Status: Complete.

Letters of the Loneliest


Lily taps her high heel clad foot to the beat pulsing through her headphones. The music drowns out the noisy subway, leaving her to her thoughts. She can't wait to get home and change into sweats and let her hair down. The severe bun is starting to give her a headache.

Of course, that could also be on account of all the extra work her boss piled on her desk. At five minutes until the end of her day, no less. Corporate dipsticks, all of them are.

As the train grows closer to her end of the track, the people slowly filter out until there's only a handful left. Most are young like her, living in rough, cramped apartments just trying to make ends meet. Living the big city dream.

Moving into the tiny apartment, she'd promised herself it was temporary, eighteen months at the most. Two and a half years later, and here she is. Still working the same menial nine to five desk job, with only a slight pay raise. Still waiting on her big break and shot at Broadway.

The transport begins slowing, compartment jerking under her feet. She grips the bar overhead, squealing brakes fill her ears as she removes the buds. A couple other people stand, leaving a solitary elderly lady sitting.

Lily smiles, being raised to be kind and respectful of her elders. The woman returns it, face lighting up at being acknowledged. With slight concern, Lily notes how unusually pale she appears, not even a trace of the normal bright rouge most older women seemed to favor.

The train lurches to a stop and the door opens. She falls in behind the two others exiting. Before she can step out onto the platform, a notebook catches her eye. It rests in a vacant seat, closest to the door.

"I believe it belongs to a young man that got off four or five stops ago," a weak voice says. It belongs to the little old lady. "Maybe you can return it to him, dear."

Lily hesitates, mulling the comment over. It's an odd request. She has no idea who the guy is, or even what he looks like. It makes more sense for the elderly woman to be the one to do it. She opens her mouth to say so.

"I would do it myself, but I don't travel much anymore," the woman says quickly, seemingly reading her mind. "I limit my trips to once every couple of months. Arthritis, you know."

Once again Lily thinks about how strange it appears. The woman leans forward, staring straight at her, an almost eager look on her face. Something about her eyes is off. They're an icy blue, so pale they almost look white.

The doors make a whooshing sound, beginning to close. At the last second, she grabs the journal and slides between them, barely missing being clipped. On the platform, she turns to get one last glimpse of the old lady, but she's gone. Lily cranes her neck as the train begins moving again. There's no sign of her.

Shaking the chill, she stuffs the notebook in her messenger bag and begins the trek home.


She's just slipping on her sweatpants when her phone starts going off. Her friend's number lights up the screen and she debates on ignoring it. After the long day she's had, all she wants to do is curl up in bed.

Sighing, she answers. "Hello?"

"Meet us at Sully's!"

"Not tonight, I've got so much to do," she begs off, shaking her hair out. It's true. She needs to look through her work, pack a bag for the audition tomorrow, and run through her set a couple more times. "I kind of just want to chill at home."

"Come on, Lily! All the more reason to hang out! Just a couple drinks! It'll help you unwind."

"Please!" The resounding plea from the rest of the group makes her laugh.

"Fine, fine. You win. I'll be there in twenty."

Hoots of joy come through the phone, making her laugh again. Raking a hand messily through her hair and pulling on a pair of jeans, she's out the door in record time.