A sample read from The Letter
Vanessa sighed in relief as she brushed a stray lock of short blonde hair away from her eyes and rang the doorbell. The door slowly opened, revealing a sullen looking Stephanie on the other side.
“Sorry I’m late.” Vanessa struggled to keep the frustration in her voice down. “I found the visitor’s parking lot, but the numbering system here is so bizarre. I’ve been all over the complex and back trying to find the right building.”
“It’s okay.” Stephanie motioned for her come inside, and as she crossed the threshold Vanessa took in her surroundings.
“Nice condo. I’d say Danny has good taste.”
Vanessa’s brow furrowed. “Are you okay? You seem upset about something.”
Stephanie silently nodded toward the kitchen, offering her friend a cup of coffee as she pointed to the stools in front of the breakfast bar.
“Stephanie, if you’re not feeling well, it’s okay. We don’t have to go to the mall if you’re not up to it.”
“I’m okay. We’ll leave in a few minutes.” She grabbed the carafe and filled a mug for Vanessa. “But first, I want to show you something.”
Stephanie set the steaming mug on the bar and reached for a card resting on the other counter. Her face looked somber as she sat down on the barstool next to Vanessa.
“As you know, Danny went to the office this morning to catch up on paperwork, and he told me to help myself to coffee and cereal whenever I got up.”
“Well, that was certainly thoughtful of him.” Vanessa picked up her mug and took a sip.
“I suppose.” Stephanie’s voice sounded uncertain. “After I got up, I discovered the TV remote wasn’t working, so I went to get some fresh batteries. You know how everyone has a junk drawer in their kitchen.”
“Uh huh,” said Vanessa with a nod.
“So, while I was searching for the batteries, I came across this. It was stuck in the back of the drawer.” She set the valentine card and its envelope on the breakfast bar. Vanessa raised her eyebrows as she set her coffee mug down.
“So, who’s Martha?”
“You’re about to find out,” said Stephanie as she picked up the card.
“Wait a second.” Vanessa’s voice was firm. “I can understand how finding a card addressed to your boyfriend from some other woman would upset you, and trust me, if I ever came across a letter addressed to Mike from another woman, I’d be mad as hell. But Stephanie, you really shouldn’t have opened it.”
Stephanie gave her a sharp look. “It was outside of its envelope and stuck to something else. When I removed it all from the drawer, the card fell on the floor. I had no idea it was there, and when I picked it up, I noticed it had a note written on the inside.”
“So, did you read it?”
“Not intentionally, but at that point, it would have been hard not to.” Stephanie’s voice was firm but sad. “Danny and I have had an exclusive relationship for some time now. Or at least, I thought we did.”