"... and since it is a very dangerous place, I am not certain how much longer I will be able to stay at my hacienda and take care of my precious cocoa plants. Last week, the military showed up and announced, in no uncertain terms, that they were going to nationalize all my plantations and send me to jail. They think that I may be a British spy and a traitor. I have sent my wife to her family, together with the kids. They should be safe there. However, I need to stop now, and hope this letter will find you in good health and safety. Best wishes - Timothy"
He paused, pen in hand, and thought for a moment. The traffic outside his tiny apartment was noisy, the air too hot and filled with many different fragrants and smells.
Then he added, "PS: If you do not hear from me again, don't fear. Most likely everything is going to be fine."
There it was. A complete life on paper. On some days, his penpals were the only thing that kept him from ending it all.
He looked at the other letters awaiting reply, stacked on the edge of his worn desk. From the hallway, he could smell the fish stew his landlady was cooking. Fish, every Friday. He hated fish.
He sighed, took the next letter and spent a few moments rereading it carefully. Then he took out a white sheet of paper and started writing.
How are you doing? Thank you very much for your letter. Since you ask, my husband has recovered well from his injury, and things are going splendid in my little flower shop..."