Today’s Sunday Snippet is from the Writing Prompts Subreddit thread See You Tomorrow by papalaponape. The Writing prompt was [WP] Since you were born you have received an anonymous letter on the same date every year. The first one stated “see you in 35 years” and the number has dropped by one year every note since. You just got the last ever letter “see you tomorrow”. Subredditor papalaponape turned it into an amazing story and I just had to republish it on my blog. I hope you enjoy reading See You Tomorrow by papalaponape as much as I did
See You Tomorrow by papalaponape
Since before I was born there have been letters. Always addressed to me. My mother had been confused, and had laughed it off, until she had me. I was born on the day the letters always arrived. My mother had been in labor and when she got home, the letter was there, waiting. She had known what it was and set it aside, her attention all on me. But I was fussy and cried constantly. My mother and father were at their wits end, when one night; she opened the letter. Inside was a simple message.
“Hello Evelin, I’ll see you in 23 years.”
The message had scared my mother. Although she had been receiving the letters for 12 years, it had never been addressed to any one. Now it said my name, before my mother had even given it to me. Police got involved but to no avail. The letters were untraceable. They never had postage or a return address, and we never caught anyone delivering them. Later when I was 12 my mother had gotten security cameras to “finally catch the sender”. The letters simply appeared, out of thin air. I have footage of the letters appearing since that day. No matter where we went the letters followed. My mother would curse their existence, she hated them. I found them fascinating. As I got older I would wait by the door for the letters. Each year counting down. When I moved to college, they followed. And they followed when I dropped out, and then when I got the courage to go back. Even now. On my last week before I started my dream job.
I sat by the door waiting, hoping. For the last week I had been dreadfully lonely, scared and unsure. It was my first time in a metropolis, and culture shock had stuck its loathsome claws into my heart. But this was the last year. Today, the letter writer would appear. Or so I hoped. 23 years of waiting finally over. As I sat, watching the door to my dreary apartment, there was no knock. No person to greet me, just another letter. I tucked my hair behind my ears and grasped at the letter like a life raft. How desperately I needed some comfort. The letter, like all the others contained a simple message.
“See you tomorrow”
Tomorrow! Why not today!? Why not now – here in this moment? I took to wandering the new city to pass the time. Tomorrow, when? And also where? Was the person going to just find me? In a giant city that would be almost impossible. But – they had found me – sitting in the dingy apartment. I let it out of my mind and explored for the day.
The next morning I waited and watched. Once again there was no knock, no sudden appearance. Just the clanging of the ancient pipes and the Spanish music blaring from the apartment below. I waited until 10 and gave up. Once again I went out to go explore. Today was sunny and bright, there would be no better day than to walk around central park. So I got off the subway at Columbus circle and meandered about. Going by a pond, finding the Balto statue filled with fond memories from the movie. I sat and fed the sparrows, despite the signs saying no. After a while though the cold got to me. I found solace in a tiny cafe on the model boat lake and got a coffee. In my head I began to run through ingredients I would need for the week. Oats, fruit, onions. The list went on, changing and rearranging until my attention was drawn to some trees. They were white at the top, their bare limbs gleaming in the sunlight. Between them lay a stair way and just beyond and open square. The park was teaming with people yet, this area was almost abandoned. Curious I walked up the stairs. The trees flanked the square, casting tiger striped shadows over it. In the center stood a statue. It was a curious statue with no description or markings. A woman in storybook style witch dress rode atop a giant goose. Nestled into her garments was a cat that looked horrified at the whole ordeal. The statue made me smile in its goofy storybook simplicity. I could only wonder as to its meaning. Perhaps it was mother goose from the fairy tales. But I wasn’t sure.
I took a quick photo and continued on up another small set of stairs and through a gate. The gate explained that the space had once been a playground. Though now it laid bare. Slate pathways marked the spaces where play sets used to be. It was fenced in and not a soul was there to join me. It was rather strange that no one else’s curiosity had been drawn to the place. Then again I was probably the only drawn to the places lacking people. I made my way to the center and basked in the sun. It warmed me in it’s gentle caress. I closed my eyes swooning into the embrace. It had only been two days since I had last seen the sun. Yet it felt like an eternity.
I took a deep breath and opened my eyes. Across the way a man had joined me in the open square. He sat solemnly on a faded green bench his head bowed with gaze in his lap. As if knowing I was staring at him he looked up and gave a gentle smile that warmed his face. He was the first person to have even acknowledged my existence since arriving in the big city. I bit my lip out of habit and gave a sheepish smile before turning away. I had never been good with interaction, a tried and true introvert.
“Evelin, I told you I would see you today.” the man said. I froze in my tracks my heart dropping out my feet. The letter writer. My heart pounded through my chest and down to my fingertips. My mind whirred. Slowly I turned around. He was still seated, the soft smile on his face, his head slightly cocked to one side. “Come sit here and I shall explain,” He said patting the bench space beside him. Flustered and unsure of what to do next I did as he requested and joined him on the bench. He folded his hands and looked out over the open space. I looked between him and the space unsure of what to do. He sat quietly gazing out as if he was watching something I could not see. For a while I floundered looking for something to say or do. What do you say to someone who has known your existence before you were born?
I set my bag down between my legs and pushed my hair back behind my ears. A gentle breeze blew through playing with my hair as it went. It sent a shiver down my spine, stealing the warmth the sun offered. I played with my hands, squeezing my fingers in the nervous tick I always had. As if aware he placed a hand over mine gently preventing me from worrying my fingers. He then looked down at me with a look more gentle than any I had ever known.
“Relax, there is nothing to be afraid of,” He soothed. I pulled my top lip in and looked away.
“But you’re the letter writer,” I nearly choked on my own voice. He gave a nod. “You knew I – um – you’ve been waiting, I don’t know, it’s -” He began to laugh as I floundered. It was soft and sweet. A low rumble that put me at ease.
“There’s no need to rush to the conclusion. I’ve waited a very long time for you, and likewise, you have done the same” He said. The wind played with my hair again, tossing it about like a kitten with a ball of yarn. I should have put it up.
“How did . . .” I trailed off unsure of even how to phrase the whole situation. “How did you know I would exist?” I asked. That didn’t sound right, but in a way it was.
“You told me.” He said simply. I stared at him in disbelief.
“How?” I prodded. He turned and looked at me. It was not like other how people looked at me. It was almost as if his stare was absorbing me, seeing all I was and would be in just a glance.
“In time,” He suggested. My look of confusion caused him to chuckle. “You have always been impatient,” he said softly patting my hands. “Very well,” With that he stood and with it the world seemed to slide . . . sideways. It was nothing physical. People were still continuing, the city was still a soft roar. It was just as if the world had somehow shifted, but only for my perspective. He held his hand out to me with a look that told me to “come along”. I picked up my bag and then grabbed his hand. He pulled my arm through his and lead me to the gate. When we passed through, we were no longer in central park.
Phewww what an amazing story that left me wanting more. What do you think of See You Tomorrow by papalaponape? Please leave a comment below
I just have to add that I received permission from the author via Reddit messages on the 7th of January 2019 to publish his writing on my blog.