Red Writing Hood: The Email

This week’s Red Writing Hood prompt was: You or your character find a forgotten letter or card from someone important in your life–whether good or bad.  What does it say?  How does it affect you or your character?  What is done with it?

In part one of this story, which you can read here, lovesick Jill sent Ryan an anonymous email which accused his girlfriend of cheating on him.  Concrit is welcome as always!

There was a folder along the left hand side of the screen which contained only one piece of email.  One which Ryan had avoided like the plague for five years, and yet he couldn’t bring himself to delete it.

But now the cursor hovered over it.

Why not? he thought.  It can’t hurt me now.  Click.

The past came rushing back.

I’m writing this as a friend.  You need to know the truth about Kelly before you get hurt.  She’s been playing you the whole time you’ve been with her.  I saw her all over another guy last Friday nite.  She’s a lying whore.  Get rid of her before things get worse.

First he’d sat there, stunned.  This had to be a joke.  Right?

He re-read.  The meaning behind the words sank in.  But it couldn’t be true.  He wouldn’t allow himself to accept it.

He’d headed straight for Kelly’s dorm room.  As much as he wanted to dismiss it, he couldn’t let it go.  Had she really been sick that night?

But she didn’t answer his knock.  He called her cell.  Voicemail.  Was she with another guy? Don’t even go there, he told himself firmly.  He hung up without leaving a message.

Who else could he talk to? Jill.  Of course.  He called her and asked her to meet him.  She’d help him make sense of this – and if not he knew he could at least cry in front of her.

She was waiting for him when he got there.  Even through his torment he noticed that she looked…jumpy.  He hadn’t told her what the emergency was, only that he needed her.  Yet she bit her lip and bounced her legs up and down as if she was the one falling apart.

He sat next to her and buried his head in his hands.  His voice shaking, he said, “I just got an email…telling me that Kelly’s cheating on me…I don’t want to believe it…but what if it’s true?”.

He felt her hand touch his shoulder.  “Have you talked to Kelly?” she asked gently.  He shook his head.  “Good,” Jill said, “you need calm down first”.

Through the haze of pain he knew she was right.  She was always right.

For a long time they just sat there like that until Jill broke the silence.  “This is so tough.  How can a person prove that they were really sick after the fact?”.

Her words slowly sank in.  Sick? He never told her what the email said, only what it accused.  Ryan raised his head and looked his best friend in the eye.  There was something there – sympathy mixed with…what was it? Excitement? Maybe fear?

He shook her hand off his shoulder and stood to face her.  “How do you know it has anything to do with her telling me she was sick?” he asked.  And it all came out.  Within the hour their friendship was over.  They hadn’t spoken since.

The worst part, Ryan reflected now, was that he and Kelly only lasted another few months.  What a waste it had all been.

He closed the email and leaned back in his chair.  Time had blunted the pain of betrayal and lent some understanding to what had occured.  And now it was his choice to hold on to the hurt or to let go and move on.

He highlighted the folder and clicked the red X to delete it.

He wondered if Jill still had the same cell number.  It was possible.  Only one way to find out.

He took a deep breath, picked up the phone and dialed.


Hmmm…he’s quite the forgiving guy. I suppose 5 years is a long time, more than enough to move on.

I enjoyed the flashback and your development of Jill’s “guilt” and Ryan figuring it all out.


Interesting. I would not have guessed that he was going to call her. Honestly, I’m not sure that I want him too, even though I understand her motives in sending the email. 5 years! Now that’s a conversation I’d love to be a fly on the wall for.


Nicely done! The flashback was good, Jill’s own guilt undermining her.
It was time to call. Time to forgive.


I really like this but I have one comment. Am I missing something or does it not say anything about being sick in the email? Maybe that was in the last piece?


oh Jen, this is just perfect. I LOVED IT! the suspense was perfect and the writing was too, it sounded just right. I sure hope she answers that call!!!!!! It’s so good to se ur words again!! xoxo

Mrs. Jen B

Thank you so much, friend. It feels good to be writing again. Now I just need to get the cooking juices flowing again and I’ll be all set!


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