The Envelope

I ran after the trash blowing in the wind down the path at the back of my house.  I picked up as much trash as possible  while cramming it into another trash bag as I surveyed the bushes on each side of me.  It seemed like I was the only one who ever took the trash out to be picked up by the trash men.  My husband certainly did not.  He was on another one of his working trips far from home.

The wind howled again as another gust blew papers and a dirty coffee filter further down the trail.  I am going to be late for work, I thought.  I do not have time for this today!  I kept on though.  I just did not want to leave the path strewn with papers and banana peels.  It just wasn’t right.

trash blowing

Finally I retrieved the rest of the trash in a pile of dry leaves swirling  in the wind.  I looked up and there on the tree in front of me was an envelope plastered against the trunk, blown there from the wind.  I went over to the tree and snatched at the envelope realizing that it was not my name on the front, but my husband’s.  Something  inexplicable drew me to this envelope.

I knew that I should not open this envelope as it was not mine; but in spite of this, I tore it open anyway.  It was a credit card receipt for the Motel 6 down the road.  My husband had gotten a king size bed for two and a full bar with room service last Saturday night.  The total of the bill came to $225.79.

I looked at the name on the receipt again and again.   Time seemed to slow down and stand still.  The name and credit card information was my husband’s!  I wrestled with this new bit of information.  He had been out of town last Saturday – working.  Again.

Now I knew the truth.  He had been cheating on me!  I felt like I could not breathe and I gasped for air.  I read the receipt over and over again.  Tears flowed from my eyes.  This hurt was deep.  I felt raw and exposed while these naked emotions shook me.  I just stood there with the wind blowing the remaining bits of trash around me in a circle.


My cell phone rang shrilly in my pocket.  I answered the best I could with tears streaming down my face.  My voice was cloaked with emotion.  It was the Highway Patrol.  They regretted to inform me that my husband had been killed in a car wreck on the interstate yesterday.  They had tried to reach me this morning however, no one was home.

I thanked the officer on the phone and just stood there, rooted to the ground.  My husband was gone. Dead! Killed in a car crash.  If I had not found that motel receipt I would have never known what a cheating, lying, bastard I had married.

I tore up the motel receipt into tiny shreds and let the wind carry them away from me.  I wished I had never opened that envelope.  I walked toward my house, all the while mentally preparing myself to plan a funeral for a cheater.

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved

Thanks for visiting!  This short story was part of my Writing 101 assignment and is around 550 words:

“You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.”


Silver Threading

21 thoughts on “The Envelope

    1. Thank you! Oh yeah that would have been the worst… LOL! Glad you liked it. 🙂


    1. Glad you enjoyed it. The assignments in writing 101 have been really fun.


  1. You have no idea how wide my eyes got when I read this. I’m so relieved it’s fiction! Great writing. I’m on the edge of my seat and have to know the rest of the story!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow thank you for the compliments! I love these writing opportunities. You never know how it will go until someone reads it. You made my day. Thank you. ♡

      Liked by 1 person

  2. At first I thought this was about you and then, when you found the receipt I knew it was fiction. I really enjoyed this Colleen. You write so well. More of these please. Have a great day. x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You had me hooked all the way until the end, Colleen. I could not believe what you were telling us having seen all the happy posts about your family and husband over the last few weeks, then I wondered if you had been married before?
    A great piece of fiction that is very convincing.


    1. I love writing in this contrary fashion. I try to put myself into the fictional character, throw in a bunch of crazy events and see what happens. I do the same thing with my poetry. I am glad you liked it. I like the limit on words too. Makes my writing more meaningful. This is a great Chapter One, don’t you think? I am very happily married. I think that helps my writing. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoyed this. You kept it succinct but gave us lots of details. It moved right along and everything fit together so nicely. I love the last line!


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