Posts Tagged letter
Please read this letter in its entirety. While I know your instinct may be to tear it up, or act as if you’ve never received it, please work against it. It is imperative you know that I am not writing to you out of anger for what may or may not have happened. I am still out of the country and, while I have received disturbing news about my property being disrupted, I am a firm believer in assessing a claim before reacting. This only has to do with…
Her seat seemed to slump and began to shake suddenly. Danno woke up and took her hand. Their tray tables rattled, spilling her ginger ale on her legs, and the seat belt lights blinked incessantly. The stewardess wobbled toward the front of the aisle and picked up the intercom speaker.
First she spoke in Korean and then, Ala assumed, repeated, “Please everyone take your seats and fasten your seat belts. We are experiencing some turbulence and at the captain’s request, please remain in your seats.”
Ala had acquired the bad habit of never wearing her seat belt on flights. She reached down to find the buckle and the plane shifted again, slamming her forehead against the tray table.
“Oh no, here sit back, let me see,” Danno said, rubbing the spot on her forehead that she knew would later erupt into a bump.
The vibration grew quicker and the stewardesses strapped themselves into the seats parallel to the rows in the front of the cabin. Ala shoved the letter into her purse and zipped it, making sure all of the compartments were closed. Her legs shook as she felt her stomach drop, as the plane seemed to turn in the opposite direction.
The intercom came on again and a man’s voice took over. He spoke Korean in a calming tone, but Ala could tell there was vomit rising in the back of his throat he was trying to keep down. The speaker cut out before her could repeat himself in English.
A drink cart came crashing down the aisle, slamming into a man’s elbow. He screamed.
“Put the Goddamn brake on that cart!” He yelled. A stewardess unstrapped herself from her seat and ran over. Grabbing the cart handles, she struggled to push it forward. The man got out of his seat to help her.
“I’m sorry Sir. The brake was on.”
An alarm went off and the tension among the few passengers flourished, as the air seemed to tighten around them. Ala pictured them plunging into the black water and being ripped apart by whatever unseen beings they would disturb. She felt up and down her seat, trying to find the flotation device. Danno took her hand.
“Calm down. The plane isn’t going down. It’s a storm.” He pointed to the droplets covering her window. “Don’t waste your energy being hysterical.”
“But it might go down. Everyone is scared,” she said.
“Come here,” he said, wrapping his arm around her. He pulled the blanket up over both of their legs and put his neck pillow behind her back. Even with the awkward armrest jutting into her ribs, she began to feel better.
“Apple,” he whispered.
She looked at him.
“What are you doing?”
“Now you say a food that begins with the letter “B”.” The stewardess reached into the drink cart and pulled out a few ice cubes. She wrapped them in a napkin and handed them to the man to hold against his elbow. The lights flickered in the cabin. Ala tried to hold in her urine. “Come on,” he said.
“Bologni,” she said. He nodded.
“Chicken Cordon Bleu. That’s two points for me.”
“Why is that?”
“Because I used the letter “c” twice.”
“Fine. Dagwood Sandwich,” she said.
“What is that?”
“You know, from Blondie. The sandwich that looks like it’s twelve layers of meat and cheese.”
“The comic book? The sandwich enthusiast. My father and I used to read them on weekends.”
Her eyes filled with tears. She had avoided her parents and now was going to drown in the dark before ever seeing them again. The pressure around her heart made her nervous to move any part of her body.
“Fine, the point is yours under the condition that this so called sandwich has been attempted by someone other than a fictional character. Éclair.”
An overhead bin opened, tossing a trunk out that burst open when it hit the floor. A lady screamed and made the sign of the cross against her chest. Ala closed her eyes.
“Hardly a food, but fine.”
“You’re sort of a pain in the ass with this game.”
“I just play fair,” he said, rubbing the palm of her hand. “Kale.”
The plane veered sharply and straightened out. The alarm stopped pulsing and the lights stabilized. Ala was sure they had crashed and that she was watching the scene while dead. The stewardess tried to adjust her cap and walked back to the intercom.
“It seems that we are through the turbulent portion of our flight. The captain asks that you please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened. We will come through with beverages offerings once we receive clearance.”
“We’re okay,” he said. “And I’m pretty sure I won.”
Ala pinched his forearm and then rested her head against his chest. She drifted off just as the sun cut through the black sky.
Gene dropped her off at her house and after he drove off, but before she reached the front door, she let herself begin to sob. She dropped to her knees on the front lawn and hugged herself. She was convinced she had to start fresh, but felt helpless as she tried to muffle the cries from her throat.
She tiptoed upstairs, not wanting to wake her parents to see her tear stained face. She removed her clothes and decided to sleep in only her panties. She turned out the light and, not even one minute later, sat straight up in bed and turned the light back on. The letter. She had completely forgotten. She quietly took it out of the drawer and carefully opened the envelope.
The paper felt like fine cloth and had Emmanuel’s initials embossed in the header.
I’m not for formalities much , so rather than scripting a dense job offer, I thought this would be more personable to read. I hope you find this to be true.
As I mentioned, I am taking on an assignment, which requires me to travel for the next solid month. I have never left my house for such a long block of time. Normally, I have my housekeeper look in while I am gone. Unfortunately, for reasons I’d prefer not to go into, she will no longer be working for me.
I was taken with your maturity upon meeting you. You strike me as someone who has always been responsible. I also like that you live in the neighborhood and are familiar with its residents.
All I require, if you are to house sit, is that you live here for the next month, tend to my plants, bring in the mail, and make sure you are here to let in my aquarist. I have some valuable artwork, both monetarily and in sentiment, so I would expect you to respect the space. I am willing to pay you ten thousand dollars for this service to me. I hope you accept my offer.
“You’re saying living in the city right now isn’t possible.”
“It’s not part of my plans, no.”
“Well, here,” He said, taking an envelope out of his breast pocket and holding it in front of her. “All the information is in here. I would go through it with you, but I’m late for a lunch meeting.”
She took the packet and nodded.
“I’ll read it over.”
“Great,” he said, gesturing to the hallway. “Let me know if you have any questions.”
She walked down the steps, wondering if she had overacted and seemed ungrateful at his offer.
The sky had grayed during the short visit with Emmanuel and Ala was cold without a sweater. He lifted a day coat over his shoulders, folded his sunglasses and put them in his pocket.
“Would you like a ride home?”
“No, I’ll be all right. Thanks.”
They parted and went opposite ways down the block. Ala suddenly became very aware of the envelope in her hands. She wanted to rip it open right there and see what Emmanuel could possibly be thinking with his proposal. She realized he could still see her and knew she would have to wait until she got home. It was as if having to urinate or scratch an itch. She almost couldn’t control her curiosity.
She walked through the front door and heard clamoring in the kitchen.
“Ala? Is that you?”
“Yes,” she said, heading in to talk to her mother. Now the envelope would have to wait. She had wanted to ask where her parents had been all night and all today, but all she cared about was reading what was inside of the envelope.
“Are you still having Gertrude over for dinner?”
Ala had completely forgotten. Gertrude was her best friend, out of everyone she knew, who she still hadn’t seen sconce moving back. She couldn’t cancel. She rushed up the stairs and locked the letter in her nightstand drawer. She had to start cooking, so the letter would have to wait.