Last night, after turning off the lights and going to bed, I noticed a note on my bedside table. A cream-colored card was stuffed into an unsealed matching envelope that looked yellow under the table lamp. What a strange situation, to glance over at a bedside table and unexpectedly see a note. It was like a scene out of a romantic drama. But the mysteriousness of the letter mixed with the anxiety of its content was overbearing. Who wrote it? Where was it from? What was in it? And the reason I had received it. Was it a love letter? A note from someone who needed to say goodbye? The only way I would find out was to open it. The situation was exhilarating – exciting, but simultaneously nerve-wracking. I had never received a note like this before.
I sat on the side of my bed and picked up the envelope. I took out the card. It read:
“Thomas is not here anymore. I am not at liberty to discuss this further.
To someone who had received this letter completely out of context, it would not have made any sense at all. The writing itself was ambiguous. But I believed that I knew what it meant. It was referring to six months ago, when I had lost touch with a friend of mine. I never found out what had happened, and with this letter I assumed his fate was serious. I knew this was not conclusive proof, but given the circumstances, it made sense. My friend had regularly spoken with me about his life and what he was going through — I was his support. Then he
dropped off the map, and I never heard from him again. I felt that I could have done something about it, knowing more about his life than most others. But he lived so far away, and there was not much I could have done.
Still, I could not help feeling the guilt from my lack of action. Sitting on the edge of my bed, I thought about the news I had just received. I sat in silence for what seemed like hours. It was amazing how quickly my day had gone from normal to full of guilt and sadness. The bad news had infiltrated my happiness in less than thirty seconds.
I crawled under the covers and switched off my bedside table lamp. I closed my eyes, but the comfort of my soft satin sheets could not stop my head and my heart from pounding. A tear rolled out of my eyes, and then another. It was not sobbing. It was silent crying: the kind that washes all the difficulties out of my system and refreshes my brain. Somehow, I fell asleep on my tear-stained sheets and pillow. I did not dream that night, but it felt like I had never woken up.