‘Goodbye’ was the word that jumped out from the scrawl.
Some of the phrases were lost forever, rinsed away by the rain or crushed into muddy pulp by my footprint.
I cursed myself for being so careless. But if it hadn’t slid beneath my boot, I wouldn’t have seen the words or cradled it in my hands as brown water dripped between my fingers. I wouldn’t have carefully dried the fragile paper by the fire.
The letter held together, but what remained was fragmentary, shards of emotion nailed to the page.
It rested in my hands, light as a leaf, yet heavy. I looked around the room. My books leaned drunkenly on the shelf where yours were missing. A dusty rectangle was all that remained of the television set. I remembered the conversation: you’d paid for it, you said, and I was too tired to argue.
I put the letter in a cheap frame, hung it on a vacant picture hook.
It continues to rain.