The letter arrived in my absence. Rose’s birthday was coming up; that’s Rose Buchan, my friend, landlady, surrogate mother and grandmother rolled into one. She and her husband, Kevin, were the only reason I was on King Island, so her birthday gift required something more than the little township of Currie had to offer. It was the reason I had boarded the ridiculously small ferry to brave the boisterous waters of Bass Strait. When I returned a day or two later, shaken, and thankful for the feel of dry land beneath my feet again, the missive was waiting for me, the outer envelope stiff and official looking, marked with the logo of the bank, and postmarked Emu Springs.
My instinct was to ignore it. Normally the only communication I had from my bank was my monthly statement, but this envelope was too thick to contain only that. I dropped it onto the dressing table, then paused in my unpacking to turn back and stuff it into a drawer. Out of sight, out of mind. Later, after dinner and an evening spent in the cosy atmosphere of Kevin’s den where I recounted details of my trip to him and Rose, I fished the letter out again and reluctantly held it up to the light. Through the thickness of the envelope, the faint outline of another was visible.Continue Reading