The Empty Envelope | An Original Short Story

There was an empty envelope sitting on the table.

Megan frowned and cocked her head to the side. Apart from bills, there was only one person she knew who still sent letters by post, and she had no idea why her gran would be sending a letter. It wasn’t anyone’s birthday or anniversary.

Dropping her purse on the table, Megan picked up the envelope and flipped it over. Their address was printed on the front and a sticker in the top left corner for the return address. Hansen & Marks, Attorneys at Law. Why on earth were they getting post from a law firm in Sussex?

“Russell?” Megan called into the house curiously. She dropped the envelope and wandered down the hall, checking in the kitchen and bathroom as she went. She finally reached the bedroom and found her husband perched on the end of the bed, a sheet of folded paper clutched in one hand. As she watched, she could see his hand was shaking. “Russ, what is it?”

Russell looked up, his eyes red. “Letter from my da’s attorney,” he said hoarsely.

Megan blinked in surprise. Russell and his father had been estranged for nearly twenty years, ever since his father had walked out on their family for a younger woman when Russell was a boy. “What do they want?” she asked uncertainly, coming in and sitting down on the mattress beside him.

“He died.”

The statement hung heavily in the air for a moment before it fell and shattered on the floor. Megan’s breath caught in her throat as the reality set in. “Oh Russell,” she breathed, rubbing his back gently. “I’m so sorry.”

“That’s not it,” Russell said with a weak laugh, rubbing his eyes with the heel of his hand. “They included a letter from him with the papers. He heard we’re expecting,” he paused and set a hand on the shallow swell of Megan’s stomach. “And he left everything to us, for the baby.”

Megan’s eyes widened. “What? He – How much?”

Russell looked up, his expression incredulous. “Just shy of a million pound.” He let out a breathy, startled laugh and ran a hand through his hair. “All this time, all those times I pushed him away when he tried to reconnect, and he still thought of me. Of our child. I feel like I owe him an apology and it’s – it’s too late.”

And as he fell against Megan’s shoulder, the letter slipped from his hand and drifted to the floor.

An empty envelope and a homeless letter.

——————–

Written to fill a daily prompt from Thoughts on Toast.

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