It was my first time meeting Mrs. Greene. I had met Jocelyn’s father a few months before at his home in Michigan. Her parents had divorced several years prior, relieved to end a marriage that had been failing for years.
The home, for all its false status, was beautiful. A stone façade and perfectly manicured lawn greeted guests, and inside everything was in its place. It was perfect, like a model home where no one lived.
Now that Jocelyn and I were married and settled into our first home together, her mother had asked her to get all her childhood things out of the way so she could add a wine cellar to the garage. The plan was to go through everything, take what was most important and throw away the rest.
Mrs. Greene greeted us at the door asking about the flight and what we’d like to order for dinner. We made small talk for a couple minutes, but soon Mrs. Greene got bored with the conversation and said she had to leave to run some errands.
“Should we start going through your things? The sooner we finish the sooner we can get out of here,” I said.
Jocelyn replied, “Definitely, the less time I have to spend here the better.” We headed out to the garage and spent the next couple hours going through old pictures from family trips, school reports, and clothes that hadn’t fit for years. In one of the boxes marked “WINTER” Jocelyn found an old coat, one of those puffy North Face jackets that everyone seems to love in college. As she lifted it from the box a letter fell out. She quickly picked it up and tucked it away.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Oh, it’s nothing. Probably just a credit card bill or something, it’s still under my mom’s account” Her tone made it clear she wanted me to stop asking questions. I let it go and we finished going through the last of the boxes. We made plans to leave the next day, not wanting to spend any more time than strictly necessary.
That night I couldn’t get my mind off the letter. Jocelyn wasn’t a secretive person which made the earlier exchange even more suspect. I finally got up and snuck to the garage. Jocelyn had tucked the letter in one of the boxes to be recycled. I dug around for a couple minutes finally finding the letter underneath some high school homework.
The front of the envelope was postmarked just a couple weeks ago, but I didn’t recognize the return address. My hands shaking, I slowly opened the letter and started to read:
“My Darling Jocelyn,”