Lin’s legs gave way beneath her as her eyes scrolled over the unfamiliar handwriting for what must have been the hundredth time today.
Letting her arm drop to her side, the paper slipped from her fingers and drifted onto the floor. Over the last few days since the funeral, she had read the tattered letter so many time she knew it by heart. If not for the fact that this letter had been in a large manila envelope along with a note written to her in her father’s distinct handwriting, Roselin wouldn’t have believed it was for her. But it was.
She had been given the large envelope by her father’s attorney a few days after his death, along with the deed to the country house and the title to his 1957 T-Bird. She had always loved that old car, but now it brought tears to her eyes whenever she looked at it.
Roselin hadn’t looked at the contents of the envelope that first night. She didn’t know it would turn her life upside-down or she may not have opened it at all. But that was a moot point now. That first night, she had only glanced at it long enough to see it was addressed to her; to Rose. Her daddy always called her Rose… His little Rose. She went by Lin now. The nick-name her friends gave her in high school, but she has always love her daddy calling her “his Rose”.
Her eyes fixed again on the yellowed paper. She wiped the wet droplet from her cheek and leaned over to retrieve the letter once again. Staring at it through the watery haze, she read it one more time.
My dearest Karlie,
I don’t want to write this. I want to keep you with me. But that’s no longer safe.
I love you so much. I wish you could know that.
I may never see you again. But I’m hoping this will keep you safe.
Your father doesn’t want you, and I think he tried to… I can’t say it.
I’m going to take you to my brother’s field; by his house. I know he’ll find you there this evening. He is a loving and very special man. You’ll be safe with him. I’m sure he’ll take you in. I’m going to leave this note for you along with one for him.
I’m telling him to give this to you when he feels it’s time. I have to trust he will.
The blanket I’m wrapping you in was our baby blanket. We shared everything. Twins do that.
I know he’ll share my love for you too.
I want to come with you, but if I do, your father will track me down and kill me too.
This is getting too long and I have to hurry.
I love you my beautiful, sweet little girl. Please, please, PLEASE know that.
“Mommy? Oh Daddy, why didn’t you ever tell me?” A fresh flood of tears overtook her before her mind was assailed by a barrage of questions causing her tears to suddenly freeze inside of her.
“Was this letter supposed to answer questions?” Lin muttered to herself. “Well, it doesn’t,” her tone dripping with frustration.
Her mind flashed with first anger and then fear. Questions whirled through her faster than the blizzard snows were falling outside. Who was she? Karlie? How could that be? Wasn’t she her daddy’s? What did that one sentence mean? What was it? Lin searched the letter again looking for that one line that filled her with such terror.
There it was… “your father will track me down and kill me too.”
Too? Had he killed before?
Was her Mother still alive? And if not, was it this man’s fault. She refused to think of him as her father.
What was she supposed to do with all this new information?