After he had let go of the letter, he felt the urge to go hide behind a curtain, which was, of course, complete nonsense. He wasn’t sure if Mary would even be able to see the letter on the table, but what he did know is that she wasn’t able to see him. Still, even though Mary couldn’t see him, John had never felt as much desire to disappear as he did now. He knew that, if Mary was able to see the letter, she would also see its contents and that would instantly destroy her world, or at least, what was left of it. And frankly, as John was not going to be able to comfort her, he would rather not be here at all.
He instantly regretted his decision to throw the letter onto the table. What if that wasn’t what he was supposed to be doing after all? What if the reason he could not make the letter disappear was because he needed to show it to someone else. Or maybe, in his rush, still didn’t position the letter right, and if he had tried another time, it would had stayed inside the cabinet. But he hadn’t tried a third time and he had thrown the letter on the table, so now he felt he had to suffer the consequences, them being seeing Mary in serious pain. Of course he knew that he wasn’t the actual cause of that, after all, as Mary had always said herself: Being afraid to ask the question, doesn’t mean the answer doesn’t already exist. And he needed to remind himself, that if he didn’t warn her now, she was going to be confronted with this in about three days, so he would only be postponing the inevitable, as Mary had done as well.
It didn’t take long for Mary to notice the letter, as it was a bright white surface on an otherwise dark table. As she walked towards the table, she already knew that something was terribly wrong, the same way you know you’re in trouble by just looking at the envelope of a collection agency. She walked around the table, and grabbed a chair, while looking around to see who could have put that letter on the table. She immediately recognized the envelope it had slid out of as the envelope she had put in the drawer of the cabinet the night before. She quickly put her hand in her pocket, to check if the key was still there, which it was. She kept looking around, expecting someone to be there, but of course, there wasn’t – not that she could see at least.
Someone had been in her house and Mary knew who it was. “The nerve…” she said out loud, as she imagined how the man with the briefcase had broken into her house to force her to read the letter he had been trying to give her numerous times. Mary sat down and began reading the letter, although John was pretty sure she was only staring at those two words, that were so small in size, but so big in meaning: “Eviction Notice”. Of course Mary knew what it meat as well, and she had also known that eventually, it would come to this. As she continued to read the letter, John expected her to start screaming and crying any second. But she didn’t scream, she didn’t cry, she just read. It wasn’t that she wasn’t aware of the implications of this letter, but she had made a conscious decision a while ago, to ignore this problem. And although Mary had been desperate and sad, she wasn’t stupid, and she knew that eventually, this was going to happen. And even if she had opened all the letters, responded to them, paying them anything she could, it would still have come to this, albeit a month or two later.
John was amazed at Mary’s strength, because he knew, that if this had happened to him, he would have gone berserk. He would have grabbed a chair, and he would have smashed it into pieces, after which he would have had a complete emotional meltdown. To see Mary handle it like this, completely aware of the fact that this was the only possible outcome of the equation, was an extremely humbling experience for John. And if ever, he now knew more than he had ever known, why he had always felt that Mary should be the one to survive, because she would in fact survive, whereas John had just kept breathing.