A Letter in an Hour

Another short story.


1. A Letter in an Hour

Hours seem to pass as quick as seconds. It flips by: once it was 3 o’clock, now it’s 4 o’clock. Where did it go? It tucked into your past, wondering if you’ll ever remember that hour, the hour that took sixty minutes out of your life. The hour that brought you close and closer to your death, and further and further away from your birth. Will you remember that hour? I wonder.

            In that hour, something happened. It was major. I don’t like talking about it to you, but I guess I’ll have to. Maria says I need to.

            You probably recognise the name Maria, right? Your mum’s name. And, you’re probably thinking, it’s probably just coincidence that this person is talking about a Maria. Let me tell you one thing: it’s not.

            I’ve limited myself an hour to tell you about this. From 4 o’clock to 5 o’clock, the same amount of time it happened. And if I have to stop halfway through, I’m sorry. I’m very sorry. I just can only do this for an hour before I do the same thing he did.

            You know him very well. It’s almost like he is you, but he isn’t. For one, he is male, and you are female. Maria and I used to think that you’d get married. We thought you would, we really did. You’d come home and talk about him all day, every day.

            He tried to hurt your Mum. I don’t know why, I don’t know when, and I don’t know how. I just have to tell you.

            Maria tells me I shouldn’t lie.

            The boy hurt your Mum. I do know why, I do know when, and I do know how. I was there. I just don’t want to tell you.

            Your Mum isn’t called Maria. Maria is my wife, and also your ‘Mum’, or rather, carer. Maria has never gone through childbirth. Your Mum is your mother…or at least, used to be.

            In that hour, the boy found out that what your Mum was. What she really was. It scared him, because he loved you. He still does, he just doesn’t want to talk to you anymore because of what he did.

            When he found out, he had to hurt her. He had to: it was raging in his blood. I was there when he approached her, holding the kitchen knife, his eyes squinting at her. I was there because I was married to your Mum. You don’t remember this; you and the boy were both three years of age, and I never talked of this to you. You were at ballet club, I think.

            He hurt your mum. He hurt her very bad, and when she closed her eyes she never opened them again. And it all happened within an hour.

            Time is running out. I’ll try to write a little quicker.

            Maria isn’t your Mum.

            I am your Dad.

            And the boy hurt your Mum because…

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