The letter in her hand shook so violently Kendall was unsure if it was a living, breathing thing or if she were just that anxious about its contents. Tears blurring her vision, she ran her fingertips over the address written on the envelope, a shuddery sob nearly bursting from her chest.
Heaving a huge sigh, she slipped a fingernail under the flap and opened the envelope. Tears blurring her vision again, she unfolded the letter and saw Greenlee's unmistakable handwriting. Suddenly, she wasn't sure if she wanted to read the letter. Or if she was ready to. Not having Greenlee in her life was the most painful thing she'd ever experienced, only second to watching Bianca suffer through the loss of her child. If the letter in her hands contained more vitriol and angry words from the one woman she considered the best friend she'd ever had, Kendall didn't know if she'd be able to stand it.
Another deep breath and she began to read.
Well, where to start? Once I decided to write this letter and tried to put pen to paper, my mind went completely blank. Okay, how's this? I bet you never thought you'd hear from me ever again, huh?
Well, I'm not writing to apologize, so don't get your skinny ass hopes up. I'm writing to tell you- hell, I don't know why I'm writing other than I miss my best friend…
Kendall sobbed suddenly. "I miss my best friend, too," she whispered hoarsely.
Okay, maybe I do know why I'm writing. I've had some time to think about everything that happened and I've come to a couple of conclusions. One of those conclusions is I know, and I knew even then, that you did what you did out of love. You don't have it in you to hurt those you love, Kendall, and once I was able to get away from there and sit down with my thoughts, I realized this. You did what you thought would make me happy and I cannot fathom the selflessness that must have taken.
You're probably wondering what prompted this letter, aren't you? Well, you see, after I left Pine Valley, I made my way to Paris. Since Ryan's stupid stunt, I needed to find something that I could count on and I knew I could count on the memory of Leo. So I went to Paris to feel Leo with me. To feel his love and his patience and his courage.
Wiping away her tears, Kendall thought of Greenlee's love for Leo. And how Ryan's supposed 'death' was so devastating to Greenlee, reminding her of how she'd felt when Leo had died. And how being widowed twice had virtually destroyed her. Once more, Kendall damned Ryan for his callousness and blatant thoughtlessness. In all honesty, the loss of her best friend was, whether directly or indirectly, a hundred percent Mr. Lavery's fault. The loss of Greenlee's faith in family and friends had been crushed by Ryan's actions.
But that's not what urged me to write. No, I know what you're thinking and I did find what I was looking for when I went to France in search of Leo's spirit. But that's not what happened. What happened is… I ran into Bianca and Maggie.
"What!?" Kendall exclaimed, ready to lay into her sister for failing to inform her of the encounter. Greenlee's next words quickly cooled Kendall's ire.
They didn't see me, so don't get all up in Bianca's face for not telling you about it. No, I saw them one day, pushing Miranda's stroller through Montmartre and acting all giggly and happy. They were such an adorable little nuclear family. Mamma… baby…… Maggie…
But they were so happy. And I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like if it were us in their place. Visiting the beautiful cities of the world with the baby, soaking up the culture, learning the history of how those cities were born… shopping in expensive little boutiques all over Europe…
Sorry, got off track there for a minute. The image of you dancing through a Manolo Blahnick store just popped into my head. Or have you had to switch to ugly orthopaedic shoes because of the pregnancy? I'm not sure what would be funnier, you practically having an orgasm in a Manolo store or you wearing those ugly old lady shoes because your back hurts.
Cocking an eye-brow, Kendall glanced down at her low-heel sandals. At least they were Stuart Weitzman's…
But back to Bianca and Maggie… Anyway, I followed them to this little sidewalk café near the Bastille. (I know, pretty stalkerish of me, huh?) I watched them sit and have lunch, talking, laughing, feeding Miranda and glowing like two extremely proud parents. I'm happy for Bianca, you know, having finally gotten what she so obviously wanted for so long. That being Maggie. I think Binks picked pretty well. There's something about that family, huh? Leo and Maggie… And I always figured Maggie's arrow was a little bent, at least where Bianca was concerned.
So, there they were, eating sandwiches, drinking Orangina, feeding Miranda bites of croissant, trying like hell to keep their eyes off each other, smiling and blushing when they were caught. Ah, young love… makes you want to puke sometimes, doesn't it? But they had each other and they had Bianca's child and they were so maddeningly happy that I cried. I cried. That could have been us, Kendall. It should have been us. Well, not the goo-goo eyes and sex the minute Miranda went down for her nap stuff because… eww. But everything else. Two best friends raising a child, enjoying each other's company. Knowing you'd see that person every morning, being there for each good night.
Again tears flooded over Kendall's lashes, knowing exactly how Greenlee felt. They used to talk every day and every night. When they weren't spending the night at each other's place, they were at least talking on the phone. Cocking her head slightly, Kendall imagined she could hear Greenlee's voice, reminding her again about taking her vitamins or that the movie she picked out for them to watch had been atrocious. "It's like watching Armageddon!" Kendall whispered, remembering Greenlee's favorite line after a particularly horrid flick.
And I sat there watching them. And I cried some more because so much was wrong. I actually took my phone out of my purse and dialed your number, just to hear your voice. But then I remembered my anger and I put the phone away. It took me awhile, though, to realize that holding on to that anger was making me crazy. It certainly wasn't doing me any good. I didn't have my best friend, I didn't have my child and being angry at the world didn't change anything. I think I began to heal a little that day. And I realized just how much I missed my life, family and friends in Pine Valley. Not enough to come home, mind you, but enough to take a look at myself and try to leave this anger and pain behind me.
The tears were flowing steadily now, Kendall's heart beating painfully in her chest to know she'd come so close to having Greenlee's voice in her ear once again. And so happy that Greenlee was finally starting to heal from the devastation that had been done to her life.
So, that was my second conclusion. I couldn't let this anger control my life any more. Being angry just gave you and Ryan and all that crap power over me. You, I realized, I don't mind so much. Ryan? Well, all Ryan needs is thinking he has even more power than what those boobs in Pine Valley have already given him. So… is he Pope yet?
Kendall snorted, quickly putting her fingers to her lips to hold back any further laughter. Looked like Greenlee had been able to get over Ryan, after all.
Well, that's the point of this letter. I guess. Did it make any sense to you? Because, man, now I'm confused…See what thinking about some curly-headed walking stick does to me? Oh, yeah, that reminds me. Please, tell me you've eaten better since I left. A handful of alfalfa sprouts and some bean curd can't be healthy for the baby…Maybe Zach has been able to force you to eat some real food.
"I eat right," Kendall muttered indignantly. "Little busybody…"
I'm just thinking about your health, Kendall, and the baby's. Don't get all snippy, because I can imagine you sitting there accusing me of being some kind of busybody.
Anyway don't try to find me. I realize the postmark says London, but by the time this reaches you, I'll be gone from there. Save Zach's resources for something better, like raising your child in a happy and healthy environment there in Pine Valley. Yeah, I know, that's kind of an oxymoron, isn't it? Trying to be happy and healthy and living in Pine Valley…
Anyway, the point of this letter is, I miss you, Kendall. I miss you and I love you. And maybe someday I'll be able to see you and tell you that in person. Who knows?
Please take care of yourself and our child.
Finally letting go, Kendall burst into tears. She held the letter to her chest, as if she could absorb Greenlee's words into her heart, missing her best friend even more than she ever thought possible.
On impulse, she pulled out her cell phone and dialed Greenlee's number. Her finger hovered over the send button for a good five minutes before she sighed and closed the phone. This letter had been a huge step for Greenlee and Kendall realized that this needed to be done on her timetable. One day, the phone would ring and she would hear Greenlee's voice once more, snarky and rude, and Kendall would cherish every moment of it.
Sucking in a deep shuddering breath, Kendall looked down at the letter once more and burst out laughing.
P.S. Sorry about the whole Babe thing, but that's just how pissed I was at you How's that working out for you?