Angry. He felt angry. He never thought of himself as a guy who can get angry even at the most difficult things. At 28, Dave Gillian, thought his life had finally settled down, with a well-paying job, a good house by the suburbs and a marriage to the love of his life. He loved Emily. Loved her. But did that have value anymore? He wanted to quit his job and be a theater actor, but he continued because Emily had needed him to. And now she didn’t.
His car ripped through the night air, way beyond the speed limit. “Screw the rules”, he explained to himself. Abiding by them all his life, he played the ‘Nice guy’ all along, fulfilling duties and living for others and what not. And what did that lead him to? A divorce. Yes. Emily “did not love him anymore” and had just served him the notice.
Memories of their first days together, their wedding, setting up their new home brought tears to Dave’s eyes. He wanted to end his life. “How silly!”, he’d have advised had it been someone else. But this pain was too much to bear. He stomped on the gas to get to nowhere, really, when the engine screeched.
The brakes had given away!
“What now? Ok I don’t really want to die!!”, he screamed at the steering wheel as the car riveted across the small village road. He fought against the madness and tried to get the wheel under his control, but the car seemed to stick to its foolish decision of killing him…
Wheels on fire…
Dave opened his eyes. It was dark. He wasn’t dead yet, for he breathed in the night air and could smell the burnt rubber and leaking gasoline. He was very much alive, and very much in pain. Not his broken collar bone, he’d seen worse in life as a child. But pain that he was too scared to die, and too lost to live. He got out of the car, to see where he could spend his worthless night and the rest of his worthless life. Limping across what looked like a maize farm, he saw a house in the distance. A small light flickered through the window, beckoning him to come tell his worthless love story.
He got to the gate. “Hello?”, he called out.
“I need help. My car crashed, I’m hurt.”
He walked past the fence, to the shabby door. Emily would’ve hated the stench. But fuck Emily. She wasn’t here and he didn’t have to care.
He looked around, and found no one. Why was the light on then?
“Gah!” He screamed at the darkness and kicked the mail post. Something caught his eye. It was too dark, but not so dark that he could miss this.
‘Dave Gillian’. Huh fancy. His name on the mailbox. “What a coincidence”, he chuckled to himself. Fancy someone even uses a mailbox these days!
‘Let me write to myself. To tell myself what a loser I have been, and what I need to do in life’
He hurried to the car to get his bag. A pen, a book and some light was what he needed. He hadn’t written a letter to anyone in ages. His mother used to write to him, right to the day she passed away. And he never had the time to respond.
“Dear Dave…”, he began on the dog eared paper he had in his bag.
“You haven’t really done anything great in life. You haven’t really given your name to anything in this world except for a shabby old mailbox in some village. And that too doesn’t belong to you. The one good thing you did give your name to, that you were proud of is sitting at your house, bitching about you to another man. So give me one good reason you sit there reading this in pride. None of your degrees and your business deals mean anything. Sit by this farm and smoke a fucking joint. That’s what your life has come to. Maybe you should die. At least try being good at that.
He crushed the paper into a ball, opened the red lever and chucked it into the empty old box. The box seemed happy to have had a letter after what seemed like years, but he still felt the same emptiness.
He turned to leave. To where? He did not know. His car was fucked. His shoulder was fucked. His life was fucked.
Just when he limped his way to his pile of metal, he heard a squeak. Dead of the night, he turned just in time to see the mailbox lever move and the box open and close. On. It’s. Own.
Wait. Was he hallucinating? He hurried back. Why would he be scared, he had nothing more to lose. But he was cautious. He slowly opened the box. It was too rusty and stuck up to open on its own! He bent down to see inside. His letter was gone.
He couldn’t believe this. There was nobody around, and his letter was just taken by someone to be read?
He ran back to the car. He had no choice. What foolery was this? He went to the bunk of the car, the machine was worthless. He just sat in the driver’s seat and waited. For what? He didn’t know. He just waited. For 30 exhausting minutes, he waited while his eyes refused to close. His body was in pain now but he dared not close his eyes. And then he saw it again. The lever creaked. The box opened. And closed again.
He wanted to know what was happening. He made his way back to the mailbox. ‘Dave Gillian’ etched on the rusty box suddenly seemed more eerie in the moon light.
He bent down to open the old rusty box again. Inside, he saw a neatly folded paper.
It was his handwriting that said,