An anonymous piece of post brings a pause for thought.

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Public Domain

‘Post!’ hollers Mike. He never opens it—just announces its arrival. ‘Hello? The post is here.’

‘Down in a minute,’ you say.

Mike avoids the post. He’s haunted by a past of threatening letters from creditors. A plain brown envelope addressed to you lies on the hall table. You open it to reveal a single folded sheet of paper. You unfold—carefully.


Each word has been cut from newspapers or magazines. There’s a picture of the Eiffel Tower with an X drawn under it—dead centre—followed by:


No name. No contact number. But you know who it’s from.

You check your diary. Nothing that can’t be moved—just one day off work needed.

Paris. A lifetime of memories—starting with your honeymoon. Ancient history.

You debate whether or not to tell Mike you’ve been summoned. You decide to wait. Best to check things out first—make sure your papers are in order. There’s time.

* * * * *

Two days later, you’re ready.

‘Is this what I think it is?’ says Mike when you hand him the letter. He beams. ‘Can we do it?’ His expression takes years off his face.

You smile. ‘Yes,’ you say, ‘another Mission Impossible task from Ted and Kathy. And yes—it is possible. Eurostar and hotel booked.’

‘That’s great! It’ll be fun to do Paris with them.’

And you wonder when it ceased to be fun doing things just as a couple.

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Patricia Mahoney started her writing career as a playwright with five professionally-produced plays and since released a book/CD of stories.

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