Bob didn’t realise something was wrong until he threw his keys down. They flew in an arc and, for the first time ever, landed straight into the basket on the cabinet by the front door. 

So as not to arouse suspicion, Bob took his coat off, too. He normally didn’t bother with his shoes, so he kept them on. His mobile phone clutched in one hand, thumb positioned on the 9, he inched his way to the living room. There, he found a woman and an old man sitting on the couch. They looked expectant and somewhat perturbed, as if Bob had offered them a cup of tea but hadn’t delivered. Bob had never had intruders before, so he wasn’t sure what to say. He might’ve gone with “I’m going to call the police” or at least, “Stay away, I know karate,” but he blurted the first thing that popped into his head.

“What?”

The woman stood up with a glance at her companion. She was dressed in an immaculate pantsuit which looked quite out of place in the grubby living room. Bob had never seen such a well-dressed criminal before.

“Hello, Mr. Smith. We’re sorry to barge in on you like this—”

“Who are you?” The questions were starting to fight their way out of his mouth. “Did you straighten my cabinet?”

The woman sighed. “We’ll answer all your questions in time. But for now, you have to come with us.”

Bob considered this. “Well… No.”

“We thought you might say that,” she replied, “but this is a matter of grave importance. It’s about your wife.”

Bob frowned. “What do you know about her? Do you know where she is? Is she—”

“In time,” the woman said, stretching the word as if it were particularly important. “Come with us, and we’ll explain everything.”


The beginnings of a story for today’s letter to October. I’m blogging every day this month. Take a look at the introduction to the series here.

Header photo by Srikanta H. U on Unsplash.

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Dear October,

I spend a lot of time in my bed. It’s difficult to leave its warmth behind, especially when a chill has settled into every corner of my room. The duvet offers a safe cocoon from the cold, from work and responsibilities, from the indifference of the rest of the world. Safely enveloped here, I can be whoever I want. I can write, I can dream, I can count the stars.

Another space, which is often not as safe nor as warm but which I spend a lot of time in anyway, is online. In moments of boredom or when sleep eludes me, I find myself watching people create things — and here are some creators that I particularly like.

1. Annika Victoria

Even though I know nothing about sewing, I watch Annika’s tutorials because she makes them really engaging. She has a series called Make Thrift Buy, where she recreates items of fast fashion clothing with more sustainable choices. It’s really fun to watch her take on the items, including the more… unusual ones. Annika also spreads awareness of ethical fashion, which brought the issue to my attention.
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Dear October,

Before I started my final year of university, I started praying for friends again. What was the worst that could happen, I reasoned.

At some point, I started having plans again. I explored life as I wouldn’t have dared to by myself. I found myself with more hands to support me than in many years. In the meantime, further precarious fixtures in my life fell away. Most had been fading since high school years — unanswered messages on both sides, conversations abandoned midway, as if we had gone out of breath from running around the same track. It was a long time coming. Others went abruptly and loudly, leaving scars that will keep opening before they heal.

Either way, it hurts when ‘is’ becomes ‘was’. And it’s even harder to leave those rotting relationships behind when they keep reappearing, when your guard is down, through threads of social media. Keeping someone around like that, labelling them friend even when the word is empty of meaning, makes it easier to leave a window ajar in case the real thing is ever revived.

It’s easy to scroll through moments of their life and sink deeper into the what ifs. To wonder if they think of the past at all.
Read More

KAIRA THE BOOK GODDESS

a reader in a rough

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personal blog, musings, and ideas

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Books, reviews and discussion

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Tales of friendship, food and a sense of belonging.

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