Atlanta, Georgia - Biology/Anthropology
The clerk from the health clinic said
it should arrive today. She stood at the window looking down the
sundrenched street, but seeing only the blue shirted bowlegged postman
as he slowly made his way from house to house, the bulging post bag
bouncing heavily on his hip. When he stopped at her gate her heart
nearly skipped a beat. The postmanís journey seemed endless as he
struggled with the rusted latch on the gate. She held her breath in
hopes that he would say forget it and turn away, but he did not. The
postman rammed his heavy sack into the latch and stumbled through the
swinging gate. She became weaker and weaker with every step he took.
Suddenly, images of all the nights she spent in loveless lust ran
through her mind. Too many Long Island Ice Teas left many of her lovers
with a face and name too vague to remember.
When she finally came to and gazed
out of her window again, the postman had already slipped the mail
through the slot and was two houses down. On top of the Visa bill,
covering the weekly coupons, and surrounded by advertisements for the
latest weight loss plans; there it was. It lay on the cold, hard wood
floor disguised as a casual letter from a friend. She stared at it in
the same way she did at Jeff at his funeral, wanting him but too afraid
to touch him. Jeff had been her only male friend who was just a friend.
They had so much in common. No one else encouraged tequila body shots
and sleeping with complete strangers from the club the way Jeff did. His
wild and irresponsible days got him nothing but a few incurable diseases
and an early death. She did not want to die.
She slowly knelt down to pick up the
letter. How could one little piece of paper be so important? There was
only one thing left to do; open it. She slowly ripped the envelope open
as though the slightest tear might alter the information inside. She
read with eyes wide open. The most exciting party or the finest man did
not seem worth it anymore, but it was too late. Shayla Douglas died six
months later of AIDS.