Sunday, June 10, 2012

SM Johnson ~A Year of Sundays~ ch 12 pt 2

Chapter 12- Sunday July 17th
Part 2

The letter arrived the week after Mom's funeral.

Receiving a letter was odd these days, anyway. Everyone Melanie had regular contact with, except her sisters, emailed, or Facebooked, or sent text messages. 

Her sisters, of course, called regularly. Sometimes Melanie ignored their calls, annoyed that they felt the need to check on her constantly, but mostly she answered, because she needed to hear their voices as much they needed to hear hers.

The scrawl of her name and address was such a disaster it was a wonder the letter reached her at all. There was a return address with a post office box number, but the name of the sender was hardly more than a scribble. She'd picked up the mail on her way out of her apartment, tossed it into her carry-all, and actually forgot about it for several days. Might not have thought about it again for weeks, actually, except she pulled it out at a meeting, looking for something on which to write down Alex's phone number.

Alex had laughed. "Do you always carry unopened mail around in your purse?"

Melanie had shook her head, ruefully, and looked with slitted eyes at the return address again, trying to make out the name. She gave up. "No. I guess I forgot about it."

The meeting was called to order then, but the letter was burning a hole in Melanie's brain by that point, and she had trouble paying attention.

She opened it as soon as she got home.

And now she wondered if she wouldn't have been better off just dropping it into the wastebasket as she left AA that night, leaning into Alex, laughing and making fun of anyone who attempted to communicate by snail mail.

She'd been doing so well for so long.

The Minnesota Sex Offender Program, or MSOP, was a six-hundred bed facility that housed sexual predators on civil commitment, above and beyond their prison sentences. Melanie had researched the place, ostensibly out of concern for her own safety, but mostly out of curiosity, and discovered that hardly anyone ever completed the program or got discharged.

Sex offenders, and especially those who rape children, were considered impossible to rehabilitate.

She didn't sign up to be contacted if he was released, because she never believed he would be released. And even if, in the long shot event that he would be, he was a pedophile. He wouldn't be interested in her now that she was an adult.

The handwriting on the letter was a total contrast to the outside of the envelope. It was so neat and careful that even a ten year old could read it.

My Beautiful Doll,

Even though our time was short, I'm sure you would agree that it binds us together as much as a wedding ceremony ever could have. Maybe more. We are each a part of the other, with no escape.
There were so many things I still had to show you, gifts I had to give you, and it pains me greatly that I haven't had the chance.
I saw you leaving your mother's funeral with your nephew, and you were so beautiful I almost stopped breathing.

She closed her eyes for a second, herself unable to breathe. Nephew? What was he talking about? But then she knew; he was still crazy, and he would not be able to accept that she had a son.

She took a deep breath and opened her eyes to read more, even while wondering how the hell he had managed to send her this letter.

I'm sorry you didn't understand the way it was between us. Perhaps if I had waited, things would have been different. But alas, I waited as long as I could, which was only long enough to get your doll house minimally ready for you. But now I realize that I rushed our relationship, that I should have waited until I could make the doll house nicer, prettier, for how could I expect an incredibly beautiful doll to survive in such a plain little house?

The bile rose in the back of her throat. He thought she chewed through the gag and screamed her head off because the shed was ugly? He may have found some way to earn his release, but he wasn't cured, not by a long shot. He was completely delusional.

I know you were afraid of Mr. Snakey, but you don't have to worry about that anymore. It was just that you were so small and new, and that made you perceive him as impossibly big. You will enjoy his inspections much more now that you have grown into a woman.

Some rational part of Melanie's brain was coaxing her to crumple the paper, throw it in the garbage, and laugh at how stupid this was, how stupid he was, that he would still call his penis Mr. Snakey. And yet… and yet… as soon as she read the words, her whole body seemed to contract, from her pelvis, to her leg muscles, to the blood in her veins… and for a second she thought she would fall down and "go away" in her head, exactly the same as when he'd actually raped her.

She heard herself whimpering.

What did he want from her? She wasn't even his type anymore – she was an adult. And how could they ever, ever let a child murderer and rapist go free? That was crazier than all the rest of it put together. It didn't make sense. She should call someone, because if he actually had been released, this should get him locked up again. And if he'd escaped, maybe they needed her to lure him in.

The thought chilled her. And yet… she didn't call anyone. She didn't even put the letter down.

And thank God for that.

What I want you to do now is create a Yahoo ID. You will name yourself BeautifulDoll1987, then log into the instant messaging service and wait for me to contact you. You will want to do this as soon as you can, or I will find it necessary to make contact with your nephew, who isn't one hundred per cent my type, but close enough.

I've done my time and passed all my tests, and I'm back in your world now.

Melanie collapsed onto the floor, unable to think, unable to breathe. 

The short, painful sobs felt like they were being ripped from her gut right out her throat.

Motherfucker. That fuck. He knew Caleb wasn't her nephew. He knew.

Oh, God. How many days had she been carrying the letter around in her purse, unopened? A week?

She called Craig as she booted-up her dinosaur computer. He answered with a casual, "Hey, what's up?"

Melanie had gotten control of her breathing. She forced a laugh, and said, "I know I'm extra paranoid right now. I fell asleep on the couch and had bad, bad, nightmare. And I know it was a dream, but I still have to check. Is Caleb okay?"

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