Unanswered letters

Disclaimer: I'm in the Caribbean, with a cocktail, smoking a cigar and commenting on how successful my comedy genius is. Or, if that illusion doesn't suit, i'm a yr 12 student, procrastinating, sweating over a computer and crying hopelessly because Noel Fielding and Julain Barratt own the Boosh... are the Boosh. Lucky #&!!

It was a month before the first letter came. I'm not sure what took him so long. Was it a month to pluck up the courage? Or a month to think of what to say? Either way the first letter arrived exactly month after I left.

I still remember what it felt like, how strange it was. How odd I felt holding it, wondering what it said. It wasn't long, I could tell by how light it was. No more than one sheet of paper.

It took me three days to decide what to do with it.

I send it back on the Thursday.

On the Monday a second letter came. This one was heavier than the first. More to say? He'd had more the think about, surely.

Either way, I sent that one back on the Wednesday.

I nearly opened the third when it came. I split the corner. A tiny tear, but it was enough for my courage to dissipate and the old anger to resurface. I sent that one back that same day.

I did the same with the fourth when it came. Every Monday a letter came, every Tuesday I sent it back.

Forty eight weeks, forty eight letters. I sent each one back. By then I wasn't even sure why he kept writing. By then, I wasn't sure why I couldn't bring myself to listen.

Then, on the forty ninth week since that first letter came, another came. One that I wasn't expecting. A letter so much lighter than the ten pagers Vince had been sending, it could only have been one page maximum. A letter addressed in a different hand.

Naboo's hand.

It was so different, so out of the blue, I kept it. Apprehensive about why after so long Vince had finally stopped writing, apprehensive about what Naboo would have to say instead. So I put it on the shelf. Every intention of reading it.

One day.

I knew that it was probably a letter to berate me, tell me about what a berk I was, which was fair enough. Vince had shown me in the twelve months since I'd left that he did miss me. Vince had always been the type of person who couldn't stick to one single thing for long. He was like a magpie, moving from one shiny thing to another. I had been the only constant in his life, and then I left and he still wanted me to be the only constant. He kept trying, trying to bring me back.

But id ignored him. In my anger I let him stew and now he'd given up.

So I kept the letter. Placing it on the bookcase with my birth certificate and the deeds to the house. There it stayed. I'd get it down once in a while. Once a month, just to look at it, think it over. But then I'd get a feeling in the bottom of my stomach that felt strangely like guilt and the letter would go back to the shelf and I'd try and forget about it once more.

But then the next month would come, the fifth, always the fifth, and then I'd get it back down.

But it always went back.

Until today.

Like usual I checked the mail, tea in one hand, chewing on the last of my toast.

I had four things, a notice from the bank, a bill, postcard from France and a letter. I opened it. Ignorant of where it had come from. Until I looked at the handwriting. Naboo's handwriting.

I froze. My name staring up at me. I swallowed, my throat contracting as I did so. I closed my eyes, inhaling deeply. Opening them I looked down at the page apprehensively. It was definitely Naboo's handwriting. Crossing the room I sat on the edge of the couch. The inside frame sticking into my butt painfully. I didn't want to be comfortable. The letter in my hands was bad enough, it felt like it burned. It had been close to two years since I'd last seen Naboo. In two days time it would be a year since his last letter came.

Apprehensive I looked down at the page.

Howard,

I'm not sure why I'm doing this. I know for a fact that you haven't visited. It's been a year on the fifth and you still haven't visited him. You're a ballbag.

Anyway, if you didn't notice in the paper, there was a fire in the shop a couple of weeks ago. We didn't lose much. What we did was precious though. Bollo's going mental. Anyway, a couple of us are getting together and you can come if you want. It's up to you. IF you do come, bring some photos. I need to copy them for Bollo. We're meeting at nine thirty – at the shop.

Naboo.

I looked up, slightly more confused at the letters contents than my own courage in reading what Naboo had to say. He wanted to meet. I had to bring photos. It had been a year on the fifth.

Now that confused me. It had been two years on the fifth. Not a year. The only thing that had come on the fifth, exactly a year ago was…

I looked up, my eyes automatically finding the letter on the bookcase.

The letter. The only thing that had happened exactly a year ago on the fifth was that damn letter. More nervous than before I walked the eight steps across the room and plucked it off its shelf.

My name stared up at me again. Pressed harder into the paper than usual. I'd scrutinised it long enough to have guessed already the contents were bad. That the hard pressure on the page bode Ill and the short nature of it only made it worse. I was definitely expecting a yelling at. Sliding my finger into the tiny tear on the envelope I tore it. The faint scent of the shop wafted into the room. Some old spices, dust but the scent was somewhat lacking. It only took me a second to guess that it was the fruity scent that continually surrounded Vince that was missing. My heart thumped painfully at mention of his name.

Pulling out the paper I took a deep breath before unfolding it.

I was going to need all the strength I could get.

Howard, you ballbag!

I don't know what he saw in you!

After all this time I've been waiting for him to wake up. To see he could do it without you. He never did. He pined for you when he should have been getting better. He should have focussed on himself, but you wouldn't let him.

He died this morning.

Last thing he asked was about you. I didn't have the heart to tell him the letter came back. But he knew. He always knew.

This all would have been different if you'd listened.

If you'd just bloody listened, you berk, everything might have been different.

He deserved better. You should come to the funeral at least. It'll be in the paper. But just a warning Howard. Come near me and Bollo again and Bollo will rip your arms off. And I'll let him.

Naboo.

The world reeled. A rhythmic sound, a steady beat echoed. Rippling through the air – the only sound I could hear. It drowned out everything else. The only thing I could see was the letter. It fell from my fingers. They were numb. My whole body felt heavy.

Boom.

The letter took an age to fall.

He pined for you…

Boom.

If you'd bloody listened…

Boom.

It's been a year.

Boom

I know for a fact you haven't visited.

Boom.

He deserved better.

Boom.

Vince died this morning…

Boom.

Last thing he asked was about you…

Boom.

I looked up, tears rolling down my face. The sound echoing.

Vince died this morning… the fifth…

That's when I knew. The sound was a heartbeat – mine. I leapt off the couch, my feet moving away from the letter. Open and discarded on the floor. It's contents burned into my brain.

He pined for you… should have focussed on himself… he deserved better…

He was dead.

That's why he stopped writing.

"Vince." I whispered. The sound escaping my lips in a strangled sob. I didn't hear it. The sound of my own heart beat still reverberating in my head.

Boom.

Vince…

There we go, chapter one. I'm both hopelessly in love and desperately hate this story. So it will definately continue and we'll see whether i can manage to complete something that isn't a one shot. Angst is definately my forte, so this (i hope :P) will only make you cry. I'll try and get chapter two up soon, dont count on a two day split though... i have my HSC coming up in like... 6 weeks, so AHHHHHHH! but this fic will keep going as is. And no, i am NOT going to write all 48 of Vince's letters... that would be insane, even for me. But there will be a couple in here. Later... i think. :P and if not, maybe a spin off fic. :P

Anyway, enough rambling from mwah, i hope you 'enjoy' this, and i'm sorry to the boys, hopefully Vince and Howard get a far better ending than the one's that i come up with... although, some of them are quite ahem fun. XD

Captain Jacq