By Kasturi Goswami -
The white of the envelope had mellowed down to a yellow tint. Addressed neatly in beautiful handwritten cursive to the particular someone who now held it a little too late. She opened up the envelope carefully, with a slight remembrance of the many moments they had shared. The paper smelled of promises; the promise of affection fulfilled but the promise of time left hanging. Creases at the corners and an enormous diamond at the centre, right where the most treasured words were etched together.
It’s been a while. We know you are not too happy receiving this, but you can be assured this letter is not to justify our reasons.
Time in and out we have imagined this scene. How can we possibly begin without expressing our heartfelt gratitude and shame at the same time?
We are happy for you. Thank you for being you and we are deeply sorry.
If our words still mean anything to you, then kindly do us this last favour and forgive our wretched souls for all the suffering it has caused you. All those unfulfilled promises we whispered. Only if time would permit, we would go back and tell you just how much you mean to us. And, if it serves as a consolation, we need to tell you the entire truth. Though it won’t bring you comfort as to why we did this, it would answer all of those nagging questions at the back of your head.
We would love it if you would allow us to visit you this weekend.
Eagerly waiting for your reply.
Always and forever yours
Jojo and Mark
Reading the words over and over made little difference. Regret and denial boiled up to the surface, but couldn’t ease the heartburn. For the entirety of her teenage life, she had gone through withdrawals, constant bullying, and ridicule. Back home, her frustrations moulded themselves into rebellions. But her adoptive folks helped her ease up and mature through patience. The hype of her folks being an openly gay couple never fizzled out; nor did the atrocities cease, but she had learnt to cut out toxicity.
Sara had finally grown up.
Until that wretched Sunday morning, and their 20 years of bliss came crumbling down. An unexpected visitor had callously announced her arrival and revealed secrets dismantling their small world. Betrayed and burdened by the gargantuan lie, her mind crafted out ways to play the blame game. She provoked her adult rights, fleeing their safe abode.
Sara learnt the hard way. The world is full of deceptions and none could be trusted. People talked about maturity, but she wasn’t a stranger to them. Her birth mother, Lucy, was in reality Jojo’s dead sister. The infallible deceit of never disclosing their true relations and the false pretence her folks carried on suffocated Sara.
Once out of their home, she pursued a happy life relentlessly. Her situation now was seemingly the perfect definition of happiness; yet not so. It often left her wondering if sorry could suffice; if sorry, would negate everything that had conspired. The desire to forgive and the desire to forget are always mismatched; hence, she accepted the desire to ignore.
Hearty congratulations on your marriage and the little bundle of joy playing in your arms right now. I have seen his adorable pics when Lance came over. He has your nose, but his cheeks and those shiny black orbs are the same as Lucy’s.
Your husband looks like an absolute gentleman. Lance tells me he is a doctor! Just the type we would have wished for you. I am happy for you. You finally have a family of your own to love and cherish. I pray that you have found your haven.
We love and miss you a lot.
Jojo suddenly left us last month. He passed away peacefully in his sleep. God bless him, he had suffered a lot. I had hoped to see you at the funeral, but I understand you must have been busy with a newborn to look after. However, it would have made both of us happy.
Anyway, this is my last letter addressed to you. We wrote a little too many of these, didn’t we? It’s funny how after all these years, Jojo never lost hope that you would reply. I want my remaining days reminiscing about our good days together rather than hoping for the impossible. It’s been 18 years since the incident. Jojo and I had hoped you would listen to our side of the story. But I guess it’s too late now.
I wish you and your beautiful family happiness and prosperity.
Always and forever yours
Mark and Jojo(he will always look after you)
Just as Sara, Lucy had learnt the hard way. Luck favoured Jojo.
The moon shines bright, for it borrows from the sun. Yet it stands as beauty in every other love story. Lucy excelled in everything she partook in. Her younger twin brother Jojo, however, was an average Joe. Day in and day out, his absurdity rubbed off on the people around them. Jojo is an influencer, as Lucy’s best friends foretold. Alas! Only Lucy failed to grasp her brother’s innocence.
Luck favoured Jojo.
Every summer camp, Lucy brought home numerous trophies. But people remembered Jojo more. Jojo, remember when you did this, did that. Lucy believed she was never the jealous kid, but when her trophies collected dust sitting on her bedroom racks, she silently wished for her parents’ acceptance, just as they showered Jojo with.
Luck favoured Jojo.
Enter high school and Lucy was named the student council president. Despite all she did, the guys at school adored Jojo more. The boy Lucy asked to prom secretly wished he had luck with the better twin. They spent an entirety together, but when she finally popped the question, he whispered back the truth, walking all over her fragile heart.
But it was time. Luck favoured Jojo but not anymore, it would finally be her’s now.
She whispered a secret. A secret, not hers to be said. The folks who once prayed for Jojo’s good health prayed he gets a sorrowful death. Truth be told, stale wishes would have seemed less harsh. But Jojo had in his share cold forever goodbyes. Lucy rejoiced. Her average Joe of a twin was gone.
But now Jojo could finally live. He travelled the world and took in its people. The world that meant all shades of white and black, a world that’s grey. Freedom, love and acceptance were appeased. It meant truce. He found his life with Mark. Luck finally showered unconditionally. Yes, mother luck finally nurtured Jojo.
Years later, when the couple decided to hold a child dear, they were blessed with an orphan baby girl. But fate plays out in unknown ways. She was Lucy’s child. Jojo’s bitterness for his sister washed away as he promised Sara a new life.
All those unsaid secrets somehow mattered less now with Jojo gone. Sara’s precious baby boy had changed her. She knew now, parents could go through it all to protect their young ones. Jojo and Mark had been right, but Sara’s anger had blinded her. Her search for a happy life had always been fruitless. Jojo and Mark had been her rightful home, the home she refused to acknowledge. Now, as she created a haven for herself, their absence in it nagged her. All she was missing were her folks. Her baby would have his grandfather. Yes, she was late, but she had learnt this the hard way. An eternality of wait had finally come to an end.
Kasturi Goswami is an experienced blogger and she lends her voice as a creative and content writer on multi-professional websites. Find more of her work at colourfulingrey.com/blog.