The first day in my home. The movers will be here soon, with boxes and noise and heavy furniture. But for now I’m alone. It’s all mine. I open the door to my favorite room in my house, my light, airy bedroom. It’s so beautiful, a huge skylight over where my bed will be soon, floor to ceiling windows facing the expansive, lush green backyard with rolling hills as far as the eye can see. It’s so full of promise as it is now, empty and full of afternoon sun, I almost don’t want destroy its beauty by adding a thing.
I sit on the floor across from the windows to take in the view, and notice something, the floorboard beneath me, wobbling slightly as I sit. I rise and lift it, to see something crumpled, a tiny scrap of paper, scrawled writing. My curiosity takes over and I reach for it, starting to read. It’s a letter. Very old, I can tell by its condition, the coloring of the paper. It’s from a mother, to her daughter, the day of her wedding. The house had been a gift to the newlyweds from the bride’s parents. Now it is my gift to myself. The letter is full of love, wishes for happiness and prosperity, and a confession, a secret one, from mother to daughter. I imagine a bride, still resplendent in an old-fashioned, traditional white gown, in this very room on her wedding night, stealing a few moments for herself alone to read, maybe sitting for a while with her mother’s words, then hurriedly hiding this letter where her groom would never find it. I wonder if she took it out again over the years, or if she left it there forever, always remembering its presence, but having a desire to leave the past where it belonged. I hope that she was happier than her mother was in her marriage to her father, as her mother had wished for her. I wonder if she ever wept for her mother, having to spend her life married to a man she’d never loved, having lost her true love years ago.
I put the letter back in its hiding place, securing the floorboard. I hear noise downstairs. The movers have arrived. I leave the bedroom and head for the steps, thinking about the pain of lost love and the mysteries inside every woman’s heart, wondering what secrets this house will one day hold for me.