Another excerpt from what I’m currently working on:

February 14th, 2006

Viktor,

I don’t know how I can be writing this to you, but I feel like I must. Today was her favorite day; she loved the idea of people telling each other that they loved them. That was her dream, for people to tell each other that they loved each other and to mean it and act like it.

My brother thinks that I must be crazy, to be writing to you, but I felt like things needed to be said, even after what I said to you at the trial. You see, I feel like I need to let you know that I have truly forgiven you. I almost say it with gritted teeth, because thinking about you and about her still brings bitter tears to my eyes. But I do, I forgive you.

When you live as long as I have (82 years old in January), you learn a few important things. One of those things is that it’s easier to hate than to love. Another thing is that the easy thing to do usually isn’t the right one. When I was holding onto all of my hate for you, it made me feel like someone else, I certainly wasn’t being me. The resentment that I held for you fermented and became something like poison inside of me. I could feel it touching every part of my life, the things that I loved to do I couldn’t stand doing anymore. I have always been an optimistic man, but I felt myself change, I felt the light exit my life. I saw her face everywhere, I saw your face everywhere too. I couldn’t escape the memories and I felt the last bit of youth fade from my image.

When I looked in the mirror on my eighty-second birthday, I didn’t see the happy, young, fit old man that I was used to seeing. I saw a greying, grizzled, ugly old man, the kind that yells at kids to get off of their lawn. I didn’t like what I saw there and I realized, at eight two, I needed to change. That starts now, with you knowing that I forgive you, truly, honestly, wholly. I couldn’t call myself a Christian if I didn’t forgive you, hell, I couldn’t call myself myself if I didn’t forgive you. It doesn’t make what happened right and it doesn’t erase that I don’t get to see her every like I did less than a year ago. But I couldn’t live with myself if I held onto hate while I’ve preached my whole life to replace hate with love.

How are you doing in there, Viktor? I’ve only ever driven past Connell, I’ve never seen the place where you are. Have you made friends there? What’s the life like that you’ve left behind in Spokane? I only know what I read in the papers.

I’m sorry for all these questions, is it too much? If it is, please don’t respond to them if you don’t want to.

God bless,

Charlie

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