Say it with a Card
by Carrie Krumtum
circa February 1997
Opening the mail box seemed like such an ordinary activity. The fact
that this day should hold special significance never really entered her
mind. Not until she found the envelope.
There is sat, in the center of her table. She had been staring at it
for at least an hour now. She was afraid to open it. Afraid of what it
might reveal to her. Afraid and barely capable of containing her wildest
Swallowing and clearing her throat in an empty room, she picked up the
red envelope for what must have been the hundredth time. Her hand even
shook a little.
The handwriting on the envelope was cursive and beautiful. A very
practiced hand had transcribed her name and address onto the paper. A
hand eight hundred years old....
Turning the envelope over, she again noted the gold heart shaped seal
the closed the card at the back. It had gently scalloped edges and
seemed very delicate for a foil seal.
Placing one finger under the seal, she pulled with just enough pressure
for it to break free from the paper beneath. There, it was open. Now,
all she had to do was bring herself to pull the card from the
She opted, instead, to lift the flap of the envelope and take a peek at
what she could see of the card. It had been placed in the envelope with
the white back of the card showing through the opening. Damn.
Pinching the edge of the card and pulling gently, she slid the card
free of the envelope and dropped the envelope on the table. She turned
the card over in her hands.
It was completely white. No color at all. The front of the card paper
had been pressed and sported a rose in convex relief. She ran her
fingers lightly over the impression and felt her heart pound within her
breast. Her mouth had gone inexplicably dry and her attempts to swallow
at the lump in her throat were only marginally successful.
The slight tremor of her hand become even more pronounced as she
gripped the outer edge of the front of the card to open it and reveal
what lay within.
There were no preprinted words. No poem or cartoon or beautiful
pictures of a seascape, sunrise or flower. There was only his script,
handwritten and beautiful.
She felt as if her heart would stop or leap from her body or cry aloud
with glorious joy....
It said, simply and elegantly, the one thing she wanted more that
anything for it to say.
I love you.