This story is one of the April Writing Challenge entries chosen to be a featured story.
The wind whistled through the quaint village. Few tall streetlights tinted the tarmac a dull yellow colour as the sun projected crimson through the clouds above. Small gusts caused her hair to dance behind her as her tired eyes settled on the postbox. Years of neglect were evident as chipped paint scarred the exterior. A seemingly permanent blanket of wilted leaves shuffled around the post, lapping over one another like gentle waves. The soft blend of brown and orange temporarily soothed her from the doubts that crept into her mind.
She came to a halt in front of the box, one grey shoelace trapped beneath her foot while the other perched perfectly looped upon the other. The rim of her glasses grazed her blushed cheeks while sitting lop-sided on the bridge of her nose that was effortlessly decorated with freckles. Her fingers merely peered out from her long sleeves as she clutched onto the small envelope, but it was just enough to send a ripple of goosebumps up her arms, cascading down her back.
Her eyes were fixated on the sticker that was keeping her secret concealed within: crisp, white flower petals confidently poised, gloating to those suffering in the autumnal weather around it.
Turning the envelope over, she let her fingertips delicately trail over the name tattooed on the front. Every loop, tittle, and stroke was cautiously perfected; a work of art that would never be admired. Not-so-distant memories flooded her brain that were previously too painful to recall. Hearty laughs and starry eyes becoming strained smiles and bottomless pits. “I love you” becoming “Love you,” and then a quiet “Goodbye.” She would wait by the window for the weekend to arrive, steaming up the glass in her way, just to be stuck on a continuous Monday.
As if it were showcasing its age, each corner of the letter had faded into an ashy grey colour adorned by faint wrinkles. If you looked close enough, you could see the smudged fingerprints from where she had persistently tried to smoothen out any creases, but the damage had already been done. With eyes closed, she brought the envelope up to her lips and lay a hesitant kiss on the paper as if it would bring her good luck. She looked at the letter in her hands one more time, whispering her message aloud before sliding it into the expectant mouth of the postbox.
“I forgive you.”