The first letter found me a month ago. It was mixed in with the usual bills. The return address was formal, and nothing struck me out of the ordinary. The envelope was long and white, smooth to the touch. It was almost opened without hesitation, but the addressee caught my attention. This is a letter to no one.
Inside was a simple piece of paper. For the most part, it was blank. On the very bottom, I found small, fine print. It was a single sentence that read: I am now you.
I cast the letter aside as if it were nothing more than a cruel joke. A few days passed, and another letter arrived. It was the same thing. After that, it came every single day, and I got tired of throwing the letters away. Instead, I bundled them up, tied them with rope, and marched straight into the post office.
“What the hell is this?” I nearly threw the bundle at the post master. “What is this? Is this some kind of sick joke?”
“Miss, I don’t know what you are talking about.” He refused to touch the bundle. “These letters are addressed to your house.”
“These letters are addressed to no one.” I grabbled the bundle up and waved it in his face. “I want these letters stopped. Now!”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t. Your address was given, and these letters are yours.” He moved away before I could say another word.
I stormed outside into a bright, beautiful day. I began strolling to my car with the bundle tucked under my arm. Every fiber in my body screamed to get rid of these letters. Something wasn’t right, and the post master just shrugged it away. Well, how the hell did someone just give my address away, and why were these letters addressed to no one?
“Watch it.” I walked into the woman, who delivered my mail, and she nearly ran me over. “Can’t you see I’m walking here?”
“I’m sorry.” I took a step back. “Here.” I tried to give her the bundle, but she jumped away. Strange. “These aren’t mine.”
“I delivered those letters to your house. They are yours.” She tried to dodge past me, but I blocked her move. “Do you mind?”
“These letters are not mine.”
“Well, maybe, you have someone living out of your house. You know that is illegal, right? I would have to report you.”
“Are you kidding me? Look, just take these damn letters. Send them back to the return address.”
“I can’t do that, miss. You got them. They’re yours. End of story.” She pushed past me before I could say or do anything.
“Well, if you send me any more, I’ll destroy them!”
“Tampering with the mail is a federal offense!” The glass door to the post office slammed shut behind her, ending our conversation.
I didn’t care what she said. She was a bitch. She always has been. She threw my mail into the mailbox like it was garbage, and then she sped up the hill. Sometimes, I would find my letters ripped open, or at least a corner of it like she wanted to peak inside to see what it was hiding. I complained about her in the past, but she still had my route. Well, she could forget about Christmas this year. Maybe my dog will leave her something instead.
I burned those letters that night. A cold wind whipped through an open window. My bedroom door flew open as if company were calling. Static rippled through the television set, and my telephone buzzed eerily. I shrugged it off and tossed the ashes into the garbage, and with that said and done, I went to bed. Maybe, if I was lucky, those damn letters would stop coming.
Two weeks went by without one. Maybe the post master actually did his job. Maybe the mail woman didn’t want me to complain about her again. It didn’t matter. Life was good, and I eagerly went through my days and nights like nothing was amiss. Everything was just fine.
The next day, a letter arrived. The outside was the same. The return address was formal, some kind of company. The addressee label read: A Letter to No One, and I almost didn’t open it. The envelope lingered in my hand, feeling heavy, which was strange. Slowly, I slid my finger underneath, ripping skin, and blood dripped inside. I cursed under my breath and withdrew the letter, and I found that this letter was as red as the droplet that fell upon its page. And I slowly unfolded it, finding a small, fine print stretching across its center. I am you.
I crumpled the letter up quickly. I was about to toss it into the garbage, but something overcame me. I went into a tearing frenzy, ripping the letter and its envelope into a million, itty bitty pieces. Fragments of this cruel joke fluttered to the kitchen floor like graffiti, and I quickly snapped them up. I wanted this menace to stop. When was this going to stop?
A woman entered my house. She had a key. How the hell did she have a key? She was dressed as a real estate agent, and her small, black briefcase was tucked under one arm. She surveyed the hallway and then proceeded into the kitchen, where I still stood beside the garbage, but she didn’t look at me. Instead, she jotted down notes on a little notepad.
“Hey! What the hell are you doing in my house?” She didn’t answer me. “Get out of my house!”
Her cell went off. She snapped it open with lightning reflexes. A smile engulfed her tan face. Her eyes bypassed me, and she continued about the house. She spoke with enthusiasm, which only irritated me more. Who the hell did she think she was?
“Yes, it is certainly a beautiful house, one that will definitely sell on the market.”
“What? You are not selling my house.” I was now standing right behind her. “This is my home!”
“Yes, I understand.” She glanced my way. “It is a shame, but what can you do?” She now turned around, and we were inches apart. “So, you’re interested. That’s great. It’s yours. I’ll just get the paperwork started.”
“Now, wait a damn minute…” She walked right through me.
“No need to worry. The police are still investigating, but they don’t need the house. I don’t know. She just disappeared.” She glanced my way, but she wasn’t looking at me. “No. No. No one has been here for a month.” She was back at the front door. “So, meet me at the office, and we’ll get the paperwork started.” The door slammed closed.
I broke into tears. My body shook. I was cold, trembling. My eyes darted around the kitchen, and then I saw all those letters that came. They were no longer shredded or thrown away. Instead, they were laid out perfectly, one on top of the other. Their envelopes were stacked next to them. They looked identical except for the red one, but they were no longer blank. They were all copies of a death certificate, my death certificate. The envelopes were made out to me, my address. This is a letter to no one.