The Letter

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Ray stood in confusion. Her arms at her sides. He spoke again. This time out loud. "Just...Live damn it." He could feel her body beginning to shake against his. Tears erupted from her eyes, once again wetting his shoulder. It was uncomfortable but he no longer cared. He held her tighter. His heart pounding loudly. She let go and he followed.

"Oh yeah." He rummaged through his hoodie pocket. "I wrote this for you." He looked to the side, rubbing the back of his neck bashfully. It was a tattered envelope. One that looked as though it had seen better days. She read the chicken scratched version of her name on the front before opening it carefully. A crinkled letter was inside. She scanned each wobbly letter. Trying to make out each word.

"Dear, Ray,

I'm no good at this writing stuff so don't go making fun of my writing! I need to tell you something really important, here.

I've been thinking that I don't really want to kill you. I don't know why the fuck I decided to change my mind like this. It just sorta happened. Everything has just been really weird lately. I keep getting weird thoughts. I hate it. It's too different and it drives me crazy. But since I'm sitting all alone here in prison, I can't help but be in my own head I guess. It's so annoying. Do I really have nothin' better to do?!

Ugh, anyways... Here's something I've been thinking about lately.

So, you know that time you read me that one Shakespeare guy's book? Roberto and Julie or something like that? Or whatever their names were. Who cares? You probably know what I'm talking about. Well, there's this part where those two dumb kids fall in "love" and remembering back to it, I've started to think about that word more than I care to admit. For some reason it just really stuck with me and ever since I got taken to this shit hole, It's been on my mind all the time. I really don't know why the hell it's happening but being without you... It doesn't feel right at all. I can't stand this crap.

So I'm coming to get you. Just you wait.

Then maybe, you can tell me what the hell all this "love" junk is about so I can finally get it off my mind.

See ya soon.


She clutched the letter in her palms tightly. Her mouth agape. Zack was confused by her reaction but remained quiet. Ray's gaze fell to the floor, then back up to him. "Zack... If I'm honest with you..." She hesitated. Causing Zack to become slightly more anxious. "Just spit it out already." He had been growing impatient. Both with how quiet and contemplative she was acting. Soon, Rachel managed to grasp the right words. "Before everything happened, I'm not sure I knew what it meant to love. Let alone be in it. Still..."

She smiled.

"I think I'm slowly starting to understand now."

His heart leaped in his chest. He wasn't sure what to make of it but he still managed to crank out a smile. Rachel walked towards him. "But since we both don't know what it means then... Let's figure it out together." The thought was confusing and scary but Ray's expression relaxed his troubled mind. Her smile warm, comforting. Reassuring.

"Sounds good, Ray."

A few years passed an the two had indeed start to understand what it meant. That word that had caused them so much pain. So much torment in the past. It had now blossomed into something far greater. As they both matured and spent time together, the answer came more clear. Natural. They spent those years trying to find a safer place to live. Somewhere they could find peace. Where they wouldn't be bothered anymore. It would still be a constant life of hiding in the shadows but that didn't matter. So long as they were still by the other's side, everything else had dissipated from their consciouses. Nothing else mattered anymore. It was Zack and Rachel against the world now. Secretly, they had both longed to live like normal people, despite being bluntly aware of the fact normalcy for them was a mere pipe dream. Completely unrealistic and nowhere near obtainable. They jumped from bus to bus. Evading anyone that may identify them or rat them out. Going from City to city. State after state. Trying to find a place they could belong. Eventually they had found their safe Haven. A small little house just off the coast. No neighbors. No one who would recognize them. Not immediately, anyways. Unbeknownst to their knowledge, the case for Zack had been dropped indefinitely and Isaac Foster had been pronounced dead on the local news. Though the whereabouts of Rachel Gardner were still unknown to the public. A mysterious event but they decided against questioning it and just enjoyed the fact no one was no longer going to disturb their quiet little lives.

They would often spend a vast majority of their time together. Reading books Rachel had picked up from the book store after she went shopping for groceries. Teaching Zack how to write more neatly, while still making it look unique to him, cooking together. Laughing. Normal everyday stuff. The way it should've been. A life of happiness. A life of comfort. Rachel had also managed to find Zack an antique Polaroid camera since she remembered how intrigued he was by taking photos back then.

Unfortunately, his first picture had been a mugshot but he was still very eager to take more pictures. This time of all sorts of things. Grass, trees, Rachel, himself, or anything he found inspiring. Ray found it really endearing he had found such a hobby. In turn, Zack's excitement and passion towards taking photos drove her to  try and make a living off of her talent of sewing. Though she could never reveal her identity, she worked as a Dollmaker under a different name. An alias called SewnBird. Life had become as they had hoped for. Peaceful and at long last, something  to look forward to.

From the start they had lived through many incredibly scarring, heinous things. Crime of epic proportions. But although their sins of the past were hefty and irreversible, they still managed to live their lives by giving everything they could for one another. Being each other's rock and supporting one another in the toughest of times.Giving each other what the world had denied them of all those years.

The thing that had been unethical to both of them. A dirty word that over time became one one of comfort. A word that brought them so much hurt but shifted to one of importance. One defining of the relationship they hadn't been able to describe in simple words. A word that made them feel complete. A word that brought them closer together to the point they'd sooner die than be separated again. A word that had changed their lives forever...


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