I write a letter every day, explaining, apologising. The same words over and over. But it’s not enough. My crime will never be forgotten, forgiven.
I address it neatly; I hate the way my writing slopes up on the envelope, so I take special care. Sometimes I write about what I’m doing, or what I’ve read or watched on TV. I tell them about the courses I’m taking, the counselling I’m having, the new friends I’m making.
They’re not even living there any more, at the house I’m sending my letters to. The house where I held tea parties for my teddies and marked my height on the wall; the house where I broke my arm playing Bulldog on sodden grass, and where I took a bread knife to my mother’s throat.
They’re not there because they packed up and moved far away; they couldn’t bear the memories. My mother had nightmares for months, even though I was locked up; Dad told me. He visited once, to tell me how bad I was, how evil. He wouldn’t let me explain. He walked away, while I screamed after him.
So, the house is dusty and boarded up, infamous and unsaleable. I imagine my letters echoing in the hall as they land, bunched up against the front door, unread.
But I can’t stop writing them.
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