Anita found the bundle of letters and old photographs inside the desk drawer of her late mother’s desk as she and her husband were preparing for the estate sale.
January 11, 1917
My Dearest Theodore,
I still am having trouble adjusting to the fact that it is summer down here in South Africa while you are probably knee-deep in snow back home. The sail across the Atlantic from New York took forever and I’m so glad to finally be on solid ground. I can’t tell you how many times the ship’s captain offered up a mia culpa for the rough seas we encountered. But otherwise, he was quite amicable and accommodating.
I just checked into the hotel and it’s less primitive than I expected it to be. I’m going to take a bath, then go to the salon to have my hair done, and then will be dining with a few of my traveling companions.
All my love,
January 31, 1917
My Darling Marie,
It’s still a mystery to me as to why, especially in a time of such global conflict, that you would embark on such a trip, but you’ve always been a free spirit. I miss you so and I’m looking forward to your return to me in March.
February 21, 1917
I missed being with you on Valentine’s Day, but I have been having the most amazing time here in Africa. This week I went on a safari into the bush lands and I even rode on an elephant. It was an experience I shall never forget. Tonight our safari tour guide is taking us all out to dinner to celebrate our successful adventure. I’m exhausted, my dear, but I feel that it would not be proper of me to weasel out of that dinner, especially after Nigel gave me a beautiful native talisman.
Until next time,
March 10, 1917
Thank you for sending me those beautiful photographs. You look very happy. Was that man standing next to you with his arm around your waist your safari guide? Is that Nigel? Did you get the photographs I sent to you of all the snow blanketing the city? We’ve had an unusually cold and wet winter this year.
On another note, I’m sure you’ve heard about how some passenger ships in the North Atlantic have been sunk by German U-Boats over the past several months. I hope that your journey home at the end of this month will be uneventful. By the time you return, it will be spring here and we can enjoy all the city has to offer.
April 2, 1917
I know you expected me to have arrived home by now, but I have totally fallen in love with Nigel. Much to my surprise, Nigel has invited me to move in with him and I have graciously accepted. I do hope you’ll understand.
You brazen hussy. I hope you and your safari man come down with cholera or some other exotic disease. Should you ever decide to return to the States, may your passenger ship have a close encounter with a German U-Boat.
Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are salon, mystery, and elephant.
Also for Teresa’s Genre Writing Challenge, where the writing genre is Epistolary Fiction, or stories constructed as a series of letters exchanged between characters, based upon the image at the top of this post.
Also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (mea culpa), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (amicable), Ragtag Daily Prompt (weasel), and Your Daily Word Prompt (talisman).