The Dear John
Every morning on the way out of the apartment Jessica would rush to look in the mailbox. She was desperate to hear from her new boyfriend. They’d met in a bar six weeks ago but they’d only had a few days together before he went travelling. He’d promised to keep in touch and she couldn’t wait for him to come back. Her flatmate Karen was sick of hearing how perfect he was and sick of seeing Jess constantly on her phone sending him messages.
‘Stop running after that guy, Jess. He hasn’t been in touch so he obviously doesn’t feel the same about you. Put it down to experience and forget him.’
Jessica swooped on an envelope amongst the free leaflets.
‘Look, here’s a letter! I told you he’d be in touch.’ She did a little jig of happiness.
‘Better late than never.’ Karen was not convinced.
But Jessica was ecstatic. ‘It’s so romantic to get a letter, much better than an email.’
‘But he hasn’t even sent you an email, has he? Romantic or otherwise.’
‘I told you he’s been travelling. He’s probably not been able to get online.’ Jessica was turning the envelope over and over in her hands, delaying the moment. Then she ripped it open and unfolded the single sheet of paper inside.
‘OK, so what’s it say? Is he asking you to marry him the minute he gets back? Do I have to start looking for a new flatmate?’
‘Oh no!’ Jessica’s eyes filled with tears.
‘What’s wrong? What’s he got to say for himself?’
‘He says … he says not to keep sending him emails. Bastard!’
Karen refrained from saying I told you so. She put an arm round Jess’s shoulder and said: ‘They’re all bastards, Jessica. You’ll learn.’
© Elaine Peters