""My Darling Brian,
If you are reading this then I have moved from this world and am now living with Our Lord in Heaven. You are probably wondering how I’ve sent this letter from Heaven, of course I haven’t. I am writing this as you wait in the hallway for me to finish discussing my will with our lawyer. This letter should reach you a couple of years after I am gone.
Do you remember the day we met? I’ve been on some good Church retreats, but that one will always be my favorite, even if you were there only by accident. I never thought it was an accident. Our Lord knew what he was doing when you made that wrong exit. My life was infinitely better for it. All our dreams together may not have come true, but you already fulfilled many of my dreams.
You made my life so happy, I could not have asked for a better husband and friend. I want you to be happy with the rest of your life and I want you to do whatever that is to be happy. Please do not shut yourself away from the world. I want you to love again. As hard as that is for me to write those words I cannot be selfish with your love after I am gone.
Do not be sad for me as I am surely basking in God’s love. I will forever watch over you as you move on in your life and I look forward to the day we are reunited in Heaven.
Brian sat on his couch, tears rolling down down his cheeks. The letter caught him by surprise, his lawyer called him in that morning but would not talk to him, over the phone, what it was concerning. The lawyer handed him the envelope with Sandra's writing on it, Brian looked at the older man perplexed. He was told it was the final stipulation in Sandra's will, to deliver that letter a couple of years after she died. It was all he came in for, to receive the letter. After he handed it over, the lawyer let him sit in the office, gathering himself for the drive home.
It took a call from Nick before he would actually open the letter to read after he arrived home. Nick convinced him that he needed to read her final words to him. “It might help you move on with your life.” Nick added before he got off the phone.
Brian was unsure what to do now. He was being told by his dead wife to move on, to love again, but now that he'd actually read her words telling her this he no longer felt that he needed love. Who was he kidding, he hadn't felt like falling in love again before her letter.
Thoughts of falling in love again brought his mind almost immediately to Stephanie. He had enjoyed his night out with her, he hardly noticed Nick leaving early. Stephanie took his phone before they'd left and put her phone number in his contacts, she asked if she could have his number. He hesitated long enough that she knew he wasn't going to give it to her. “Don't worry about it Brian, call me when you are ready.” Were her final words before they said their good-nights.
He'd scrolled through the numbers in his phone to hers a few times since that night. He wanted to call her again but for some reason he kept clearing the number instead of hitting send. He avoided the topic with Nick, instead he found out Nick asked a random girl out and actually had fun. Whenever he was around him or the other guys he focused on their issues to keep them off of the topic of Stephanie.
Now, sitting with Sandra's letter still in his hands he picked up his phone wanting to talk to someone, anyone. He started to call Nick, but he realized he did not want to talk about Sandra with Nick or any of the guys. He scrolled further coming across Stephanie's phone number again. Taking a deep breath he hit send and listened to the phone ring.
“Hello?” Stephanie answered.
“Stephanie, this is Brian. How are you?” He felt awkward attempting to make small talk. He didn't really care about how she was, he wanted her to meet him so he could pour out what he was feeling about Sandra.
“I'm doing well. How are you? It's great to hear from you.” She replied.
“I was hoping you would meet me for a cup of coffee in an hour. I really need someone to talk to.” Brian sighed hoping she wasn't busy.
He could hear Stephanie's steady breathing on the other end, deciding whether or not she would give him a chance. He couldn't blame her if she said 'no' he hadn't spoken to her in the weeks following their night out.
“Meet me in thirty minutes at the Starbucks near the studio.” her response was quick and Brian could only guess that the click of the phone was her way of not backing out of agreeing to meet him, or to give him a chance to change his mind either.
He didn't have much time to get ready, he didn't really need it anyway. He wasn't considering this a date, he needed an ear and he hoped that Stephanie didn't mind being that ear. It took him the allotted thirty minutes to reach the Starbucks. He could see Stephanie sitting at a table sipping some form of frothy beverage immersed in a book. Her dirty-blond hair fell over her face, he watched as her hand reached up, grabbing the hair that had fallen down and started to twirl the loose strands. She was dressed simply, she wasn't at work or dressed up for a night out, did he expect her to get dressed up to meet with him for coffee?
“Excuse me,” an older man said behind him. Realizing he was blocking the door, Brian moved out of the way holding the door for the older gentleman to enter. Taking a deep breath he followed the man in and made his way to the table Stephanie waited at.
“Hi,” He said as he took a seat across from her. “Thanks for meeting me.”
She closed her book and pushed it aside, pulling her drink closer. “I, honestly, wasn't sure if you would really show up.”
“I've been unfair to you,” He reached across and put his hand on hers. “Truth is, I do like you, and it scares me.”
“Because of your wife?” She asked, only receiving a nod in response. “Is that what you wanted to talk to me about?”
He shrugged and looked at her face, finally looked at her. Her features were soft and feminine, her eyes were shocking green. Once he looked into her eyes he had a hard time remembering what he wanted to talk about with her. “She wrote me a letter,” He decided to jump right in and tell her. “Before, at the lawyers. She knew then I would not be able to adjust to life without her. It was how she was. I thought I had left her death behind me, this letter proved to me that I hadn't really.” He couldn't hold her gaze anymore, he had to look somewhere, anywhere but her face.
“Brian, nobody expected you to move on and forget about her. They, we, just want you to be happy again.” Stephanie moved her chair around so she was next to him. Without words she pulled him into a hug and letting him release his tears for his wife. He didn't care that he was in public, it felt good to finally be held, able to release the pent up emotion.
“Thank you,” He muttered wiping his eyes. Their faces close now, he could smell a soft scent of rose petals on her. Before he could stop himself, his lips brushed hers. Realizing what he'd done, he pulled back quickly. “I'm sorry.” He muttered as he stood and left the Starbucks.