The Last Letter – I Wished It Were Me

1st April 2010

Thomas Miller

Port Phillip Prison,

PO Box 376

Laverton, Vic, 3028

Dear Thomas,

 They made me see your body. I don’t know why. They knew who you were. Maybe I asked them to let me see you. The detaIls always get hazy with time.  It’s been three years sInce then.

 But It still makes me sick sick sick.

 At first I was so mad.    I was mad at the people who did that t to you. LeavIng you all swollen and bruIsed and beaten. The prIson told me they found your body In the showers,   all alone. Alone lIke you and I always were. A real anger grew In me then, a true rage. It reared Its head and coIled up in my stomach like a serpent.

  My darlIng boy. My lIttle tommy.   How could they? You used to be so perfect. As soon as I saw your face, I had a flashback to when you were a newborn.  So soft and sweet and Innocent.

  And then I remembered.

And I was glad.

 Because you deserved It. I thought of all the parents of those girls.    TheIr faces. How they would never get to see theIr lIttle girls again.    Girls who were good.     Not lIke you were.  NEVER lIke you were. Rotten to the core you were. Always. You broke your arm yourself on my beautiful wattle tree. I saw you. And I called the polIce because I was afraId and your father wasn’t here and I didn’t know what to do. I wanted them to take you away. From me. Forever.    But I lost my nerve, so I LIED.   I told them I couldn’t find you and you fell.   FELL. You made a lIar of me Thomas. I never lIed before you. Now I don’t know the truth and It drives me mad.   YOU DROVE ME MAD.     I will never know sanIty.

  When they showed me your body.    First I was mad. Then secondly…   I was glad.

 Then Thirdly and mostly.

I wished It were me.

 Mottled and blue and swollen on that slab.

  Because I made you. And as soon as you were born, I felt the guilt in me build.   Because you were wrong and I knew it. And I never forgave myself for bringing a monster Into thIs world. Everything you dId convInced me of that fact. That I was wrong and so were you. We don’t belong in the world.  People like you and I.

   But maybe my own convIctIons of you, made you like you were? Drove you to do the things you dId. I wasn’t so cruel to you, was I?   I shouldn’t have said those thIngs to you all the time. I thought I could squash it out of you. Just like I tried to squash it out of your father, after those things he did to me. But I was wrong, wasn’t I? Maybe if I had belIeved you were good… you would have been. Could you tell me? Give me a sign.   Anything. Your father wasn’t a good man, and maybe you got it all from him.   I lIed when I saId he was around when you were lIttle. He was never around –  he left after you were conceIved. So wrongly. TerrIbly. I bet you knew what he dId.

 I deserved thIs and so dId you.

 I deserved thIs and so dId you.

 I deserved thIs and so dId you.

  This will be my last letter.   My psychologIst told me start to wrItIng them after you were kIlled murdered murderer murderer murderer dIed.   I should stop hasslIng the prIson to gIve them to you.  The pity in the offIcer’s eyes makes me sIck.     I prefer theIr anger. But sometImes it helps to pretend.    You understand that, don’t you?  It’s why you dId what you dId to those gIrls. You were just pretending.   PlayIng dolls and dress ups. At least my typing has got better,    hasn’t It?

 I hope you rot In Hell.

But I will always love you. My darlIng boy. My Tommy.

Your adorIng mother,

LorraIne.


Last Note From The Underwood

So now you know. I’ve been dying to tell you the truth.

Lorraine’s truth.

But it wasn’t mine to tell, so I withheld. It’s so sad, truly, it is. Was she always mad, and the madness passed onto her son? Or was she a good lady, run mad by all that sadness hanging down upon her shoulders? It happens to the best of us, it really does. In my time I have seen even the greatest of souls wither down and decay with awfulness. It’s just something that happens in life.

You will have noticed how run down we both got at the end. It was just too much for two old girls like us to hold up. By the end I was missing all kinds of letters and my space bar was jimmied up something shocking. I said it at the beginning – I always felt for Lorraine, but she wasn’t the best carer I’ve had. Not by far.

So now you know the story of Lorraine Miller and her son Tommy. I hope you got something out of her life. Someone needs to.

 Now my owner before Lorraine… she was something special. She took special care of me. Almost too much care. If you want to hear the things she wrote on me, you will just have to wait and see.

-The Underwood

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