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Rated: E · Fiction · Romance/Love · #2313971
You've found an old love letter. What do you do?
Love Letter

It had been a year since her mom passed. Geri finally had the courage to face the stack of letters her mother kept hidden in a shoebox in her closet. She'd found the box when the family had to move her mother from her home of forty years into a nursing facility. Her mother had written the name 'Gerald Henry' across the top in her neat handwriting. Curious, she untied the string holding the lid in place and pulled out the top letter. The date on the envelope read 'April 6, 1986.'

Dear Deborah, she read. Thank you for keeping my condition from Geri. She didn't deserve a father like me.

At that point, Geri stopped reading. She folded the letter, placed the envelope where she found it, and re-tied the twine around the box. She had to leave this for another day. Her mother had told her that father had died during the war. Yet, she just seen a letter dated fifteen years after the fact. She had to process her mother's death before she could delve further into what she just read.

And here she was. Intense therapy had helped her navigate the grief that came with losing her parent. She felt ready to face the contents of the tattered shoebox.

She took a deep breath, then untied the bow. The string fell away and the letter on top fell into her lap. With shaky fingers, she unfolded the worn paper, laying the letter on her lap.

Dear Deborah, she read. Thank you for keeping my condition from Geri. She didn't need a father like me. She deserved better. I'm sorry I couldn't be the husband you needed. But when I met Brian, I knew I could no longer lie to you about the feelings I'd had for men all these years. As odd as it sounds, I still love you. Please forgive me. I don't know whether this will be my last letter to you and Geri. Last month, my doctor diagnosed me with the AIDS virus, and I have an advanced case of Kaposi's Sarcoma. The doc says I don't have long. Thank you for showing Geri to me as she's grown up. I really wish you and I could have grown together. Too bad you weren't a man (sorry, that's my weak attempt at humor). All my love, Jerry.

Geri sat in stunned silence. Her father was gay? Well, that explained a few things about her mother. She'd discovered regular payments to an AIDS foundation in Philadelphia Mom never mentioned. A few other things came to mind that suddenly clicked into place.

She went over to her computer and searched for her father's name.

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