She knelt down to pick up the envelope which had just dropped on to the doormat and, with trembling hands, ripped it open and unfolded the sheet of paper….
She was always nervous opening letters, fearing bad news. Arthur usually opened them, chiding her for her silly fears; just one more little thing she missed since his recent death.
She glanced down at the unfamiliar hand-writing. Who would be writing to her Arthur?
I know I promised I wouldn’t write but I’m afraid the money you send, each month, is no longer enough. Sharon will be fourteen soon and asks about her father all the time. I am tempted to tell her where you live.
I don’t suppose you’ve told your wife…
Doris, the letter still clutched in her hand, sat down heavily on the stairs, resting her forehead on the cool polished oak banisters. She felt weak.
Her Arthur… how could he…? All these years, never a word…fourteen, nearer fifteen years …She reached back into the past…yes, they’d been living in this very same house, 51, Barrack Street.
When could he have…? There were those conferences in Manchester…
She turned the envelope over to see the post-mark and stared, unbelievingly, at the name.
Mr Arthur Trimble, 53, Barrack Street…
”Fifty-three…next door.” She gasped. “Oh, that’s Mildred’s Arthur…”