It was the sound of my childhood. Every night I would lie in bed and listen to my Mother in the tiny little box room next to mine writing away on her typewriter. The distinct thump of the keys as she worked was so familiar to me that when I finally left home for university it took me weeks to relearn how to drift off to sleep in the new silence I found myself in.
I remember asking her once what she wrote in her little room every night. I think I was about 7 or 8.
“Letters” she replied
“Letter to people you mean?”
“Yes my darling, letters to people”
It didn’t dawn on me to ask her why we never seemed to actually post any letters. Her explanation satisfied my youthful curiosity and even as I grew older I never thought to question her again. It was just what Mummy did. She wrote letters.
Sitting here now all these years later in her little room I realise that my child view of the world, of her world, was very wrong. The old typewriter still sat on the little writing desk. It was just as it was every day of my childhood and every time I had visited her since heading off into my adult life. Just this time I wasn’t visiting with her I was coming to decide what to do with all her stuff now that the funeral was over.
I don’t know what I thought I would find, just her stuff I guess, clothes and keepsakes, maybe some photos but this, I could never have envisaged this. There were hundreds of them all neatly stored in shoe boxes with the year carefully penned on top. They started in 1976, the year I was four, and ran right up to the present year.
My Darling Simon
I miss you so much. I can’t believe that it has been almost a year. Sometimes I still think I can taste your lips on mine as if you had just left me breathless and swooning to catch the train. Do you think about me? Do you remember how I tasted? How I moved beneath you? How our bodies fitted together so perfectly? I know I do Simon. Every single day
My Darling Simon
Today she is 8. She is the most delightful child, thoughtful, happy, and contented. We bought her a new bicycle for her birthday. She whizzed up and down the street on it with her friends laughing and chattering, her long dark hair flowing out behind her. Sometimes when she smiles up at me it is like looking down into the memories of your beautiful face.
My Darling Simon
It will be soon my love. I can feel it. The Doctor says I have a while yet but I think he is wrong. These bones are old and tired and I am finally ready to be by your side again
There were more, many more, I had only read a small selection so far but sitting here in her room with the boxes of unsent letters scattered around me I realised that maybe I had not known my Mother very well and possibly never known my Father at all because the man who I had always called Dad was not called Simon, but Paul.
This is my first contribution to Friday Flash. The rules are use the image as a prompt and write no more than 500 words. Just in case Leonora checks mine is slightly over 500 but only by a tiny bit. It is not the most wicked piece of writing but sadly the word count restricted me exploring the Mother’s letters more but in my mind those letters are filled with lust, love and longing spanning a 40 plus years and all written out on her trusty old type writer.