— We went on an Expedition today. We found several bottles of Tylenol, canned soup, warm clothes… — Emma paused, going over the past day in her mind, but the most memorable thing was a notebook with a message. Curious. Previously, letters were corked into bottles and sent to the endless waters. And today, a notebook carelessly left at a gas station became as much of a rarity as a bottle at sea.
— And what was there? — Simon stretched lazily, showing that he was carrying on a conversation out of boredom.
— Memory. Love. Losses. — Emma tossed a couple of dry branches onto the fire. The crackling drowned out the slight tremble in the woman’s voice. — If we ever go back to the old ways, I’m sure this will be made into a movie. Want me to read an excerpt?
— Go ahead, — Simon tossed the coin he never parted with and caught it in midair in precise snake-like style.
— Hello to whoever reading this. My name… it does not matter. I’m not even sure if someone will ever read this. It’s just that I’m stuck in this basement and I’m going crazy with boredom. All that remains for me is to sort through the happy memories of Miranda in my head. And hope that she is also hiding somewhere and thinking of me. Miranda… Oh, how I miss your blond fluffy hair and almost translucent blue eyes. I miss your contempt for getting up in the morning, black coffee, and for sandwiches with a crust. I miss you rolling your eyes and laughing with tears whenever I make a joke. Do you remember how we met? I came to the university library to study for an exam, and you were sitting there with your friends giggling. We looked at each other — I looked away, and you whispered something in the ear of one of the girls, and in a moment you were standing next to me. What were we even talking about? Session, study, student life. And then the librarian who looked like dried up avocado kicked us out for making too much noise. How long has it been…
Emma paused, trying to calm herself. Simon realized that she needed more than just time to collect her thoughts.
— And whom did you lose? — the man said softly, tossing the coin again.
— I had my own Miranda, which I can’t help but think about.
— I see, — Simon sighed, trying not to show his eyes. — Read some more.
— Do you remember when I proposed to you? We were sitting on the grass in a city park, the sun entangled in our hair, and laughter sounded more vocal than usual. I couldn’t take my eyes off you when that question escaped my lips. You seemed perplexed, hesitated, and asked me what did I say. This hesitation cost me a significant amount of nerve cells. But your short yes was worth it. It seems to be the happiest day of my life.
Emma closed her notebook and looked up at Simon. He thoughtfully looked forward, suddenly robbed of his feigned indifference and bravado. Maybe, it was him, who wrote the letter while hiding in the basement from the dead. Or perhaps he also had lost a loved one, without whom life has no meaning. One day she would ask him directly. But not today. Today it hurts a bit too much.