A professionally edited and fully designed version of this story appears in Story Lab Magazine Issue I. You can find it on the App Store
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I thought I saw you today. You (or your ghost) were pulling out of a hotel north of town onto Benedict Street while I was turning off onto Providence.
It was just for a split second, but I would have sworn it was you… Maybe that’s how ghosts haunt us, by showing up as shadows on the faces of other people… Never letting us forget…
On a happier note, Peter’s really growing up. He’s been in preschool now for over a month. He’s smart as a whip, just like his father.
Some nights while I’m tucking him into bed, we’ll lie there looking at the glow in the dark stars on his ceiling and wonder where you are and what you’re doing. Peter always asks if you get to do Jesus’ taxes now or still just other people’s. He wants to be a taxman when he grows up too, though I try to tell him you did a lot more than taxes.
Sometimes when we draw together he draws you with a jet pack sailing beyond the stars. He asks me how wide the universe is… Whether you’ve made it to other stars yet… Whether you look back and wave…
I tell him you’re always waving, always looking back and blowing kisses.
We miss you.
17. I could fall into your eyes.
If you haven’t already, please pay off the rest of our debts. I want to be secure in the afterlife knowing you’re taken care of.
Thank you for loving us. For being the man I needed in my life. For taking the second job and working hard to give us everything we wanted, not just what we needed.
My only regret in life is that Peter will only know you through photos and memories. Luckily, You’re always thinking ahead and I can share these emails with him too.
You were a great father and the love of my life.
This is the hardest email to write, but I want you to move on. I’ve been gone almost two months now and I think it’s time you found someone else. Peter needs a father. You need a companion, a husband. Start dating. Please.I am nothing. I didn’t deserve you. Forget about me.
Why? Why would you write that?
I loved you. I still love you, and, whatever your wishes, I will not forget the husband of my youth. You’ll be the man that I love till the day I die.
I apologize for the informality, but we had no other listing of your name, in the unsealed section of the account.
It appears the most recent email from firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Time to Move On” may have been fraudulent. Our records show that the account was accessed and a scheduled email was modified, but the extent of the modification is unknown. We believe the scheduling was brought forward several months and that at least some words were changed.
It seems that the password was known or guessed as no malicious activity was recorded on the server, and no information was stolen.
We pride ourselves on integrity and authenticity and thought it best to make you aware of a possible compromise.
Assistant Vice-President for Customer Relations
Don’t worry. There’s time.™
Who are you?
This was all I had left of him, why would you take him from me?