I wish I could drink the pain away but I can’t. All it does is bring tears that don’t do her memory justice. They’ve left stains on the outside of the envelope and probably ruined the letter inside. Not that I would know. I’ve been too afraid to open it.
For ten days since I received the letter I’ve let the darkness eat me up. I thought that she had said everything she had wanted to say to me before she left. The only reason she could have left me the letter was to cause me further pain. I wish I was oblivious enough to think she wouldn’t know how much it had hurt me. But she knew what it would do to me and she was probably laughing at me from above. She couldn’t have expected me to avoid opening the letter though. Even after the police had checked that it wasn’t a suicide note and told me I should probably read it.
Hell, I suppose ten days was long enough to deny her wishes. I never could deny her wishes for long.
Wiping away as many tears as I could with my already soaked sleeve I took a final drink from the bottom of the bottle of whiskey and set it aside. I reached forward with unsteady hands and flipped the envelope over. It was unsealed making the red lipstick kiss that she had placed vertically over the edge of the flap look like two pieces of a heart torn in half. If I had had the fortitude I could have laughed at the symbolism.
Two pieces of paper fell out of the envelope as I tipped it upside down. I ignored the smaller piece with words clearly written in her curly handwriting and unfolded the full sized letter. It was the DNA test that she had shoved in my face on her eighteenth birthday proving that I wasn’t her biological father. I threw the letter behind me wishing I had never decided to look inside the envelope.
Dropping my head I seethed with anger, all thoughts of sadness quickly gone. The handwritten note was face down on the table but because so many tears had soaked through the envelope it was nearly see through. I read the words, or at least I thought I did. I was clearly misreading because they were backwards. I slowly flipped the note over and read it three times before I was certain that it actually did say what I thought.
You might not have been my biological parent but I will always remember you as my real Father. I am so sorry for everything. Love Steph xoxo
I knew that she had intended to cause me pain by giving me the envelope. I was not prepared for it to be pain in the form of loss. My bottom lip quivered and I blubbered like a little girl.
My baby had left me, but at least at the end she had finally admitted what I had felt all along. No matter what any piece of paper said. We were family.