Love in Isolation, Day Two, Bronte

Day Two
Bronte

Dear Ellis,

What a surprise you are. First, the sign in the window. Yes, a little unorthodox but very clever. Then, calling me beautiful? Well, how am I supposed to resist that? I couldn’t log on to my email fast enough.

In all honesty, I’ve noticed you at the bus stop too. In fact, I’ve often wanted to talk to you. However, we share the same affliction. I am also shy. You can’t imagine the number of things I talk myself out of on a daily basis. Perhaps we’re kindred spirits this way?

I pride myself on my powers of observation, but I must confess I didn’t pick up on your lack of hearing. In hindsight, I should have. There was one morning on the bus where a couple was having a ferocious argument, yelling and screaming at each other. You were the only one who didn’t turn to look at them. I now realize why.

You asked why I was crying. First, thank you for your concern. It’s very sweet. I was not crying because a man has broken my heart. One did. A long time ago now. Since then, I’m careful with my heart. I spend more time between the pages of books than in the real world. It’s much safer there. Fictional characters can’t hurt me.

I was crying because this virus has me scared and sad. My mother lives with me and is recovering from chemotherapy. She’s in remission, but still weak. I’m terrified she’ll get sick. In a way, yes, I was crying about my job. I’m a first-grade teacher and the governor has closed the schools. They haven’t said it yet, but I suspect they’ll close schools for the entire year. I’ll miss the children very much. Actually, I already miss them. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to them in person, which hurts. No hugs or end of the year party where I give them each a framed picture of the two of us together. (I take them at the Valentine’s Day party.) This may sound silly to you, but the children are more than just my students. I love each of them. Even the ones who drive me crazy some days! At this age, they’re tender and sweet and they LOVE their teacher. I’ve not had a lot of love in my life, so perhaps this heightens my feelings. Whatever the reason, I treasure each of them more than they could ever know.

To answer your question, I haven’t been out to get groceries yet. Because of my mother, I’m reluctant to leave the apartment. I’ll have to order some in the next day or so. I’ve never done that, actually. I’m on a tight budget. I count my pennies carefully so that I’ll have enough to fill my flowerpots.

Speaking of which, I’m glad you enjoy my flowers. That gives me extra incentive this year to make them even more beautiful. This is funny, but I never thought about what they looked like to others. I do them for myself and for my mother. She’s an artist—a watercolorist. Flowers are her favorite subjects.

How are you keeping occupied?

Are you a reader? If so, what are your favorite books? I enjoy many genres but don’t care for horror. I’m much too scared of the dark for that!

Do you watch television? My mother and I love anything on Masterpiece Theatre. We’re currently watching a show called Unforgotten about an English female detective. She solves cold cases. The plots are interesting with twists and turns. But it’s the portraits of the people I find the most interesting. Characters with flaws and secrets, all struggling for redemption.

Have you been deaf since birth? Is it all right to ask you that? I hope so. I’d hate to offend you and break of our correspondence before we got started.

Please write soon and tell me more about yourself. Feel free to ask me anything. I’ll do my best to answer honestly.

Bronte


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