Seagulls walk on days like this, I thought as the wind hustled me down the city sidewalk. I kept my mouth shut against the blender of dust, last year’s leaves, bird poo and bug bits swirling around me. I’d be glad to head home to supper and a warm shower.
A piece of paper — no, an envelope — twirled past me, tick-ticking as bounced off the concrete. I glanced over my shoulder to see if anyone was pursuing it, but it appeared to be unaccompanied on its outing.
At one point it flopped on the sidewalk, exhausted, but when I caught up with it the wind sent it sailing again, sweeping it over the traffic and into the next block. It didn’t have to wait for the WALK light like I did.
A queue had formed at the bus stop; there I noticed the envelope had landed again. A teen boy stepped on it, oblivious, working his thumbs on his cell phone. I heard the beep, beep of an electronic game. He looked up only long enough to board the bus and flash his pass.
I snatched up the envelope before anyone else could step on it, then looked around to see if anyone was running after it. Nada. I boarded, waved my bus pass at the driver and found a seat. As the bus pulled away I examined the envelope. No stamp, so it wasn’t mailed. But it was sealed and there was obviously a letter inside.
The insignia at the top left said “Delorme & Pederson, Attorneys at Law.” Hmm… Across the front, written in a neat script, was the name, Mrs. Amy Allen. That’s it.
I sighed a prayer. Lord, how can I get this back to Amy Allen? Would she be listed in the phone book directory? What if the phone’s under her husband’s name? Why couldn’t it be Kathy Klompenhaus or Gloria Ganucci?
Oh, well. Best return it to the lawyers — impressively stamped by a teen’s sneaker — and let them deal with it.
At home I set the envelope on the counter to drop off in the morning and set about making supper. My husband Kelly would be home in half an hour and needed a quick meal before his meeting this evening. And I’d promised myself a shower to wash off all this street dust.
I don’t spend much time on Kijiji; occasionally I skim through the Hobbies & Crafts column to see if someone’s selling scrap-booking supplies á la cheap. Alone this evening, I felt an urge to go online and see if there’d be any interesting offers.
I scrolled through the first page of ads and was on the second when an ad piqued my interest. For sale: six rubber stamps. Hmm… I clicked on the ad and read it through, then my jaw dropped as I read: Contact Amy Allen, 304-3622.
It can’t be the same one. I grabbed the phone and punched in the number.
My words tumbled out. “Hi. I saw your ad for rubber stamps and I’m interested. But I also need to know…are you that Amy…? I mean…did you lose a letter in the wind today?”
“A letter? You found my letter?” She sounded shocked.
“I found one, sent from Delorme & Pederson, addressed to Amy Allen.”
“Oh, thank goodness! I was hoping and praying it would turn up somehow,” she exclaimed. “I picked it up at my lawyer’s office today, but it blew out of my hand and I had no idea how I’d ever find it again! I’m being called as witness in a lawsuit.”
“I didn’t know how I’d locate you, either, until I saw your ad on Kijij. Are you home this evening? I’ll bring the letter over.”
“Thank you so much,” she said. “I’ll put on some coffee, if you’d like some.”
“That would be great. Do you do a lot of scrap-booking?”
“Not so much lately. And you can have these stamps if you want them. They can be my payment for a SPECIAL DELIVERY letter. Thank you so much for grabbing it!”