There is a certain mysteriousness in an attic. An attic is a solemn place where memories of days gone by dwell. This is where my story begins.
Father passed away many years ago now and Mom is not well. Our family home is being cleaned out and prepared for auction. The heartbreak in knowing we will not return one day soon is overwhelming.
On a drizzly Saturday my sister and I retire to the attic and begin; it is a journey back to our childhood. Memories come to life when we uncover our closest childhood friends, Blackie, my toy poddle, and my sister’s Betsy Wetsy doll. There are boxes and boxes of papers — our brother’s Kindergarten graduation diploma; musical scores from band and chorus concerts; and pictures, pictures, and more pictures. We feel compelled to examine it all. It is a slow, tedious process. We laugh, we cry.
It is our first day and we have made very little progress this day. But, the sun is setting and tomorrow is another day. Tired and somber I turn to take one more look. There in the dismal shadows sits a weather-worn, raveled suitcase. It is locked. Curious thoughts race through my mind; something calls me, and I know I must discover the contents – it cannot wait.
The lock is rusted and weak. It springs open easily. As I raise the lid the hinges creak and I shiver in anticipation. At first glance nothing unusual is revealed; and then I see the letters, wrapped in a delicate lace ribbon yellowed with age, in my mother’s hand.
And I wonder, Who is Richard?