and write, like she usually did.
- Mother, Father, Stephie, I have a mild headache I’m going to go to my room to sleep…, she said standing up.
- Oh, Candy? Said her mother.
- Yes, mother?
- There’s a letter here for you…
- Thank you mother…
Candy went upstairs to her bedroom with the letter in her hands and her father followed her.
- Candy, he said
- Yes Father?
- Do you have anything to tell me?
- No Father
- What about the suitor you met not too long ago?
- Well, I don’t love him…
- Candy honey, you’re 21 years old, you can’t refuse all the suitors I bring to you, you have to get married some day.
- Father, I know you want what’s best for me
- It’s not about wanting what’s best for you, it’s common sense!
While she was talking to her father having the same conversation every time she rejects a suitor, she was reading the letter her mother had given her and she had a gasp when she read the first lines…she put her hand on her heart. Her father got worried.
- Are you ok, honey?
- Yes, she said panting, I just need to rest
- Can I do something for you?
- No, I’m just going to sleep, it will be fine.
- I’m going to let you sleep then, we’ll talk tomorrow…goodnight honey, he said kissing her on the forehead
- Good night Father…
When her father left the room, Candy went to her desk and looked in the secret compartment and her letter was gone!
- Ahh! It’s gone!
As she opened the letter nervously to read the rest, her hands were shaking and she was saying...
- Who are you? Who are you?!!!
Terry was watching a football game while scribbling stuff on a note pad. When he heard a noise coming from his desk. He walked to his desk and opened the secret compartment and he found a new letter. He was a little stunned. Though he was expecting it, he was still surprised it actually worked. He opened the letter holding his breath.
I received your astonishing letter today and I’m amazed by your audacity! Who are you? And how could you know that there was something in my secret place to be stolen? I’m wondering as I place this second letter in the same place as the first, am I in a middle of some feverish dream. Will you violate my privacy again?