Why exactly Ronnie came to eat lunch with his friend Archibald every day at his place of business was anybody’s guess. Especially since that place was a graveyard. But almost without fail Ronnie joined his pal at the undertaker’s office for a bite to eat. Today, though, Ronnie would finally ask the question that had pecked away at the back of his head almost all this time.
“What’s that, then?” said Ronnie, gesturing to an old fashioned wooden chest in the corner, out of place amongst the relatively modern office décor.
“It’s a box,” Archibald said, rolling his eyes.
“I can very well see that. I want to know what’s inside, don’t I?”
Archibald sighed in a way that communicated his surrender. Even so, his smile was one that Ronnie hadn’t seen before. “It’s rather private. But I suppose I can show you.”
With a brass key from his ring, Archibald clicked open the chest, producing from inside handfuls of postcards. He carefully placed a few dozen cards in front of Ronnie, perched on his desk.
The builder frowned, picking one up. “A postcard from Hawaii? ‘Dear Bill- Saw a shark today. Hope to see dolphins tomorrow. Love always, Vivian.’ What this all about, then, Archie? Who’s Vivian and Bill?”
Delicately Archibald removed the postcard from his friend’s fingers, replacing it in the same order whence it came. “That, my dear Ronald, is the fascinating bit. Vivian is a rich septuagenarian who travels the world and writes a letter every day. It is my duty to deliver these missives to her paramour here at home. All this entirely unbeknownst to her husband.”
“Sounds scandalous,” nodded Ronnie.
“Ah, but her husband is only unaware of her activity because he lies in Row E, Plot 101.”
“Hang on. Some old widow writes her dead fellow to tell him how she’s spending his money? And you read him a postcard? Every day?”
“That’s one way of looking at it. Or perhaps she remains rapturously in love, wishing him to continuing sharing her life in whatever way he can.”
“She’s a nutter. And so are you for helping her.”
“Perhaps, my friend. Or perhaps just a romantic.”