It came when she most needed it, the message that would have turned it all around. When things left her scabbed and black as charcoal, when even food was gravel on her tongue. Yet she never read it. Never saw it.
It was a simple twist of fate, an inversion of numbers on the street address. The sender meant to write “138 Madison Street” but wrote “381” instead. A postcard that made its way dropped from his loving hand on a postal clerk’s desk in Rota, Spain, sat among its brothers with their cheery greetings in a cramped sack in the dimness of a mailtruck, packed tightly into bins in the black hold of an airplane, fluttered free in New York for an instant before it flew again cross-country to LA. All that, to be held in puzzled disinterest by the wrong hand for an instant and discarded.
It wept silently, its final journey made amid the stink of garbage one week old. It screamed in agony as the flames ate at its words.
I’m sorry. I was a complete idiot. I love you and I hope you’ll forgive me.
She wept and let out one long scream of agony as she spread her arms and flew off the roof of 138 Madison Street into the black container of the night even as he waited for her answer.