The emails that go unread...

Submitted for Contest #34 in response to: Write a story told entirely through text messages or emails.... view prompt

To: mercy.peters52@gmail.com

From: eva.everyday10@hotmail.com

Subject: Happy Mothers Day Mom


Dear mom,


As I sit here, looking at the mother’s day card my eleven-year-old sister made for you, I can’t help but think about you again. Not a day, not a moment goes by that I don’t think about you. Happy mother’s day to you mom. It breaks my heart to know that I won’t ever be able to say that to you directly.


These past eight months have been an absolute hell for me. I wake up everyday imagining that this was all a nightmare and that you and I are going to sit over a cup of tea and have a laugh about it. For a while I was angry with everyone- your sister and your friends- for getting over your death and moving on with their lives so quickly, while I kept hoping that you didn’t leave us forever. But the day my little sister, Molly came and told me that she thinks I don’t like her anymore, I decided it’s time to end the pity-party and move on.


I don’t know how you feel about this mom. I decided to start therapy and yesterday was my first session. I think it was what I needed because I felt so much better after talking to a stranger for an hour. I am not trying to badmouth our family and friends here. They have all been very supportive since day one. But it’s just that I want someone to look at me and speak without making me feel like a fragile object that needs to be handled with care. The therapist said she understood my pain very well because she had recently lost her mom too. I don’t know whether she said that to console me, but it made me feel at ease anyways. 


I am sorry I haven’t really made an effort to communicate to you till now. I promise I will do better from now on. 


Miss you a lot.


With love


Eva


To: mercy.peters52@gmail.com

From: eva.everyday10@hotmail.com

Subject: I cleaned your room today


Hi mom


Another day without you...Can’t believe how time flies. It makes me feel scared too. Will we both forget how you look...how you smile? Will the only memory we have of you be the digital photos in our computer? At least I was able to spend twenty years of my life with you. But poor Molly! She isn’t that lucky. Same time, I am also glad that she is at an age where she knows what it means to lose a parent and that I don’t have to go through the painful process of explaining it to her. I am sorry to say this, but losing dad wasn’t this painful. He rarely came to see us. All my memories of him are very vague and Molly didn’t even know him. He was gone before she was born. 


Molly has been coping up with everything, much better than I imagined. She wakes up and goes to school without any fuss. Once she is home, she quickly finishes her homework and does her share of household chores. She has always been a quiet person, but lately she seems to be quieter. Maybe it’s her way of dealing with the grief, like I see the therapist. She is still too young to understand what led me to therapy, so I haven’t told her yet.


Last Sunday, we baked chocolate chip cookies mom. We found your recipe in the kitchen drawer and did exactly what was told. It was just awful, overcooked and dry. We ate one or two and trashed the rest. Molly said she is never baking them again. Looks like your daughters are culinarily challenged, after all.


Aunt Maria and Uncle Richard never miss their visits. Sometimes once a week, sometimes three or four. Recently they have been giving hints that they would love us to go and stay with them. Not wanting to hurt them, I said I would think about it. But deep inside, we both know what we really want. I will be finishing my degree in a few months and soon I will be looking for a job. I can slowly start saving up for Molly’s education. Mom, I have it all planned and we are going to stay here. I remember you telling us about the difficult times you had after dad passed away. You didn’t go to your parents for any help. You worked two jobs and took care of us. So see mom, I am just following your path. 


Whenever Aunt Maria comes, she straightaway goes to your room. She sits in your bed and touches everywhere- the sheets, the pillows. Then she goes to your cupboard and starts touching your clothes- as if trying to memorize you in them. Last time when she came, she mentioned that the linen needs to be changed and the room needs a thorough cleaning. She knows how difficult it is for me to enter the room without bursting into tears. She said she would take care of it. 


Today, I went to your room, mom, after a long long time and it was more painful than I thought. As I was leaving Molly’s card on the table, I noticed the layer of dust coating the table and the books. Shame consumed me at the realization that if you were alive you would have never let that happen. Keeping all emotional excuses aside, I got to work. 


Later when I was folding the clean laundry, I had this strange sensation that you were sitting in the bed and watching me do the folding with a frown of disapproval. You used to tell me I would never get a job in a cloth shop because I don’t even know how to fold a napkin. I wanted to erase the frown off your face. So I kept folding and refolding until my arms started aching. I ran out of the room in tears soon after that, like a mad woman. I thought I had been doing a good job of keeping my emotions in control. But I was wrong, wasn’t I? 

Should I mention the incident to the therapist, mom?


Ok mom, I have an assignment to complete. Will talk to you soon.


Love you always…

Eva.


To: mercy.peters52@gmail.com

From: eva.everyday10@hotmail.com

Subject: I got a job and I met someone


Hi mom


Sorry for not writing to you for more than a week. Guess what? I got a job! You remember Irene? The lady who works in the Central Library? I came across her a few days back and she mentioned to me that one of their library assistants has gone on maternity leave and she needs someone to stand in for her part-time. She knows that I am about to be a Library Science graduate. She offered me the job and I said yes. I only work there a few hours a week, but I love it. I know you were a bit skeptical when I chose to study Library Science. But as a supportive mom, you still stood by and let me pursue it. And you know mom, I have always thought I would buy you an iPhone with my first salary, just to get a raise out of you. We know how much you hate technology and smartphones! It saddens me that I can’t buy anything for you anymore. Would you like it if I reach out to some charities and see if I can make a small donation on behalf of you?


And...I have another news. I met someone. Shhh… It’s a boy who came to the library yesterday. I just saw him once, but there is something between us mom. Remember the Hallmark movies we used to binge watch? The magic the main characters always talk about? I swear mom, I felt it when I looked at his eyes. I don’t know what it is. But I wouldn’t mind exploring it. 


Got to go mom. Working today.


Love you lots

Eva


To: mercy.peters52@gmail.com

From: eva.everyday10@hotmail.com

Subject: I have some interesting news for you


Hey mom,


Busy. Busy. Busy. The lady who went on maternity leave decided not to come back. So more hours for me. And classwork, thesis. It’s all overwhelming mom. But I enjoy it. It keeps me away from the sad realities of life. 


So the boy I told you about? It’s not a boy actually. I can smell the smoke coming out of your ears! Ha ha. What I mean is, he is a 32-year-old man, not a young boy like I thought. And that makes him almost 12 years older than me. And mom, he is a widower and he has a three-year-old son too. I know it all sounds too much, but something tells me that it’s worth giving a thought. It’s still in the budding stage, but we are past the exchanging casual pleasantries phase. I will keep you posted ok?


Sorry to run mom. I am taking Molly to her friend’s house for a sleepover. She is quite thrilled about it. It’s so nice to see the big smile back on her face.

Yes mom, I will tell her to be extra careful. 


Talk to you soon


Love you

Eva


To: mercy.peters52@gmail.com

From: eva.everyday10@hotmail.com

Subject: That was a mistake


Hi mom,


I think I made a bad judgment about that man mom. He had lied to me that he is widowed. But it seems his wife is very much alive and he uses the same trick to trap young girls. How did I find out? She came looking for him one day because their son is sick and she wants him to go with her to the doctor. You should have seen his face! Pale as a ghost! It’s a good thing I was taking it one step at a time or it would have shattered my heart. I think I was emotionally messed up and that's why I jumped in at the first chance of a potential relationship. I am just going to focus on completing my course and working hard in my job. It’s not necessary that you are always lucky to have the first or second man you are attracted to, as your life partner. You and dad fell in love at the first sight. Where did that take you? He wasn’t the man you thought him to be right? 


What Molly says is right mom. You are still with us, watching over like a protective angel. Keep giving us the strength to live without you, mom.


Love

Eva



To: eva.everyday10@hotmail.com

From: laura. andrews@blackhillscollege.com

Subject: Thank you


Dear Eva,


I have received your thesis and I am so impressed with the work you have done. I am not usually a very emotional person, but your compilation of letters brought tears to my eyes. When I suggested ‘communicating with someone you lost’ as the topic of the class thesis, I haven’t thought about how it might affect those who are still suffering . I hope I haven’t come across as an insensitive person. Meanwhile, please be assured that I wouldn’t be using your names anywhere, in order to protect privacy and confidentiality. 


If your mom is watching you from wherever she is, she will know how lucky she is to have two great daughters like you. May life bring the best of things for you and Molly.


Have a great weekend.


Regards 

Miss Andrews



To: laura.andrews@blackhillscollege.com

From: eva.everyday10@hotmail.com

Subject: Re: Thank you


Dear Ms. Andrews


Thank you for your kind words. Please do not apologize. In fact I have to thank you for the opportunity you gave me to express my thoughts in words. This was a very emotional experience for me as well. While I was working on my thesis, there were times I wished this was real. I wished my mom had an email address and she were able to read my emails and know how much we miss her.  Nevertheless, I will continue writing to her. If a one way conversation is the only option I have , I will take it.


You have a great weekend too.


Regards

Eva Peters




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47 likes 45 comments

23:36 Mar 30, 2020

This is gorgeous! Such a realistic and nuanced depiction of grief. And I could really feel through the prose that the protagonist was talking to her mom, while also having some awareness that she was really talking to herself. That's a tough balance to strike and I think you did it masterfully. Great job!

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02:03 Mar 31, 2020

Thank you! It’s inspired from a friend who recently lost her father but still posts in his Facebook wall. Their photos together, how she misses etc. It’s very painful, but real at the same time.

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15:17 Mar 28, 2020

Very sad. Tugged at my heartstrings....

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05:12 Mar 29, 2020

Thank you for commenting. Stay safe.

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14:27 Mar 29, 2020

You're welcome Roshna. I would also be grateful for any comments you may have on my stories.....

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14:43 Mar 29, 2020

Ofcourse!

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07:30 Apr 03, 2020

My Favourite part of the story is the reason you provide for why she is writing the emails. Most stories focus on the 'what' and it is rare to see someone give attention to the 'why' in a way that comes so naturally from the story itself. Beautiful.

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07:41 Apr 03, 2020

Thank you!

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02:36 Apr 03, 2020

Hi! I loved your story, it was so relatable and true. I'm in middle school and I signed up to keep me busy, I was wondering if you had any tips for a younger writer like me?

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03:05 Apr 03, 2020

Hi Aida, thank you for commenting. As of tips, I started writing seriously just a few months back too! Keep reading. It will improve your creativity and imagination. Internet is a great platform to improve your writing. Look for free fiction contests and participate. Always edit your work before you send. If stuck, use prompts to help you think. Go through the past stories in Reedsy itself if you have time. All the very best to you dear!

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18:28 Apr 03, 2020

Thank you so much for the tips! I thought this story was so good! once again, thank you!

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Beautifully written, and heart moving as well!

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14:07 Apr 02, 2020

Thank you!

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22:13 Apr 01, 2020

The emotions evoked in this story are quite relatable and adequately expressed. True to life is the fact that writing proves to be a far better therapy and an emotional outlet that any other medium.This was well written.

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03:02 Apr 02, 2020

Thank you!

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00:04 Mar 30, 2020

Wow, TOTALLY SHOULD WINNNN <3

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01:40 Mar 30, 2020

Thank you Niveeidha. That’s so sweet of you to say that. Stay safe!

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01:42 Mar 30, 2020

Sure! You too

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08:30 Apr 22, 2020

This is so sad! This is beautiful! A wonderful heartbreaking story.

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08:35 Apr 22, 2020

Thank you. Appreciate it!

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19:59 Apr 04, 2020

This is good. I do see a few errors in punctuation and structure, but the premise is well thought out and the execution nicely done. Keep writing

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07:08 Apr 05, 2020

Thank you!

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14:39 Apr 04, 2020

So beautiful . While I teas this I was listening to if the world was ending by J.P. Saxe and I was so close to tears.😭😭😭I swear you are a queen .👑

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15:04 Apr 04, 2020

Thank you! 😊

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00:17 Apr 04, 2020

this is truly an interesting story it was fine.

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03:15 Apr 04, 2020

Thank you!

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16:52 Apr 02, 2020

Such a great story. A true conversation from people apart. I lost my Dad last July. I have a picture of him and I In a frame. I have, at times, made small talk either out loud, or in my head. Even when I go to visit my mom, I give a few minutes next to his urn to say Hi. Great job expressing how a conversation would take place on one side.

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17:05 Apr 02, 2020

Thank you for commenting Dawn. Sorry to hear about your dad. This story is inspired from a friend too who recently lost her dad.

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23:40 Apr 01, 2020

Nice story...

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03:03 Apr 02, 2020

Thank you!

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18:17 Mar 31, 2020

This is a beautiful story! The ending really tied everything up. I loved this story!

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18:22 Mar 31, 2020

Thank you!

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15:48 Mar 31, 2020

this is a really great story!

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15:49 Mar 31, 2020

Thank you!

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13:13 Mar 31, 2020

This is a very good and well written story. Really enjoyed reading this! And sad too...

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13:22 Mar 31, 2020

Thank you!

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13:23 Mar 30, 2020

Beautiful. Here's why it is great. It isn't merely depressing and spilling grief all over the page but there are elements of subtle humor that makes us smile inwards , which I love. So many points you wrote made me sit up in amazement like the cloth folding scene where you break down, the aunt's linen excuse ,the cooking attempt paragraph was my personal favorite and every line of that was written like a pro. Basically very nuanced writing when it came to the mother part. The only thing I felt is that the pacing of the part where the guy i... read more

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13:38 Mar 30, 2020

Thank you for the very detailed review Afrin. And you have made some great points. Regarding the guy, I described their interactions in a very casual way to make the reader feel that she wasn’t that invested in him. So when it turned it out that he wasn’t whom she thought, she simply said it was a bad judgement. She didn’t get her heart broken. It would be too melodramatic if I show her to be so affected by that relationship because she was already suffering. About the ‘ so impressed’ part, I used it to show how it impacted the teacher ... read more

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Wow, this was beautiful. I really liked how you didn't tie it up emotionally too with the man. It was realistic, but not tragic. Lovely story.

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14:02 Mar 29, 2020

Thank you!

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12:55 Mar 29, 2020

This is a very beautiful story. Gets you right in from the title. I truly loved it.

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12:59 Mar 29, 2020

Thank you!

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02:57 Mar 29, 2020

Masterfully written and tragically moving <3 <3

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05:13 Mar 29, 2020

Thank you for commenting. Stay safe.

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14:21 Mar 29, 2020

You too!!

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