It’s been raining and it’s still a little windy. On the path in the park a gust picks up a few leaves and a piece of paper and tosses them against my feet. I bend to pick up the paper and throw it in the nearby litter bin and see that it’s an envelope with a single word, “Marty” across its middle. Inside is a single page of foolscap. It reads:
How are you? I hope you like the new apartment and your new school. Have you made some new friends? What do you do for fun in your new neighbourhood? It’s too bad that you can’t play hockey this year. Its just so expensive now that your Mom has to pay the bills by herself.
I’m sorry that I’ve caused you both so much trouble and I’ll do my best to make it up to you when I get home. Your Mom said that she told you where I am and that I won’t be home for quite a long time. I did a bad thing and now I have to take my punishment. I’ll try to explain it to you when I see you.
I think of you every day and I wish that I could be there with you. Be a good boy and listen to your Mom and Mrs. Benson. Work hard at school and do your homework. Do you get homework this year? Do you think you could write me a letter and tell me how you’re doing?
I miss you and I love you,
I look again at the envelope. No last name, no address. I wonder if the boy had thrown it away in anger or merely dropped it while playing. What if the letter had been dropped by his mother before he’d seen it? I look around but don’t see anyone who might be looking for it. Suddenly it seems important that Marty get this letter back. I fold it carefully, slide it back into the envelope and place it in my inside pocket. I’ll start by leaving a note on the apartment bulletin board as well as the one in the supermarket. I hope that works. I’d rather not go door to door. ©