Status: Complete.

Letters of the Loneliest


Once, twice, three times Lily blinks until her bedroom comes into focus. She remains still, reveling in the warmth and comfort of her bed. The one place that amongst an ever-changing life has always been a sanctuary.

Slowly, she raises and reaches her fingers towards the ceiling. Hair fuzzed up and mouth dry, she lets out a groggy moan. She feels like she could sleep a year.

One glance at her phone and she's out of the bed like a rocket. She'll be lucky to make it to the subway in time. After last night, she barely has the money for a cab, and with it being rush hour, there's no way she'll be at work on time.

Skipping the shower, she reworks her make up and quickly plaits her hair, securing the braid with a rubberband. Once dressed, she slings clothes into a duffel for her audtion today, praying she doesn't forget anything.

The door is beginning to close as she races across the platform. Turning sideways and holding her duffel out in front of her, she barely slips into the compartment. No one bats an eye at her dramatic entrance.

With a huff, she flops into the nearest seat. It's not until the train is moving that she realizes her messenger bag is still at her apartment, full of the work she'd brought home last night.

She groans and drops her head onto the cool glass. As if last night hadn't been awful enough. Nightmares had wreaked havoc on her all night. She couldn't count the number of times she had shot up from bed, sweat glistening and heart pounding. Each time she would fumble the light on, but there was never anyone around. Finally, she had turned every light in the tiny apartment on and was able to fall into a fitful sleep.

Even now the dark dreams made cold chills dance across her arms. She couldn't shake the images of the woman with the stitched mouth.

The lady had been in her living room, just inside the door. When Lily had called out to her, she'd turned slowly and stepped into the silver of moonlight, allowing her to see the dark thread holding her mouth closed. Lily had attempted to scream, but found herself mute.

The woman shuffled closer, and only then did Lily notice the chains wrapped around her body. On the other end was a tall, wrinkled man with coal black eyes. In place of where his brain should've been, was a gaping hole. He matched the old lady step for step, as if he were her leashed pet.

Lily shivers, then inserts her ear buds, forcing the dreams from her mind. The notebook entry had been more heartbreaking than creepy, but the dark feeling remains.


Eyes burning, Lily hides her face in the palms of her hands. Sweat tickles the nape of her neck as she struggles to keep her composure. The last thing she wants is to burst into tears in front of all these strangers.

Her heart is broken, spirit utterly crushed. This had been her chance at getting into Broadway. The audition had only been for a minor part, but it would've been a foot in the door. Something to lead up to a star role.

And she had tanked it. The raised eyebrows and snarled lips of the panel would forever be imprinted in her mind. They had been appalled by her obvious lack of preparation.

If only she hadn't went out drinking last night, or even read that stupid notebook. She would've had her work finished and bag packed. She could've went through her set a couple more times and gotten a full night's rest. Even if she would've set her alarm and got up on time.

Despite being unable to change these things now, they still chase one another around her mind. All she wants is to get home and wallow in her self pity.

A loud cough makes her jump. Across the compartment sits a balding middle aged man in an expensive suit. Sweat beads across his forehead as he coughs into his handkerchief again. His round belly shakes with the effort, reminding her of the way Santa's does in the movies.

Their eyes meet briefly before she drops her gaze, cheeks flushed. He has a pale palor to his skin, and she finds herself hoping he won't suffer a heart attack before her stop.

She's ashamed of the thought as soon as it hits her mind. Her mother would be outraged. Just one more way to disappoint everyone.


She doesn't even bother changing clothes before flopping down on her messy bed. Shoving her face into the pillows, Lily contemplates suffocating herself. Not really, of course. Her daddy always said she had a dramatic flair, and that would make her a shoo in on Broadway.

If he could see her now.

Lily rolls to her back, slinging an arm over her face. Now that she's in the privacy of her own home, the tears won't come. She's never been one to sit around feeling sorry for herself.

Deciding she needs a soak in her tub, she bounds from the bed. She'll take some of her work in there and kill two birds with one stone.

Unfortunately, life has other plans. Something shifts under her steps and she finds her feet flying out from underneath her. Her elbow radiates pain from cracking on the hard floor. She lies there for a moment, unable to see how her day could possibly get any worse.

Finally, she pushes up to rest on her uninjured arm. The position gives her the perfect view of under her bed. She makes a mental note to clean it. Dust bunnies lay dormant like miniature storm clouds.

That's when she sees the notebook, halfway under the bed. She must've knocked it off in her rush this morning. She was supposed to return it today. Just one more thing that had went wrong.

Although, she's unsure now who it even belongs to. Why is the first entry a woman's, if it belongs to some guy? Logically, it could be explained. It could be a project, or belong to his grandmother. Neither seemed likely, but what other explanation is there?

She debates leaving it there, still blaming it for her restless sleep. It's a foolish thought, and for this reason she finds herself squeezing in the claustrophobic space, pulling it out with her fingertips.

Neglecting work once again, she seats herself in the partially filled tub and opens the journal.

July 17, 2014

My name no longer matters. It's just one in a million that you'll learn over your lifespan. One you'd forget the second you closed this book.

No, I'm known as many things now, but my name isn't one of them. I've been defined by my circumstances.

Now I'm known as the man with cancer. Before that, the man with congestive heart failure. I'm the man that lost his wife to the pool boy thirty years our junior. The man that no longer has friends, because I lost over half of my money. Between the divorce and cancer treatments, I'm almost broke.

The silver lining? I no longer wonder who likes me for my money, or the lavish parties, or the extravagant vehicles. I don't have to watch what I eat or worry over my receding hairline, lest my wife no longer deems me attractive.

After all, there's nothing worse than being surrounded by a bunch of phonies, right?

Wrong. I would choose my fake friends and superficial wife over this any day. I'm completely alone. For the first time in my life I have no one.

And that's the worst feeling in the world.