The Green Envelope
[SFX: phone ringing]
– Is this Mark Lecter?
– Yes. How can i help you?
– You always want to help … This is Jane Hackelby speaking.
– Oh God, did you send a hitman to put a bullet in my head and wanted to hear my die?!
– No! I want to talk to you, please come see me.
Mrs.Hackelby to say that? Her tone was so calm and friendly, no more mrs. wise woman.
– Alright Mrs.Hackelby, i will get there.
I drove to “Thousand Oaks”, past the huge metal gate along the road with the old oaks right in front the entrance.
At the reception, Dorothy was looking at me sitting with the elbows on the counter. I went to her and took her hands in mine.
– I promise you i’ll be a good boy.
– I know …
Got at the entrance of her room, again a deep breath and i knocked.
– Come in.
– Hello Mrs.Hackelby.
– Hello Mark. Come sit here with me.
I don’t know why but my heart was bumping out of my chest. I always thought there’s something special about Mrs.Hackelby, i kind of liked her. I was sitting on the bed with her, she didn’t lose time, she gave me the green envelope. I took it in my hands like it was some sort of ancient artifact but it was an old regular green envelope with a “Please do not open” written on it.
– Mark, you can open it and read it.
– Are you sure you want me to do that?
– I wish i was sure in more important cross roads in my life.
I can’t believe you told me those words, you know i love you and i know you love me, i told you that, you told me that. I can’t understand why do you want to stay in that prison cell you called marriage, you can’t be serious. We made plans but you went back, were you serious? Our moments together was the biggest mistake?
Questions, questions, those questions are killing second by second but at least you looked me in my eyes when you said we will never see each other again.
You killed my world … but i respect your choice and in a parallel world maybe we shouldn’t have fallen in love with each other, you are a married woman, you have a wonderful little boy, maybe this is our destiny, this is my doom.
I’m living the harbor tomorrow at noon, i will wait for you on the deck.
You are the biggest love of my life and i will always love you even after i’ll leave the earth, we are meant to be together and we’ll always be together.
– I didn’t went to the docks …
– And this was my doom. This was the decision that ruined my life and of others …
– What are you saying, a bad decision will result in a bad life only if you don’t see the next cross road.
– You think so?
– Believe so! … Can i ask you why?
– Why what?
– Why didn’t you go with him?
– Weakness, fear … and the stupid outlines … i remembered how it all started …
[Many, many years ago]
Gerard Hackelby was a young man in his 30’s coming from the wealthier family in town, he was not ugly but not handsome, not chasing after girls, a little shy, not very educated but very anchored in his father’s business. His only problem, by their parents was that he didn’t gave any signs he wants to get married. Mother and father talked this problem for years but in the last period of time they were like crazy on him. Every night they sat at the fireplace reading or listening to music.
– Gerard my son. Do you know Glenda Wilson?
– Yes mom, i know Glenda Wilson, she’ll get married soon.
– You knew about this?!
– No, but everytime you brought up a girl to the discussion, she married recently or she is about to get married.
– And that should make you think my son.
Father backed her up.
– You know Gerard, the business we have is a family business, your mother and i worked very hard and only together we could get all this around us. All the good girls are taken and you’ll feel very sorry when you’ll wonder alone around town. You should get a wife and have kids, that’s the way it is boy.
Gerard couldn’t take it no more, they were killing him with the marriage business and in this psychological war he decided he can only do one thing … go fishing.
He was sitting on the docks thinking about all the things his parents said to him, he just wanted to take care of the business and to go fishing.
But if someone is constantly bombarding you with something, you know, the chinese water torture, in the end, your gate went down, your will crumbles and you give up. The conclusion was simple and expected, he have to do anything to get married.
Another day fishing after work, made a list of all the girls in town and started to cut the ones that are not available.
Surprise, the list ended with all the names cut off.
He went fishing again and suddenly he realized that every time he went fishing, there, on the docks, there was this girl painting, she was there that day.
– Very nice painting, very realistic.
– Oh! You scared me …
– I am very sorry … I am Gerard Hackelby.
– Delighted, i am Jane Gibson.
– I was looking at you every time [author note: LIAR ! ] i went fishing and you were here painting, i always wanted to see what are you working on.
– Here it is, hope you like my paintings, i have the most fulfilling time when i paint, i consider this my life. What do you like to do?
– Me? I just run side by side with my father the family business and fishing when i can.
– What do you enjoy more?
– Hmmm, making money i guess.
Gerard was sincere and innocent in his way and he started to like Jane as they spent more time together. He was really kind to her and overwhelmed her with presents, flowers, fine chocolate, and expensive jewellery, she gave him spontaneity and thought him a little how creativity can boost the business. He wanted to spend more and more time with her so she got away from painting, this thing bothered her but they were having a good time and that was all that mattered.
They got married, but not after the tables have turned and Gerard convinced his parents that he has to marry Jane even she came for a normal family. In the end, they didn’t said know, in fact it was Gerard’s only chance, they hated Jane but said yes.
A few months later, Jane was pregnant and Gerard started a crusade that started to destroy Jane little by little.
– Jane, we will have a child together, don’t you think you should try and let go of this painting you are doing and concentrate more on the family?
Another few months later, they had a little boy, they were happy, Gerard continued his crusade.
– Jane, we have a child now, we must focus on the family, i think you should grow up and let this painting child’s play.
Jane was a very good mother maybe because of her creativity but her attempts to paint were always cut off. This went on for years, she started to close her from the world, she turned sad, she didn’t communicate with her friends anymore and focused only on raising the kid, a thing she would have done anyway with the greatest responsibility you would see in a mother.
She tried to talk to Gerard several times but he was so strict and so bound to his principles, nothing made him consider alternatives, in all he did, he was sure it’s the only way to do and in all she did, she was not doing it right.
One weekend, the little boy was with the grand parents on a three month trip at the summer house by the ocean, and they had this huge argument, she was so upset, she went to her room and painted the most wonderful and intriguing painting she ever made.
She felt this was her greatest work that far and begged her husband to let her and the painting be part of the annual art exhibition in the country.
He said yes, not because he was alright with that, but because she was so determined and he felt that to the bones.
As expected, she won the great prize, a month and a half cruise on board the great ship “Splendor”, plus a painting course.
Again she felt it in her heart that she has to go, the kid was alright with the grand parents …
She was for the second time really happy after the boy’s birth.