Italian Letter

It came two days after. A thick creamy envelope embellished with your beautiful fountain-penned loops and swirls and dips. Yellow lined paper spoke of hot sweaty days in glorious sunshine; real coffee; mice infested walls and dodgy wiring.

It told stories of a fantastically bright and charismatic four year old girl and an ageing agitated veterinarian. The aura of desperation to learn English and escape the bleakness of rural Italy spiralled from the handwritten letter, like old flypaper from a smoked stained ceiling.

Lastly, it spoke of a well-deserved break – a road trip to the beach. If only the letter had come two days earlier. If only it had come before the telephone call from the hospital; it wouldn’t have brought so much sadness.

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