Episode 3 – Mandy
(A letter to Elle from Troy.)
I am 87 years old and I just recently got a letter from my sister Mandy. She disappeared some sixty years ago. The police wouldn’t do anything because she left a note saying she was going to elope with her boyfriend. But, I knew it wasn’t her handwriting. They didn’t believe me. A specialist was even brought in, but they didn’t believe me when I said that she always had a new way to dot her i’s. It had been hearts for too long and I knew she had just switched to squares. The note was in hearts.
Anyway, here is what the letter read. It’s so strange to be on death’s door myself and finally know the horrible truth, but to know in my heart that I was right to question and doubt how she left.
I wrote my story for that mom and pop gig I told ya I got picked up by. I wrote a complete exposé on that scandalous Troy. How I was a job and a target for some government official and how even men are being used as escorts. He was the villain the whole way through Ma.
He didn’t take it well. I let him have it too. He said that I wasn’t a job and that he was in between jobs so I had it all wrong. Troy told me that he was with me by choice. I asked him why though. That man… he stood there and told me that I was just a warm body to lay next to because no one else wanted the job right then. I was a placeholder until something better came along. He just… didn’t have anything or anyone better to do at the time. But that I was right. Every woman that came before his eyes was a potential replacement and he was hoping that we could still be friends once he filled my spot by his side with someone he felt a little something for. He said it would only take a little something too since he never felt a thing for me.
He was angry that I wrote the story.
I told him he had no control over what a person does with lemons after he gives them. I slapped his face and screamed at him that he didn’t care that I wrote it. He was just mad that it wasn’t in a journal collecting dust on a shelf. That he was just mad that the character regurgitating his words was the bad guy. Not a romanticized, conflicted and confused lover who just didn’t know what he wanted out of life. Ha! That’s what he gets for pissing off a writer!
I hated that every morning he would wake up feeling lonely and unfulfilled, whining about how empty he felt even though I was laying right there in one of his shirts no less. Telling me every day about some dame he had come across and all of her pros. I was stupid and thought that because I was the one he had come home to that it meant something… that I meant something. More than just a warm body because no one else was leaping up and down to love him every day.
But, there were signs and I ignored them. He was always sad in some way. And no matter what I did, he made it a special point to find something to pick at and say that the whole world I had given him was not good enough because it was on a silver platter instead of a gold one, or something like that. There was always something. Even if there was nothing wrong. Just his way of letting me know that nothing I ever did would be good enough for him. That I was not good enough for him. And I think he hoped I wouldn’t think twice about why he was leaving since he made it his business to make me feel inadequate. Then he would claim that he didn’t intend it like that and he was sorry only to fail again later. I took it as a challenge. Boy was I wrong Ma.
I said, “So what? Why stay with a pearl you didn’t want huh?”
He came back at me with a worse answer than I had anticipated. He said, uh, how’d he put it? Something like, “I never wanted you and didn’t have an emotional connection to you. But, like I said, you’re a grown woman and consented to be there. So I thought, why give up a good thing? It’s not like I have anything else going on.”
I stood there devastated Ma. He didn’t stop there though. He said, “This conversation just stopped being pointless. See what you fail to understand is that I was never emotionally invested like you were. If this broad you’re so mad about had told me she liked me before, during, or ten months after you and I had split I still woulda said I was going to wait for her as long as she needed me too because she wasn’t ready yet. You didn’t register at all. “
I thought I was gonna deck him Ma. I swear I did. Self righteously defending his hurtful words he was. He was there declaring his affections for her less than two weeks after telling me it was over, we were through, but he didn’t want to let me go. We had been crying together over the whole thing and there he was telling me that pouring my heart out to him was a freaking “pointless conversation” and that he only cried to “empathize” with me. Not because he truly felt bad about nothin’. Not because of what he had done or how he made me feel. Just that he empathized that my feelings were hurt and now that he had this dame he didn’t miss me.
I was just a warm body and something to do that didn’t register and this new broad could have had him anytime. He wanted what he wanted and too bad if I got hurt but he will cry with me to empathize?
I saw red Ma. I kicked him where the sun don’t shine. He musta seen red too. Which why I am at present in the trunk of his car. Must be a long ride if I got this far in the letter.
But I had to tell you Ma. I had to tell you that I was still someone you could be proud of. I didn’t shame the long line of strong women we come from and take this sitting down. I said something. I said it wasn’t right and I kicked him. I screamed and I exposed him to the whole world in my story.
If you get this letter… then it means he killed me. He killed me Ma. I’m sorry that I let him. He’ll probably run me over a cliff or something. If you get this note I just want you to know that I will go out fighting, still someone you can be proud of. I’m just sorry I didn’t get to tell you in person.
Tell my sister Judy I love her.
Tell Papa I said I’ll have sweet dreams for him.
Ma I’m so sorry. You were right Ma. You were right.
I’m sorry I’m dead somewhere. But, you give him what for ok!