Letters


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2. Mum. (Cora's POV)

"Dear Mum,

I guess this is the part where I explain what I've done. Mum, I can't even begin to say I'm sorry. It's not your fault, even though I know you'll think it is. That's the sort of person you are, Mum. Kind and caring and beautiful, inside and out. You want to think the best of me, you don't want to think I've done this by choice. But I have and it's no-one's fault except my own.

I'm in a mess. I don't know what to do anymore. Everyone says it will get better, but I know it won't. There is no way out for me, not anymore. It's better that I just go. Mum, I have scars, on my body and my mind, and they will never fully heal. They make everyday a living hell. I need to get out, Mum, I need to go.

I wrote this wanting to explain everything to you, but I've realised that it is impossible to tell you everything. You had to have been there, in my head. People will try and give you answers. There will be psychologists and doctors and all the rest, and they might come close, but they'll never fully understand.

Just please, don't hate me for what I have done. And don't feel to upset about all of this, you still have Crispin and Eliza to love and cherish.

I will always love you, Mum. Wherever I end up.

Julia"

I have already read the handwritten letter seven times, but still it hasn't sunk in. My beautiful baby girl is gone. Passed away, departed from this life, left me... I can try to think of a nicer way to put it, but the truth is, they all mean the same thing. Julia's dead. Never in my lifetime did I think I would say that. She had so much life ahead of her that it seemed she could be immortal. She must have been hurting so much inside. You don't realise how much I would've done to be inside her head for the last few hours of her short life. I would've told her how much she was loved, needed, care for by all of us. I could've stopped all of this from happening and she'd be here with me now. We could've done all those things we had dreamt of, but never thought we would actually do, like going to see New York or swimming with dolphins. I could've told her, for the last time, that I loved her.

I wipe the mass of silent tears from my face as the door to my bedroom slowly opens and my husband, Robert, walks in. With a huge amount of force, I manage to put a slight smile on my face, despite how much I'm hurting inside. I need to be strong for Robert and my two younger children. He walks over to where I am sitting on the bed and flops down next to me.

"You don't need to smile, Cora," he says, sitting up and encasing me in his strong, muscular arms, "I know how hard this is."

It's times like this that remind me of how much I love Robert. Through all the hard times he has been the one I can tell absolutely anything to. He must be hurting so bad, too, but he doesn't show it. He's trying to be the strong one, like usual.

"Neither do you," I tell him, "You have the right to cry over the death of your daughter."

His whole body tenses at the sound of my words. I should be more sensitive with what I say, I know, it's always been a massive flaw of mine. "Don't say that," Robert says, unwrapping his arms from around me, "She's not dead... We can't tell Cris and Eliza that. Julia's just... Gone."

"No, Rob," I say without thinking, "She is dead. And we need to deal with it."

Robert looks so hurt and starts to cry. I don't think I've ever seen him like this... Not even at his own father's funeral. It's kind of strange. He has always been my rock and now I guess it's my turn to comfort him. 

"Look, I'm sorry..." I try and console him, pulling into a hug, just like he did to me a few minutes earlier, "We don't have to say she's dead if you don't want."

"No, Cora!" he shouts as he pulls away from me and stands in the middle of our room, "You don't understand!"

Shocked, I stand up too, tears pricking at my already red eyes, "What do you mean I don't understand? I carried Julia inside me for nine months. Nine bloody months! And I don't understand how hard this is? If anyone doesn't understand it's you!"

He storms out of the tiny room, leaving me just standing there. I pull the tiny letter out of my pocket and read through it again. I collapse onto our double bed and sob myself to sleep. I don't think I will ever get over this.

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