The Letter #5

the letter

The night air was cold as I fumbled for my car keys in the parking space. I was in dire need of shoes and I decided to do a little shopping before heading back to my apartment. All of the stores were open late for holiday shoppers. I had a few Christmas gifts to look for myself, and time was always in short supply. Mr. Hamilton and the firm kept a very tight rein on the new attorneys. He felt it was his obligation to “train us up in the right way”. I smiled to myself as I recalled some of the older man’s funny sayings. He was certainly a relic from the legal world past.

Even with the cold weather, I headed to an outdoor upscale shopping mall between my place and the office. The parking lot was incredibly full for the hour and I noticed people waiting around the doors to the many restaurants as I cruised by. Amazing! I found a likely spot and set my car alarm. It was L.A., after all.

The shopkeepers had spared no expense and the holiday lights and decorations were breathtaking. People milled about everywhere but it was comfortably crowded and I made my way to the shoe store. A quick three pairs later and I was on my way. I decided to stop in at the large bookstore to get some coffee at the coffee bar. Some carolers were doing their thing and I thought it was a bit sad there was no snow for them. But then again, I could not envision the freeways in Los Angeles with snow. Scary!

I knew I should head home quickly as there would be a fur ball chicken waiting under the bed. I made good time and headed up to my apartment. Unlocking the door, gathering up the mail, and kicking my shoes off, I silently closed the door behind me. I was not going to scare my scaredy cat. I looked for her. She was always hard to find. I waited quietly for a few seconds and then I saw the soft movement. Nellie.

Nellie was sort of my cat. I mean she was a cat and she was mine I suppose. She had been left behind by other tenants in the complex and I had taken her in a few months earlier. But there wasn’t much to her. She was tiny and gray and when you picked her up there was nothing there but fluff. Her bones were almost weightless. I had originally thought she was a kitten but she hadn’t seemed to grow much more. The vet had assured me of her health and so we had moved in together. But Nellie was painfully shy. She would barely let me touch her and she rarely made noise. Even when hungry, she did not cry. I never heard her purr. The only closeness she showed me was curling up behind my knees. That was her spot. It had taken a while to get her that far and I was proud of it.

“Hey, Nellie.” I put my bags down and knelt to her. She froze as usual. I kept softly talking to her as I moved around the apartment. I started a fire in the tiny fireplace with a pre-made weird log and I made some tea. I grabbed the mail and noticed the three obvious Christmas cards. I opened them first. One from my stockbroker, one from my cousin, and one from….

Dear Rachel,

I know it’s been five years. I’ve thought about this and finally made the jump. I followed you as best I can. I know this will find its way to you. What we had is still here with me. Contact me, please.

I didn’t know a Rachel and didn’t know this Steve, but I did know one thing. I had a law firm at my disposal.

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