She stands on the sidewalk, nerves taking control, while she contemplates her decision. If she does it if she sends it, there is no turning back and she may be anxiously waiting forever. But if she doesn’t, if she leaves everything to be, she will forever been wondering what could have been, what she could of done. Thoughts rattle through her head, slipping away just as she grasps on to one. She looks around in despair as if she can see them all swimming right before her eyes. The something changes. Her face hardens. She’s made up her mind, it’s done.
“How do we know this is real?” my brother questioned. He is holding the tiny note as far away from him as possible. He acts like it’s some disease he doesn’t want to catch. He’s in denial, he doesn’t know how to react.
“Josh, how many times, in our whole life, have we ever received a letter… from anyone?” I suggest.
“Well twice, including this one.” He murmurs.
“Exactly! Hardly anyone even knows we exist! So if there is someone in this world who is claiming to be our mother and sending a letter to us to come find her, there’s a pretty high chance that this isn’t a joke.” I say, starting to get a little eager for him to agree.
“I know, I know. It’s just…. nothing like this has ever happened to us before.” His voice is very low and sounds concerned. He is still in a stage of shock.
“I know but that’s why we have to follow this up. In a matter of days you could have your real mother back. I know it’s been 12 years since we have seen her but don’t you just want to be back with her?” I ask, anxiously waiting on his answer.
“Yes, I guess I do,” He confesses.
“Good,” I reply with relief, “Then we leave at dawn,”
“Tomorrow?” Josh asks in shock.
We go to sleep without a word, preparing ourselves for the journey to come. We will be travelling by foot for about 5 days then, we should have reached ‘5 Perain Road, Appleby’, the address attached to tiny letter. I toss and turn all night thinking then re-thinking my decision but in the end I know, deep down, that I must see my mother again.
We set foot as the sun rises the next morning. We trek up hills and across lands for three hours until we break. There isn’t much we need to carry. Our small food supply that should only just last us our trip, a few bottles to fill with water on the way, a change of clothes each and the letter. Shared amongst the two of us, the weight is nothing, nothing compared to our nerves and all the weight hanging on our shoulders.
The next few days are tough. Josh is on the verge of defeat but as his older brother, I know I have to stay strong, whatever the cost.
“Michael?” he calls from a little behind me. I slow down to match his pace. “What happens if this is all just a stupid joke?”
“It won’t be, I promise.” I comfort him.
Yeah, but what if it is? We trusted this just to get blown off. What next?”
Trust me Josh, everything will be fine.” I promise him.
“Ok,” and we die into silence. I can still see him bothered about it but I don’t bring it up. We keep walking.
There is only a few days left in our hike. We’ve travelled through bushland, desert land, and all-types-of-land. As much as we want to, we can’t give up now. With only a day left, we keep walking.
Today is the day. If I have this right, today we should get to see our mother. We arrive at a quiet city, not to many people. We stop by a fountain for some water. Sweet, sweet water that I have missed for days. With only little left, we had to become strict with it. We set into town, ready for what’s to come. I ask people around and show them the address that arrived at our door a week ago. They show us the directions and we follow them carefully. My nerves build up and I get quite jittery when we arrive in front of a large wooden door. I glance over at Josh and I can tell he’s having the same, tense experience. But deep down, I think we both know that this is our fate. We’ve both secretly been waiting for this for a long time and now, our wishes have come true. I slowly approach the entry, take my shaky fist and knock on the door three times. I hear footsteps approach the door. This is it.
With her feet anxiously tapping under her seat, a beautiful, slightly older woman anxiously and endlessly waits. Her nerves are swimming around her body as she imagines what she will say to her coming visitors. Her whole body is slightly shaking as she thinks about the milestone in her life that is about to take place. She stands up, nerves taking control now, and paces around the living room. She walks back and forth, back and forth about five times until she suddenly stops. There are three slow knocks at the door. The butterflies in her stomach erupt and her heart starts to flutter. She takes long, quick strides down the hallway and reaches her front door. Anxiety rises up through her body, but she pushes it, forces it back down. She takes two long, deep breaths then answers the door. The recognition is instant. The two boys standing in front of her are tall and starved but resemble each other in the strongest way.
She could recognize them from a mile away easily. Suddenly, her respectful, thought out speech vanishes from her mind. Out of control, she jumps forward, tears streaming down her eyes and embraces them tightly.
“My boys” is all she can sob out.