The First Letter – I Hope You Forgive Me

1st January 2010

Thomas Miller

Port Phillip Prison,

PO Box 376

Laverton, Vic, 3028

Dear Thomas,

 I know I said I would write you, and I am sorry it took me so long.   I’ve just been so busy you see, I’m sure you understand.

 I hope everything has been going well for you. Have you made friends? What kind of food   are they giving you? I hope you get to exercise. Exercise is very important for your health, my doctor is always telling me to do more. “You need to do thirty minutes a day, Lorraine,” he tells me. I don’t always get to, but I try, so I suppose that’s something.

 Are  there trees where you are?  It would be nice to have something green in your life. It is probably too much to ask about flowers, but perhaps they have a fern somewhere at least, and not just all that horrid concrete.

 You should see the garden at home. It is so beautiful this time of year,  although the pollen makes me sneeze, especially from the giant wattle tree in the middle of the backyard. But the yellow is wonderful,  such a happy colour.  I remember when you were little you would climb  it all the time.   Do you remember the time you went missing when you were three? Perhaps not, you were only three,  of course. I couldn’t find you anywhere. Called the police and everything, didn’t I. Quite embarrassing really. It was just so hard, with it being just you and I. I had only just sat down for a tea and then you were gone. Luckily,  I found you just before the police got there.

 You were so quiet, just sitting up there. Watching me.

It was good the police still came as you somehow fell down and broke your arm. You didn’t even scream. Just looked at it funny.  I don’t think I screamed either, which is strange looking back.  You were always such a strong boy,  even at three years old. The police kept asking how you got up there.  It was so high. I didn’t know what to tell them.

 Just like when they came for you last.

 You were so adventurous back then too. I guess your not so adventurous now. I am wrIting   this letter on my old Underwood typewriter, so you’ll have to forgive me if I make a mistake,   it’s very difficult to erase things. You have to take the whole paper out and use a white marker. It is quite the process and is really too much effort for me. But how wonderful do the letters look, and I adore the feel of it. I have to press the buttons so hard to make an imprint on the paper. I love the way the letters flick up and smack into the paper. It feels so real. The ringing of the bell echoes throughout our home too, filling this empty house with noise, just like you used to.

 I truly am sorry that I haven’t written sooner.   It was just so hard to get started. Where to begin? I see now that I’ve started, I don’t quite know where to stop. I hope you forgive me.

   I’ll keep writing you now though. I promise –   promise with my pinky, just like before.

Always yours,

Mother.


To see the next section of the story, click here for the second release.

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