I wish I could be there to present this letter to you in person. I had always hoped to make the trek to Deutchsimland for your graduation day, and alas! My body is getting old. My hips ache fiercely, and my arthritis keeps me from writing this letter by hand. The local library has allowed me use of a computer to type out my final words to you. I sincerely hope you are well and happy, and that you know my thoughts and prayers are with you always. This is such an accomplishment – graduating from university with a degree in technology. Your parents would have been so proud. I hope my saying that does not upset you.
I fear I will not live much longer, and I know that is a heavy thing to burden you with at this stage of your life, my dear, as a promising young graduate. Even so, I cannot wait any longer to tell you that when I pass, you will need to know some things. First, your cousin, Ano, my only son, will be inheriting my home in Big Apple City. This is for the best as I do not think the upkeep of two homes is reasonable for you, my dear. I was not close with my son, which I regret, but I feel this is my way of providing for his future.
Second, I am leaving you the home of your parents. I attained the property rights when they passed long ago, and I always intended to give it to you upon my death. I have a property manager who has been renting the place for years for me, but since your graduation, I have requested the place be vacated for you. I have also had all the furniture brought from storage and the house reset as it was when you left. I do not know if that was the right thing to do, but I didn’t want to eliminate a thing in case you would want it someday. Should you feel the need to update the furnishings, by all means, do so. I am leaving you a substantial sum of money that should cover a complete remodel if you so desire.
Finally, if the upkeep of the estate or returning to your childhood home is too painful for you, I’d understand. Please feel free to contact my property manager, a man by the name of Dennis Kim, and he should be able to arrange the listing of the home and manage the selling for you. I only want what’s best for you, my dear, I always have, so I will not be offended if you need to sell. Do with the property as you like. I think your parents would approve of this choice. I am sending you this personal letter, but you will also receive official documentations from my attorney.
All the best,
Your auntie, Ana Nova Yearling
Jenara shoved the crumpled paper into her pocket for the umpteenth time. She had read and reread her great aunt’s letter and it seemed only appropriate to read it once more upon entering her old bedroom. She still couldn’t believe Ana Nova was gone, but such was the circle of life.
Wandering around the perfectly kept playroom and bedroom of her childhood, Jenara noted all the items of her past and the strange emotions that accompanied. The trundle bed served as a staunch reminder of another loss – one that Jenara didn’t much recall, but was still painful. The loss of her little sister, the one her ma had miscarried. Pops never had the heart to get rid of the toddler bed and she surmised the baby crib was probably still in the attic.
Jenara swiped at a lone tear, unsure whether she cried for old losses or new ones. Her auntie must have taken photographs because even her plump teddy bear, Mister Pickles, sat in his corner next to the door, and her toy stallion, Carmine lay on the giraffe-spot carpet in the center of the room.
After all these years, she gasped as she picked up the cherished horse. It was if yesteryear had been frozen in some weird time bubble. Jenara turned to leave and noticed a display of items on a tiny bulletin board on the wall.
That’s odd, she wrinkled her nose.
The one thing out of place…
Perhaps her auntie hadn’t been as thorough as she thought. Even so, Jenara stepped up to the board out of curiosity. She noted the painting of a tree and a puppy calendar, a few loan stickers, and a blue ribbon bearing the words – 1st Place. Perhaps these photographs belonged to one of the former renters of the estate. Jenara couldn’t help but feel longing in her heart as she noted the smiling teenagers posing for a picture.
That could’ve been me, if I had lived here.
Setting down Carmine on the shelf, she pushed up on the sides of her face near her temple, running her fingers into her hair.
Can’t change the past, she sighed heavily. Time for new memories.
This is the second post in my brand new series, A Life of Whimsy, following Jenara Yearling, my torch bearer, for an ISBI TS4 challenge. If you want to learn more about my plans, click HERE. Hope you enjoyed!
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