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Nicola Davies's Letter
I’m sorry its been such a long since I’ve been in touch. There’s just so much going on. Work’s been frantic since I got promoted and the builders took forever fitting the new kitchen. I haven’t had time to think!
Of course I’ve caught sight of you, every so often. Looked up from the daily tasks and seen you there, up ahead, leading the troops as it were! Only a glimpse of course but that’s enough: your bright silhouette is such an inspiration to everyone! ‘Thank goodness for tomorrow’ I say to myself, ‘thank goodness’.
But if I’m honest - and I do want to try to be honest in this letter, Tomorrow - the last time I saw you, I was concerned. You weren’t looking your best. It was way back in the Summer, during that frightful heatwave. I was filling up the car before driving to the airport. You were right there, closer than I think I’ve ever seen you, standing in the middle of the road, with all the headlights flashing round you. You looked, well, gaunt. Like my mother in law after that last unsuccessful round of chemotherapy. I could see you were trying to say something to me, but I couldn’t hear over the cars and lorries. You beckoned to me, but I was running late, and you know what a crush of traffic there can be at Heathrow for the overnight flights to New York.
It gave me pause for thought, and then I was rushing for the plane, and the New York partners were a nightmare and I forgot about you, standing there, looking at me.
Until Yesterday got in touch.
No, that’s not quite right. Not quite honest of me. Yesterday is always in touch. I have a cupboard full of their unopened letters. What happened was, I opened the most recent one. I must have been at a pretty low ebb I suppose: Hell of a week in the office; then Cassie rang and said she was dropping out of her course because there was ‘no point going on’. When I think of the thousands I’ve spent on that child’s education. And to cap it all we had to cancel the skiing hols at the last minute because there was no snow.
So like I say, low ebb. The letter was of course all the usual rant about the roots of the present lying in the past. I skimmed over it rolling my eyes, quite frankly. But the last sentence leaped out at me
‘Have you seen Tomorrow recently?’
And that’s when I realised, that I hadn’t seen you, not since that hot Summer night. I hadn’t seen you at all. That you had vanished.
I looked round the office, frantically I must admit, looking for signs of you: there were appointments in my diary; there were projections for next years sales figures; through the window I could see the steel framework of another high rise. The thought came to me like a thunderbolt. None of it meant anything; none of it proved that you still existed and if you didn’t, then what was any of it for, anyway?
I stood with Yesterday’s letter in one hand, its envelope in the other and I was trembling with shock and fear. Shaking so much that I shook something free from the bottom of the envelope. Yesterday had sent me a gift! A small green acorn, from the ancient oak that grows in Yesterday’s garden
I left the office. Gave some excuse. And now I’m on my hands and knees prising up the turf of our very expensive lawn and pushing the acorn into the earth. Looking up, hoping to see you Tomorrow, that bright shape up ahead. Please tell me what I need to hear. I’m ready now, to listen
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