Sophie sat at her desk in her small single room apartment and she had never felt more alone. The sky was gray and cloud coated outside her window and the droplets of rain running down the cold glass matched the tears running down her cheeks. She couldn't understand why she found herself how she was now. She sat curled up in a soft comfortable chair, a blanket draped around her bare shoulders and the only light in the room coming from the screen of her computer. When she really thought about it, Sophie Hall knew she had everything she wanted. She had her dream writer's job at the New Yorker and she had Charlie, the man she knew loved her more than anything. But now, as she sat in her dark apartment room listening to the sound of the rain pouring down, Sophie was alone and isolated away from the world.
Charlie was in Italy, thousands of miles away. Sophie missed him so terribly and she couldn't stop thinking about him. She wished she could be with him, but she was being held prisoner by two things. Work and weather. Bobby wanted a new story about the secretaries of Juliet by next week and the recent rain and gale force winds were stopping planes from taking off and landing. She wanted Charlie with her now, she didn't want him to be in sunny Italy with Claire and Lorenzo, she wanted him to be with her in her little New York apartment, holding her close in her hour of need.
Wiping her tear filled eyes with the soft corner of the blanket, Sophie peered up at the computer screen where a heartfelt email from Charlie was open. That was the first thing that caused the tears to rise in her big baby blue eyes and just made her miss him even more. But, the one thing that simply made her sob was what she was holding in her hand. A unopened letter. She didn't need to open it to know who it was from. She recognized the return address, but more importantly the name. Karen Parsons. Her mother. She hadn't heard from her mother for over ten years and now this letter appears out of the blue. She didn't know what to do, her hands shook and her shoulders heaved with her sobs. Sophie didn't want to open the letter but yet wanted to know why her mother had contacted her years after she had deserted her.
Sophie lent forward and grabbed the phone, clenching her hand around a photograph of her and Charlie that Claire had taken of them the day after the wedding. She shook, hitting his speed dial number and placing the phone to her ear as she pulled the blanket further around her. She bit down hard on her full lip as she listened to the ringing tone. "Come on Charlie, pick up please" She whispered through her tears. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, she heard that click, indicating that her beloved Charlie had finally picked up his phone.
"Hey my darling" Charlie said as he answered the phone, not expecting what he was about to hear. Instead of hearing Sophie's sweet and cheerful voice in reply to his happy greeting, he heard her chattering teeth and her heaving cries. The sound of her tears sent shivers down his spine, he could feel her pain, fear and confusion in every bone of his body and his heart began to beat faster in shock.
"Sophie, Soph my sweet" He said in a calm soothing voice trying to work his way through her tears to reach her. "Oh Sophie please, it's okay. Listen to me baby, calm down and tell me what is wrong". Sophie sniffled, breathing heavily down the phone as she tried to calm her self down, listening to Charlie's calming sweet nothings. Both of them were unsure how long this went on for. Eventually when he felt that she was calm enough to speak, Charlie started asking questions. How he wished he could be with her, holding her close and stroking her hair. "Sophie Hall, I love you so much, please tell me whats so wrong?"
"Oh Charlie" Sophie whimpered. "I'm scared, I've had a letter. A letter from my mom. I'm terrified to open it, what could she want? I haven't seen her or heard from her since I was nine"
Charlie was shocked. Whenever the break up of her family was mentioned, it was like Sophie went into shock. From working in the courtrooms, Charlie knew what this meant. Some great trauma in the past, something that she couldn't quite get over no matter how hard she tries. Charlie wanted to know what this was, so he could help her to get over it somehow or someway, but he didn't want to ask her and risk causing her more pain. He knew what this felt like, he couldn't get over the trauma of learning his parents had died and even though this had ripped his life apart he could tell that Sophie had been put through more pain and more trauma. He knew her mother left her because she didn't want her.
"A letter from your mom" He said, not knowing what to think. "Wow, I, I don't know what to say Sophie. Well, maybe she saw your story and thought she would get back in contact with you". What was he saying? Charlie couldn't believe that he had said that in a way that implied that her mother wanted to see her again and wrap her arms around her as if nothing had ever happened between them. He didn't know if he was simply being idiotic, or was his lawyers mindset taking over and trying to get her to confess what had happened to her in her troubled childhood.
"But why Charlie?" Sophie snapped. "It wasn't subtle, the way that she left. She didn't simply pack up her bags and leave one night whilst I slept. I don't understand, every time I think of her I see the monster I used to see as a little girl. I wasn't afraid of the monsters under the bed when I was a child, no I was afraid of her"