I took my time getting ready and heading out. If we had three days to go through the letters and make a plan, I didn’t think I needed to be there ASAP today. I mean, how many letters could their really be?
It took me about fifteen minutes to get from my house to the 19th street parking garage. I always parked there because it was free to residents in the off season, (January was considered the dead center of the off season) and It didn’t get robbed as often as some of the more sketchy parking lots in the area. It was twelve blocks away from Hamish’s hotel, but it wasn’t a bad little walk down the boardwalk. After all, the tourists were gone, and it rarely got that cold in Virginia Beach. There was something calming about walking down a nearly deserted beach listening to the waves crash. It made the whole place feel like home, it made me feel like I was some place safe, someplace I belonged.
But as soon as I stepped foot in the Hilton, I felt like I didn’t belong there. I’d lived in this city my entire life. I’d been in the restaurant attached to the hotel once or twice, but the only time I’d ever stepped into the hotel proper before was when I was dressed to the nines for my senior prom. I felt so odd in my jeans and a t-shirt now. But, I tried to swallow my discomfort and look like this was the kind of thing I was used to doing as I headed towards the front desk. “Hi, yes. My name is Fiona Carson. I was supposed to be meeting a Hamish Duncan.”
“Oh yes, of course. Right this way, please.” She led me up a flight of stairs and around a corner before indicating to a conference room where Hamish would be waiting for me. I walked in, and nearly lost it. There were a lot of papers in that room. Nearly the entire conference table was covered with folders or binders, all which seemed to be stuffed full of letters.
“Holy shit. How many letters did he write?”
Hamish looked up from where he’d been scratching in a notebook around the middle of the table. “A lot. A lot more than a lot. You see what I think he might have had feelings for my grandmother?”
“Yeah. I’m starting to get that. I wish we knew how often she wrote back–or was Grandpa Dougie just a little on the creepy side with a hint of stalker in him.”
“Your words, not mine.” Hamish replied, before hoping out of his chair and heading towards a folder towards the front of the table. “Come here, though, I think there’s a letter here that you might find particularly interesting.”
June 22, 1991
My Dearest Lily,
My Lillian had her baby—it was a beautiful wee girl, tiniest thing I think I’ve ever seen. Only just six pounds. The doctors want to keep her for observation because she is so small even though she was carried to full term. Lillian is beside herself with worry, but the babe doesn’t seem to be unwell, just small. She’ll be out in no time. Still, Lillian won’t tell us her name. It’s one of those superstitions that her Timothy taught her. Apparently, it’s bad luck for anyone other than the parents to know a baby’s name until she’s sleep in her own crib. It’s a load of complete rubbish, but I suppose in this instances I have to accept my daughter’s wishes because what else am I going to do? She’s just such a strange girl, my Lillian, but I love her. I wish you’d come and meet her one of these days.
You know how I would love to end this, but you asked me to stop,
PS The little angel came home, fit as a fiddle. My eldest granddaughter is named Fiona Lucille Carson-Scott. Isn’t that just a beautiful name?
I couldn’t help but smiled at that. “Cool. Very Cool.”