As the last page slips into the tray she gathers the pile up, straightens them up, and lays them down on her desk. She sits awhile just looking at them and not thinking a whole lot about anything much. For the moment the "what if" game is being silent and her thoughts are wispy things that have no substance.
She reaches over and takes the single white envelope from the edge of the desk and writes an address on it and then her own. She picks up the papers and starts to slide them inside...but hesitates. After a moment she sits back with the papers and once again begins to read what she has written...though she has read it many times already. It has been a long time in coming....making the journey from the darkest recesses of her mind to the white pristine papers in her printer.
As each word of each line skims across her vision her mind instantly plays out the scenes of her life; the good, the not so good, and the ones she wishes she could forget, but of course, that will never happen. Some things are with you forever.
She reaches the end and once again straightens the pages into an orderly pile....and slips them into the waiting envelope. Along with the papers she inserts her hopes and dreams that within these pages her future lies. That the events of her life will finally have meaning because to believe it had none is more than she can bear.
She lays the envelope down while she dresses but can't help looking over now and then...and realizes the power that is contained within those pages. The power to change her life...the thought frightens her nearly as much as it sparks a bright light of hope within her heart.
She slips on her jacket and collects her keys then walks over and stands in front of her desk looking down. The sudden urge to just chuck the whole thing in the garbage can at her feet is so strong she realizes her hand is already reaching out to do just that before she can stop it...she snatches it back and takes a deep breath. A small pep talk was in order...and she gives it and listens patiently to it before grabbing the envelope quickly and heads for the door.
As she sits in her car she tosses it carelessly into the passenger seat...almost as an after thought. If she dwells too long on its importance she feels she will lose herself in the enormity of what she is about to do...and of course back out while she still can. Backing out is NOT an option...just start the car and get moving.
Traffic is sufficient to require concentration but she still manages to steal a glance or two at the seat next to her. The closer she gets to her destination the harder her heart pounds until eventually she can hear neither the sounds of traffic nor the negative voice in her head that has been her constant companion these long lonely years.
She pulls up into the parking lot and snatches it up and quickly enters the building as if the hounds of hell are on her heels. She can't help but glance over her shoulder...just to make sure it IS just her imagination.
She arrives at the counter and thrusts the envelope that contains her life at the surprised employee. Almost instantly she starts to grab it back as if discovering her child in the arms of a stranger. She catches herself and steps back from the counter and plasters a smile on her face to put the cautious employee at ease...or so she hopes.
Uhm....can I help you, he asks.
Yes...I would like to send that by registered mail...she answers quickly. She is pretty sure she sounds normal...at least to her ears...though they are full of the sound of her beating heart.
Ok...fill out this paperwork and that will be $6.80...and it should be there by Thursday, he says as he places a sticker on her life and sets it behind him on the outgoing mail shelf. She looks at it sitting there and can't help but imagine the little adventure it is about to embark on. Once again the analogy of a child comes to mind...her child is venturing out into the world and she won't be there to keep it safe. Her heart not only pounds but squeezes too with pain and trepidation.
She quickly looks away before the tears that threaten start to fall. You would think she had just laid baby Moses in a basket preparing to push him off into the unknown waters the way she felt.
She fills out the paper work and pays the fee then turns to walk away. She can't help but look one more time at her hope for the future lying there so innocently on the shelf. Such power in that envelope...she is amazed there isn't some sign, almost biblical in nature, that would indicate the essence of what those pages contain.
She gets back in her car and starts the engine. Buckles her seat belt then turns the radio on. Checks her mirrors before pulling out and heads for home...and it is only then that she allows herself to dream a little dream.
And the waiting begins....