Got a letter from the mail today


Got a letter from the mail today

And I'm glad you're doing fine

You tell me you're missing me

And it's cold in New York City

Piper folded the worn letter and inserted it back in its envelope. It had only been twelve hours since it arrived, and already the paper was fit to tear at the number of times it had been refolded and read and passed around.

"Mommy, can I see it again?" the small voice piped in.

She glanced down at the little girl, whose eyes were only visible since it was only until that point that she passed the tabletop. "Sure, honey," Piper answered, and handed her the letter. "I'm sure Hazel would like to see it too."

"Hazel can't read yet, mommy. She's just two!"

Piper smiled down at Melinda and knelt. And then she tucked the little girl's hair beneath her ear and kissed her on the nose. "Well that makes it your job to read daddy's letter to her. Because otherwise, she might forget daddy."

"I can't read well, mommy. What if Tina snatches the letter away again? She keeps doing that, mommy. Tell her to stop!"

"If Tina snatches daddy's letter again, tell her she can have her turn later after you. But don't yet at her, Melinda. Tina's very sad. Daddy didn't come home for her birthday, you know, even though he promised he would."

"Okay, mommy," Melinda mumbled before clutching the envelope to her chest and running upstairs.

Piper opened the drawer and drew out a pen and some sheets of paper. She sat down before the counter and began to write.

Well me, and the girls, we're alright

Thinkin' about you night after night

And if you feel the same way too

Just imagine me whispering to you…

She dropped the pen and pushed away from the counter, knowing that at some point the tears would overflow. It cannot be fair that they had to be parted like this. It cannot be fair to their daughters, and neither was it fair to the two of them.

When they had agreed to clip his wings, she and her husband were grateful. There was not much they asked for. Immediately they had agreed to let him go. The first few days with him as a mortal father were heaven. He spent all his daylight hours with the girls and his nights with her. Until they took him away one night and asked for a final mission.

Everyday I'll always love you

Everyday I'm always thinkin' of you

Everyday's another lonely day without you

"No, Leo! We're free of them! They can't send you away just like that," she had argued when he told her about the meeting.

"I know that. They're not requiring me to, Piper. They are requesting. There's no other whitelighter available for the job."

"Well there really isn't, Leo, because you're not a whitelighter any longer," she cried. He drew her into his arms and embraced her tight. "They can't send you to all those dangers because you're not their whitelighter anymore. You're my husband. And you're a father."

"I was a husband and a father a month ago, Piper, and you let me perform my duties."

"Those aren't your duties anymore. I don't want you to go. You can't protect yourself there. They're stripped your powers."

"I have to help," he mumbled into her hair. "I can't play and enjoy with you and the kids when I know other people are in danger and I'm not helping. They need my experience, my knowledge. Please, Piper. I'll only be gone for a while. I'll be right back."

Everyday you're here beside me

Everyday I'm always dreaming of you

Everyday I will be right here waiting for you

Everyday I'll always love you

I'm always thinking of you

I want you beside me

"Mommy, mommy!" Melinda called out to her from the top of the stairs. Piper placed the stack of dishes on the sink and hurried to her daughter. "Tina's trying to take daddy's letter again. I'm not finished reading it."

Piper heard the other girl's mournful weeping and said, "I'll be right there, sweethearts. Mommy's gonna go up now. Don't fight ok?" She returned to the kitchen and removed her apron, washed her hands.

"I just want to see daddy's letter!" Tina screamed.

"Well you can't see it til I'm finished!" Melinda retorted.

Piper took Hazel up in her arms and gently rocked her. "Girls, don't fight over it. Daddy loves you all. He won't like it if you fight over that. Give it to me." Melinda pouted and handed the letter to Piper. "Now go on to mommy and daddy's bedroom. We're all sleeping there tonight. And I'll read you the letter and we'll all sleep with the letter."

"Okay, mommy." She placed the three in bed and switched off the light. And then Piper changed into her pajamas and snuggled in the center. The three automatically rolled onto her. Melinda threw her leg over Piper's. On her other side, Tina squeezed on top of her arm. Hazel scampered on top of Piper and laid her head heavily on her mother's breast. "Read us what daddy says, mommy."

"To my darling Melinda," Piper began. "You're the eldest, so I hope you're taking care of Hazel and Tina and mommy. I trust you and I know you won't start any fights. Dear Tina, I wanted to be there so much when my young woman turned four, but daddy couldn't make it. I'm sorry. We'll celebrate again when I'm home. Hazel, keep growing, baby. Daddy always remembers you, and daddy will bring home a nice stuffed dolly you can sleep with at night, so you don't wake mommy and daddy by crawling in between us at dawn." Piper's voice lulled the three into a peaceful sleep, and she placed a kiss on each of their foreheads. She took a deep breath and stared back at the piece of paper, where it only said, "Piper, I count the days until I'm back with my family. There's not a day when I don't wish I never left you four. But I hope you understand why I needed to go. Keep the girls safe and close to your heart, because they are haunting mine."

Piper placed the Piper on the side table and closed her eyes, knowing sleep would not come until before morning.

It's another long and sleepless night

And thoughts run through my mind

Guess I'm just feeling lonely

It's been so empty since you've been gone

She could hardly breathe. Hazel was getting heavy. She was not a baby anymore. Melinda and Tina squeezed her from both sides. But Piper did not move. It was rare to have them all with her, quiet and peaceful like this. Leo loved these moments when the girls all converged on him. Soon. Soon she's watch them lie like this, and see the utter joy on her husband's face as the girls became his babies once again.

I'll be holdin' on for it won't be long

I'll be counting the days til I see you home

I know you feel the way I do

So just remember these words I'll say

The phone rang mutedly. The red light caught her eye. Careful not to wake the girls, Piper reached out and grabbed the receiver. "Hello?" The line was faint, and she could hardly hear him, but she knew what he needed to hear.

Everyday I'll always love you

Everyday I'm always thinkin' of you

Everyday's another lonely day without you

Everyday you're here beside me

Everyday I'm always dreaming of you

Everyday I will be waitin' for you