Replacement Wednesday

I look up the street. Buildings climb high above me on both sides, blotting out the sky. I had passed through markets at sunset. Everything touched with gold. Now the gold had receded, leaving a cool winter grey in its wake. The air is sharp; touched with snow. Inescapable grime coats everything. This isn’t a place where legal really came into things. I thrust my hands deep into my pockets. As I push forward, feet catching on potholes and internal uncertainty, my hand brushes something pliable and smooth. The letter. My face is suddenly very warm. Tears once again roll silently down my checks. I cling to the smooth paper and recount the words, like a lifeline.

‘Dearest Martha,

I’m sorry if you are worried about me. I wasn’t sure what to do.

Papa is dead, fucking dead M! And I feel like I’m drowning. I can’t catch my breath. I feel that if everything would just stop for a second I could breathe again. But it won’t, which means I am just going to keep drowning, forever…
I guess what I’m saying is
Papa always says that when you have a problem you try to find a solution. Well, I have a solution.
I’m going to Repcorp. I know you don’t approve of replacing memories. I know this could be really dangerous… but I have to something!!

Ned has promised to get this letter to you…. Just in case.
I know you can face Papa’s death, you are so much stronger than you think. I have always been the strong older brother but I can’t do it this time… sorry
I hope that I will see you soon. Because I would never want to leave you alone. I just can’t be like this
I will still know he’s gone but I won’t feel it so much and then I can be there for you as I should be.
… I will see you tomorrow.

Love you forever,

I almost walk past the door. Ned jumps out of the doorway and grabs my arm. He fixes me with a solemn stare. His deep black skin and warm eyes muted as snow starts to fall. He wraps arms around me for a moment. Quietly, as if this illegal street would eat his sincerity he whispers,

“You sure about this Jas?”

I nod into his shoulder. Finally, he lets me go.

“Okay. You’ve got the letter?”

My fingers tremble as I press the paper into his hand. Together we turn to face the small door. Ned shivers in the cold. I took a deep breath. I reached out and knocked. The door opened slowly, the door to my replacement Wednesday.