Chapter 1

Written by: Lrennes

Her fingers traversed their way across the folded paper. Finding the edges which indicated its intended opening, she orientated the envelope so that it faced upwards towards her. Her finger slipped underneath a flap of paper, causing her to pause in suspicion. The letter had been opened.

“You've already read it, haven't you?”

The ensuing silence told her that she was right.

“Maybe...” Marjory's passive confession had an edge of guilt, though her tone indicated that she didn't really think that she had committed any serious transgression. Nonetheless, she immediately jumped on the defensive. “Well, I was going to have to read it anyway. It's not like he was going to write you a letter in Braille. Right?”

Fran smirked slightly. Marjory always had a penchant for gossip. She imagined the temptation had been too much for her to resist. “Yeah, but if I have to have someone read my mail for me, I'd rather that we at least get to read it at the same time...”

“I know, I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself,” Marjory confessed sheepishly. Her voice picked up excitedly. “Don't you want to know what it says though?”

Again, Fran couldn't help but be bemused by her sister's enthusiastic animation at the prospect of something dramatic. “Let me guess, it's from Nelly? And he's coming?”

“Well, yeah, I guess I already told you that part, didn't I...” The realization set her back a moment. “But, anyway, what do you think? Aren't you excited?”

Fran picked up the hot chocolate in the same hand as her letter and began to feel her way away from the bench. Having made the trip from the kitchen to the couch enough times she was able to navigate her way unaided, with little difficulty. She knew where every piece of furniture in their house was, and her sister knew the importance of making sure that things stayed put. “I'm not sure,” she said as she carefully lowered herself down onto the couch, propping herself up with her free hand so as not to spill the contents of her cup. “I suppose so.”

She couldn't mask her trepidation. The incident which had left her in perpetual hazy shadow hadn't just taken its toll on her, but on those around her also. Nelly had struggled immensely to cope,  seeing his lifelong companion reduced to a shadow of the active, outgoing and adventurous self that she once was. Eventually it drove such a substantial wedge between them that he had slipped away almost completely. Knowing how heart-breaking and devastating it had been for him, she tried not to think less of him for abandoning her. But she couldn't help it. After all, surely she was the one who had suffered the most?

“Oh, come on, it's great news! Maybe you guys can try and get back to the old times? He says here how much he misses you. Do you want me to read it for you?” Marjorie probed.

“Alright then. Let's hear it.”

Comments

Well done Leif. The characters really live on the page and bringing out that Fran is blind adds a dimension that will give the next writers something to work with. Nelly's (Nelson's) return also raises questions about his departure and how his return will play out. Very well done.
Very nice! I feel Fran's sadness, her trepidation. And I have to wonder what happened between Fran and Nelly. Great chapter, Leif.