The first letter appeared on Clara’s doorstep just four days after she moved into her new house, so it ended up unexpectedly whizzing across country toward the forwarding address that the previous owners had left behind for this exact purpose. Clara had moved down south following a promotion at work, jumping at the chance to leave the cold north behind and earn more money simultaneously. Owning her second house on her own was overwhelming at first - the sight of it made Clara shiver as she drove toward it the first time. It was twice the size of her old house and tiny Clara all on her own immediately felt that she may have accidentally bitten off more than she could chew. 

It was a Monday morning when the second letter arrived, but planning to dispose of it in the same manner as last time, and this being her first day in her new position at work, no thought was given to it until late that evening as Clara sat at her big new dining table and sipped on her celebratory champagne that her father had gifted her two weeks ago. The letter, still addressed with no name, had been sitting on the very same table all day, alongside some housewarming cards and a bill or two that had been carried over. Clara decided it was much too late now to take a trip to the Post Office, and that such a thing was better done tomorrow morning on her way to work again.

So that is exactly what Clara did. She doubled back on herself after parking her car in her personal parking space that she was more proud of than she thought she should mention, and prepared herself for navigating a new Post Office. She missed having family and friends around her to combat social situations and feedback on them before Clara got there herself. It was much harder to look confident in a Post Office when nobody had told you exactly where you should stand and which way the queue lead. Once the letter was disposed of and happily on it’s way to its new home, Clara set off again in the direction of her car,

The third letter, which manifested on the Friday morning of that same week, brought with it an extreme sensation of guilt. In thin, delicate writing on the front of the envelope, evidently different handwriting to the bold and capitalised address, was the name Clara, followed by a question mark. She tore open the envelope immediately, discarding the excitement of her personalised parking space from her mind and instead madly worrying over how she was going to explain a lack of reply to both original letters. The writing on the inside was the same as was used for the name. At times it was so thin and light that Clara had difficulty discerning the letter that it was meant to represent. Nevertheless, the message that Clara got from the contents of the letter was that somebody wished her happiness in her new home. 

With no return address and no apparent routine to the deliveries, Clara was extra grateful for the surveillance that happened to come along with her new house. The anticipation of watching this kind stranger deliver their notes was what kept her going through the unbearably hot week. Starting a new job in the middle of summer was turning out to be more of a challenge than she had first anticipated and Clara had never personally been one for the heat. Luckily that was the only reason she could think of off the top of her head as to why she missed the north, that and Post Offices.

It took a whole week and a half for the next letter to make it’s way to the doorstep, and it just happened to be on a Saturday morning when Clara had promised to meet a colleague from work for lunch. She was committed to making as many new friends as she could as soon as she could, nobody wants to go and sit outside with a picnic in the middle of winter. After lunch Clara rushed home, attempting to appear nonchalant in order to avoid questions. She was not quite sure how she was going to explain this away if she had to. She had been receiving secret letters for three weeks but had no idea who they were from? She had accidentally sent her mail to some people she had never met and now she really really wanted to read it?

Following a friendly phone call to the previous owners to inquire after the first two letters, Clara was reassured that they were on their way back towards her, yet again hurtling across the country against their will. She contemplated waiting for those letters to return to her instead of intruding on the wellwisher who was just trying to deliver their delightful post. In the end curiosity got the better of her and Clara made her way over to her computer, settling down with security footage from this morning and yet another glass of red wine. 

As was honestly expected, the footage gave no extra cues towards the stranger’s identity. It merely managed to prove that such a stranger existed and that they had a curious habit of getting up very early in the morning to deliver odd letters to new neighbours. Not that Clara did not appreciate the support, she just was not quite sure as to why the stranger felt that they could not simply ring her doorbell and say hi. Surely that would save them a lot of getting out of bed ridiculously early. 

Somehow now filled with more curiosity than before, Clara took up the letter from the table in front of her and turned it over in her hands. Opening the envelope in a more gentle fashion than last time, she removed the letter from inside and read the contents carefully. Then, she stood up and switched on the kettle, removing two newly purchased mugs from her cupboard and settling the milk jug on a tray. She was now expecting company.

May 19, 2020 13:38

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