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The update comes from heaven

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I came home after a tiring day at work and found that woman leaning against my gate, it was extremely cold and her bare feet on the pavement were pale, heels and lips chapped a lot. Her eyes were timid once she sees me, her hands wrapped around her body, trying to hide the trembling behind her discolored shawl. Looking at the thick snowflakes covering her shoulders and hair, I got angry at myself for my weariness, slow steps, how long has she been waiting here?
She asked me to borrow some barley flour, her little Jimmy was sick, along with the promise of repayment as soon as her husband returned from the quarry, maybe just a few more days.
I gave her half a bag of flour, a few sausages, some candles, and a dollar and a half - trying to stuff in her hand. She burst into tears, so much that I couldn't hear what she said after that. As she walked, I heard the rustle of her feet on the frozen ground, growing faster and faded out, probably because of little Jimmy.
A few days later, she waited for me at the gate again and gave me a piece of paper. She asked if I could read it to her. Little Jimmy recovered, the respectable doctor has found a good family that wants to adopt and take care of Jimmy, at least until winter is over, he takes the honor to make sure they're nice people, and tomorrow they'll come to take the boy on a carriage.
I realized what she wanted me to read, it was the paper I used to pack the sausages the day before, she said Jimmy found it and he wanted to know what it was written, she wanted to answer before wishing he sleeps well tonight.
Of course, I agreed, I told her that this paper was probably torn from a fairy tale book. About the story of an adventure to find the mother of a kind boy with his three friends: a dog, a cat, and a sparrow. It has a happy ending.
I try to read slowly in her attentive and serious eyes. She was so focused on the story that she forgot to say goodbye to me and muttered the contents of the story to herself on the way home. I saw an old pair of shoes at her feet, perhaps another gift from the doctor.
A few more days passed, she waited for me at the gate, she was pale and thinner, and coughed a lot, a little while ago I heard the doctor talk about her condition, I just didn't expect it got worse so quickly.
Looking at what she was holding in her hand, I sighed deeply, it was the letter her husband sent back from the quarry, can’t remember how many times she asked me to read it. I can’t deny that request, in truth, I am the only person around here who can read this letter.
*

"Dear my Glenda!"
- No, it's not like that, you read it wrong Mr. Thomson, it must be "Dear beloved Glenda!".
- Ah. I'm mistaken; my eyes are fatigued. Sorry, Mrs. Glenda, let me read it again.
“Dear my beloved Glenda!
I miss you and our little Jimmy so much. The job at the quarry was so good, so good that I couldn't leave halfway because it was irresponsible. You know I'm not such an irresponsible person, that's why you love me, right, my wife? "
- Oh, my husband, he is always delusional like that, as if without him, the quarry will stop working. But who fell in love with him? At that time, I felt he was so pitiful that I agreed to it. Keep reading Mr. Thomson, don't mind my babbling.
“… That's all, I want to tell you more, but save for spring, when I come back and bring you a lot of kisses.
Tell Jimmy that I always think about him.
I miss you and love you so much, your husband."
- Oh, I wish winter never ceased, let him die at that quarry, who would crave anything from his bearded mouth. The letter is different today, Mr. Thomson, you sure it says ‘spring’, Mr. Thomson?
- How many times have I explained to you, Glenda, the words have not changed, but their reading style often changes, otherwise, people print so many books for? You just need to know that the main things your husband wants to say in the letter are still fine, and ‘spring’- I am sure to you, it’s obviously here, isn’t it?
- Oh, don’t mind an idiot as I am, Mr. Thomson, I was just thinking about little Jimmy, the doctor said he has had schooling, it was so hard for him with all those ever-changing things.
I intended to give back the letter, but when I saw her pleading eyes, I pulled my hand away.
- Have to keep reading? Mrs. Glenda?
- Please, Mr. Thomson, read the end of the letter, if my heartless husband tries to write, I will try to listen. Read on, Mr. Thomson, please.
I breathed out, which made me more tired than a long working day.
- P.S, "I love you, I love you," a total of thirty times "I love you" like that. Done.
- No, not like that, Mr. Thomson. Surely my husband didn’t write like that, please read it all, read it like before and rather, slowly, gently, and mildly as he wanted to tell me, Oh flattering tricks, that's the only thing he's good at. Please, read his words, Mr. Thomson.
When I looked into Glenda's eyes filled with embarrassment but determination, what I wanted to say slipped down my throat again. Taking a deep breath, slowly opening the letter, I tried to read it exactly with the 'word' her husband wrote. And when I saw how she pressed her fingers to count, I felt a lot of pressure.
“P.S, to Glenda, my beloved wife.
I love you!
I love you!
I love you!
I love you!
...
...
I love you!
I love you!
I love you!
I love you!
I love you!..."
Honestly, I didn’t count, only when I saw her put one hand on her chest and smile, and wiped the corner of her eye with the other, I stop reading.
- Is it because the new reading style has changed again, Mr. Thomson? This time more than twice "I love you", I hope the next time will change as well, I hope it goes on more, not less. Thank you very much, Mr. Thomson.
I said nothing, just silently watched she carefully folded the letter, smoothed and closed the edge of the envelope, wrapped it in soft cotton, maybe that was the finest cloth she had. She put it in another bag, lightly squeezed it, and held it with both hands, near her chest, cradling it on the way home. Maybe it was because of the snow and wind, I couldn't tell whether her sob or her suppressing cough.
This winter has been harsh, the sight of ice and snow everywhere has always made it feel like it will last forever. Once the temperature had reached its peak, I decided to stay in the workplace instead of facing the cold and slipperiness on the way home.
Then one night, I heard a quick knock on the door. The manager of the workshop where I am working, he came from home by carriage, which was not a wise decision in this weather.
- Hurry, Thomson, we ... ah ... Glenda needs your help.
Just looking into his eyes, I could guess most of what was going on, and the two of us were silent on the way to Glenda's house.
- Oh, Thomson, here we are! - The speaker was another nice neighbor of mine, who made a living by embroidering the bible on silk towels, and every weekend she sings a soprano in the church choir.
Coincidentally Mr. Thomson, your priest and the doctor both left their glasses at home at the same time, and the others, either like me, know nothing or are like my old men - (She pointed to the manager who just brought me in) - has not updated this month's latest reading style. So, for Mrs. Glenda, bother you again, Mr. Thomson.
- Of course, it is my honor, ma'am.
I smiled, took the letter, and sat down in the reserved chair next to where Glenda was lying.
The room was very cozy, with about ten people standing together. In the flickering light of the candles, the crack of dried pine wood burning in the hearth, the peace coming from everyone's faces gradually dampened Glenda's wheezing breath.
In a few seconds, she became much more cheerful when she saw the letter open wide in my hand. She moved her lips, the sound couldn't be heard, but I knew what she wanted to ask, and of course, I answered honestly.
- Yes, Mrs. Glenda. In this week's update on how to read, the number of words in the mail has increased a lot. You are lucky, and if it was last week it would have decreased by almost half.
Glenda smiled with satisfaction and motioned for me to start.
And of course, in the listening attentiveness of everyone, I began to read.
...
“Dear my beloved Glenda!
I miss you and our little Jimmy so much. The job at the quarry was so good, so good that I couldn't leave halfway because it was irresponsible.
(Glenda's dull eyes were drawn in mockery, I knew she was trying to make fun of her husband, the wives' interests. Gently holding her thin hand, I continued to read.)
No one can split rocks better than your husband! The quarry owner is worried about the bonus he has to pay me which is stated in the contract when this mining season is over. I thought I'd reward myself with a beautiful horse, and tie it up behind the carriage I used to return to you.
(Glenda's eyes were half-closed, but I felt that her lips wanted to clench. Yes, the wives' anger at the husband's prodigality, every lawyer refuses the case like that)
And if the Doctor can find anyone who wants to take care of our Jimmy over the winter, Glenda, listen to me, please agree. Talk to Jimmy, encourage him to become an obedient child, and get used to all the goodness in his new place because that's exactly what I will give you and him when I come back)
(I can't feel much from Glenda's happy face anymore, but the letter is still, not over.)
“… That's all, I want to tell you more, but save for spring, when I come back and bring you lots of kisses.
Tell Jimmy that I always think about him.
Miss you and love you so much, your husband. ”
...
- That's enough, Mr. Thomson, she is gone. The doctor said and lowered his stethoscope.
- No, doctor. She's still here, I know it for sure. Because the letter still has a postscript ...
The parish priest smiled, again solemnly standing with his hands close to listen, and so did the others.
And so, like any other letter, it is read till the end.
...
“PS, to Glenda, my beloved wife.
I love you!
I love you!
I love you!
I love you!
...
...
I love you!
I love you!
I love you!
I love you!
..
I love you!
And a few extra words from this week's reading update.
I love you!
I love you!
I love you!"
...
**

Postscript
There are two sheets of paper are displayed solemnly in my town's church.
One is a death certificate with the handwriting of the quarry manager. It is framed with velvet cloth and its pouch.
The rest are leaflets that advertise some household items at the end of the year, still a bit of fat dripping from the sausage.
The new mayor often tells the kids the story on that greasy piece, the story of a boy looking for his mother, the only fairy tale he has in memory of his mother.
And if anyone doubts, they will receive a serious answer from the new mayor:
- That's because you read the paper the wrong way. You have to read it in the one right way, regularly updated from heaven.