By Jess Charle
I opened my mailbox today to find a red envelope. There was no address nor return address, only my name neatly printed on the front. I enthusiastically ripped the paper, praying to any god who would listen that it was a Valentine from Josh. My beloved Josh, the man who I’ve longed for since he was hired at my company three years ago. My heart quickened, excitement washing over my body in waves.
Every Valentine’s day I pray to receive a sign from him that the feelings are mutual and every Valentine’s day I’m disappointed. But not this Valentine’s day. This Valentine’s day will be different.
The stiff cardstock was covered in a thin layer of pink tissue paper. In the center of the delicate paper was a large cut out heart that revealed the bright shiny red beneath. I sucked air through my teeth as I recognized it. It was the card I sent Josh last week.
My heart pounded in my chest as I opened it. The detailed confession of love written in my hand was crossed out with angry marks that tore through the paper, leaving hateful trails behind them. A loose note fell to the floor and my stomach dropped as I recognized the handwriting. I gingerly retrieved the note, my fingers shaking. Hot tears formed at the corners of my eyes as I read:
To my wife-
I did not realize I would die so young when we made our vows to be together forever. But know that in my years away from you, I have watched over you. I hold your delicate life in my hands and I will do everything in my power to keep you away from him.
With all my love,
As I finished, I realized I was no longer breathing. Tom, my husband, had died two years ago. The official cause of death was blunt force trauma after he fell from a balcony. The hotel we were staying in had awarded me with a very generous compensation for my loss at their establishment. The men in business suits across the polished mahogany table had shaken their heads in sympathy, the horror of losing my husband on Valentine’s day heavy in the air around us.
But I needed Josh to know how deep my love for him is. Instead he spurns me. He tells me to leave him alone. Has the company where I’ve worked for almost a decade fire me. Has a court order to keep me away from him. To keep us separated. If only I could make him see I would do anything for him. For us. Even push my husband to his death on Valentine’s day.