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copyright 2013, Brandi Kennedy
I took it out and read it again, just as I had almost every day for fourteen years.
The pages of the letter were worn where I'd kept it folded, the ink somewhat faded with age, but it didn't matter. If the letter had disintegrated in my hands, I'd still be able to remember what it said. I'd still be able to remember the way he'd looked when he gave it to me, the way I'd felt when I was with him. And I could never forget the mixture of pain and hope that my memories had filled me with over the years.
Serious eyes; he always had such serious eyes. I'd catch him watching me sometimes, and his face would flush with embarrassment, plump kissable lips tightening against a grin as he turned his face away. But his eyes were always serious, always contemplative. Those eyes are burned forever into the backs of my eyelids, so that whenever I close my eyes he's looking at me again, his face soft and thoughtful, his throat working as he swallows nervously. I see him still, those eyes haunting me whenever I blink away the tears of losing him.
The letter even smells like him, fresh and clean as bottled sunshine, soapy and somehow manly all the same. The scent was strongest in the curve of his shoulder, when he'd hug me close and I'd press my face in under his chin.
Or maybe I just smell him in my heart.
What I miss the most is that perfect, soul-drenching sense of everything being right, the way his impeccable manners kept him from ever being offensive to me, the way he'd apologize if he slipped and said the most innocent of today's curse words. His humility, his honesty, and his inner sense of quiet drew me in, like a moth to a flame ...
Edited to add: Letters has now been edited, revised, and extended. The above is only a small snippet of the full excerpt, the whole of which is now available exclusively to my Patreon supporters. To view this excerpt and others like it, please support my writing here. (October 2017)