Careful... is it ready? It looks good. Then seal it. Steady... steady...
After she had meticulously revised and edited every word, every sentence, the yellow Cybunny sealed the envelope to her neomail. With painstaking precision, she added the final touch: a 92 NP Angry Janitor Stamp, in perfect alignment with the edges of the envelope.
Pikachibi stepped back, holding it out at arm’s length to admire her precise work. She did not say it aloud, nor did she even directly think it, but she knew somewhere in her heart that the recipient of this letter would see the hard work put into every aspect of it. They would see the loving penmanship, and the caring edits. The two hours of work put into this would pay off; it had to.
Taking a deep breath, she dropped the letter in the mailbox. Now all she could do was wait for an answer.
When are you coming home? We’re all waiting for you. Please come back soon!
Why had it taken so long just to write these three simple sentences? Why was the Cybunny’s desk covered in so many drafts of this one letter? Why had it taken so long to find the right wording, the right way of saying things?
The letter was a short one. There were so many things left unsaid, and yet Pikachibi had felt like she had said all she needed to. With those three simple sentences, she had explained how much she missed her sister. She had explained how much it meant that she come home. She had explained her excitement, and yes – her impatience.
But what she had said most of all was not exactly in words. It was hidden between the lines, in the metaphorical space of invisible ink that would somehow only be understood by the recipient and sender of this letter. It was the only thing Pikachibi needed an answer for. If the reply she got completely ignored the rest of the letter, that was fine with her. As long as it answered that one little message, the one written in invisible ink.
Pikachibi awoke the next day. She wanted to stay warm in her cozy bed, but she got up anyway. It was possible that her sister had already replied to the neomail. And if so, hopefully with the answer to that one question in invisible ink. The question had been bothering Pikachibi, even if she would not admit it. It was in the back of her mind all the time, no matter what she did. It was truly something important, something her sister needed to answer.
She slowly got ready for the day, giving herself time to think about the letter and what response she might receive. In any case, when she headed out to check there was nothing in the inbox. The Cybunny sighed. Tomorrow, maybe. Or the day after. It would have to come eventually; her sister wouldn’t just ditch her like that. She would respond, wouldn’t she?
Pikachibi sat by her window, a distant look in her yellow eyes. The neomail inbox had remained untouched for days. It just sat there, almost abandoned. The Cybunny flicked her ears at it impatiently, hoping the response she was waiting for would come soon. She could not take any more of this; it was killing her. Neomails came instantly, so why had she not received one yet? She had sent out the letter almost a month ago, yet still nothing came. Maybe her letter had not gone through? Perhaps she had put the wrong username on the envelope? She had considered sending out another one, but somehow she knew the letter had arrived. She just did not want to admit that the reply just had not been sent.
She took a pillow and buried her whiskered face in it, ready to cry. Where was her sister now? What was she doing? Did she know the pain this Cybunny was going through, waiting by the window each day for a single neomail? Did she know that this single neomail meant the world to this single Cybunny?
Pikachibi dismally hopped to the inbox, her eyes cast down as she predicted what she would find. It would be nothing, like all the other days. She would peer into the inbox, hoping uselessly to find something that wouldn’t be there and would never be there. There would be no reply, no neomails whatsoever. This was what always happened, and at this point she had come to learn that it was what would continue to happen every day. Nothing would be able to change that, she thought.
As she came upon the inbox that day, however, a single envelope sat in the dusty box. It was a plain, pale yellow, as most of them were, but it looked just as inviting to Pikachibi as an intricately decorated, gold-plated one would have.
She carefully reached in, her paw shaking with anticipation, and snatched up the neomail. “Moli” said the return address in wispy handwriting. Pikachibi could feel her heart laboriously pumping, a soft yet firm duDUM... duDUM... duDUM.
She carefully slid her paw under the flap of the envelope, gently easing it away from the body to open it without any rips or tears. She slowly reached her paw into the envelope, and extracted a single sheet of paper. It wasn’t even a special stationery; it was just normal, plain, white paper. Taking deep, shaky breaths, she read the answer she had been waiting so very long for.
Pikachibi’s eyes widened as she stared at the letter, shocked. Where was the body? Had her sister just sent her a blank letter? Had she not answered the invisible message written between the lines?
She just stood there, a horrified look set deeply on her face. How could this have happened? How could a letter so meticulously and lovingly put together be returned with this? Had all her pain been for nothing?
Then suddenly a smile spread on the Cybunny’s face, as realization dawned upon her. Through this blank letter, her sister had, in fact, answered the all-important metaphorical message. She had cared enough to get an envelope and stamp. She was well enough to write a greeting and a closing. She was able enough to make the trip to the post office to send her message to Pikachibi.
She was alright. She would be coming home. She had not fallen ill with neomonia, she could still travel and laugh and write. She could still return to where she belonged, and take care of her sister just as she used to. They would still be able to play that game neither would admit to loving. The one where, when they had clashing opinions, they would just stare deep into one another’s eyes until one sighed submissively, allowing the other to have their way.
Moli had not written much, and yet she had said a lot. She had written just enough to cover all Pikachibi cared about. She had written the ultimate letter, the most thought-provoking, meaningful set of words possible.
Pikachibi couldn’t help but chuckle to herself. Was that what the months of waiting had been for? Had her sister needed that long to come up with a letter like this?
Yet, seeing the outcome, she realized it had been well worth it. Those days spent waiting by the window, and those hours spent crying into her pillow. They were worth the letter that said more than any words could have ever said.