The 16 of August 1974 – Shenandoah, Pennsylvania

(found buried in a spinster’s sock drawer; amongst a collection kept in a folder which was labeled “If I Had The Courage”)

George, oh George, I can’t apologize enough.

George, oh, can you forgive me?

I saw another man, George. I was down at the grocery store and I saw another man. I never met him before. I never met him and I never will again. I promise, George, I do. Just please forgive me.

He knew what he was doing. I know he did. I turned into the cereal aisle with my cart and he stood there with his, empty except for a carton of instant oatmeal. And he just stood there, George, he stood right in front of the raisin bran with one hand tucked in his back pocket and the other resting right below his chin.

He had a flannel shirt on, a plaid flannel shirt. He had it tucked into his jeans, and he had left the top two buttons undone. I couldn’t help but stare, George. I couldn’t help but shudder.

I only needed a box of corn flakes, and those were all the way down at the other end of the aisle. I could have turned around, George, and I’m so sorry that I didn’t. I could have turned around and just avoided that man altogether.

But, George, I didn’t. I walked right past him. I wanted to.

I almost made it by without him noticing, but he did. He looked over at me and he smiled. He waved and he said that he didn’t think we’d met before. George, we hadn’t met before. I’m sure of it.

We chatted for a few minutes, about how he had just moved to town, his job and my job and all of those things. George, it was only a few minutes because I said I had to get going and he said that he did too. So we went off our separate ways.

But just before he went he stopped and said goodbye. He looked into my eyes, and he looked so interested. His eyes, shining, icy, blue eyes, were so interested. They were so sinister in their interest.

I would be lying, George, if I didn’t admit it. I felt so warm in that moment. I felt so relieved. It didn’t last long, though. Soon after I felt terrified and cold.

He pushed you out of my head, George. For just a second, he pushed you out. His face filled my mind and he pushed you right out of his way. I let him push you away.

I’m sorry, George. I won’t let it happen again. I really won’t.

With love,

Thinking of you,

Sincerely,

Donna

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