Category Archives: Letters from Denver

4.12 Secrets

3068Ms. Denver Milford
27 Herring Ranch Road
Twinbrook

Friday, September 11, 3068

Dear Liliya,

Please don’t judge me but I’ve been keeping a guilty secret and I just have to tell someone!

After my birthday I fell into a kind of depression, I felt old and obsolete. I lost interest in my gallery and my art, I just couldn’t find any inspiration. Eugene is busy with his plans to study in China next year, Arthur Jr. and Mikki are away at boarding school, and my Twinbrooks friends have all fallen to discussing grandchildren and their various illnesses. I found myself struggling to find my purpose.

However, a few months ago Jeffry, Eugene’s half-brother, began spending more time at the house. The boys don’t really have much in common and I think Eugene is secretly jealous of Jeffry’s relationship with their father. But Jeffry always found a reason to visit, always bringing me little gifts and surprises. He’s so kind and thoughtful, always taking the time to bring some happiness into my lonely life. And yet it came as a complete surprise when, in the middle of an animated conversation about performance art, he leaned over and kissed me. We’ve been having a secret affair ever since! I’m deliriously happy. He makes me laugh, he makes me feel attractive, and he makes me feel young again.

Of course, no one can ever find out, especially Eugene. He would be so angry! I know it’s unfair to ask but I beg you to keep my secret. Liliya, I am finally happy — surely you can understand that? I have energy and purpose again. I find myself springing out of bed every morning, happy to be alive! And I’m focused on the gallery again, after many months of stagnation. Next month’s re-opening will be so exciting, I do hope you and Pasha will come.

All my love,
Denver_Notera

4.11 Brothers and Cousins

3067Ms. Denver Milford
27 Herring Ranch Road
Twinbrook

Sunday, August 18, 3067

Dear Liliya,

I saw a group of protesters outside the gallery today and I immediately thought of my dear brother, Mikhail. I felt my eyes filling up with tears and I had to run away before anyone noticed, I look old and ugly when I cry. However, someone did notice and you’ll never guess who. A sweet, young man offered me a tissue and after we chatted for a little while I discovered that it was Eugene’s half-brother, Jeffry Havens!  He’s only a few years older than Eugene and not nearly as handsome but there’s just something about him. Perhaps he reminds me of his father, Niklaus. I never could resist “Dr. Whittington”, I think Jeffry has inherited his charismatic magnetism. Jeffry told me that Niklaus has aged very quickly in the last few years, do you think I should arrange for Eugene to meet his father before it’s too late?

Eugene returned from boarding school earlier this year and shortly after that we celebrated Mikki’s birthday. It was so sad to watch Mikki waiting for his father to turn up for the party, never giving up hope that he would walk through the door at any moment.  Of course he never did. Poor Mikki, it’s like he left his happiness behind with his childhood. Now it seems he’s always grumpy, just like Arthur.

I’m sure you’re as disappointed as I am that Eugene and Nikolai aren’t getting along very well. I had always hoped that the bond they shared as cousins would always stay with them but they seem to have less and less in common as they grow older.  Let’s hope that changes, I do want our families to stay connected.

Otherwise, there isn’t much news from Twinbrook. I’ve been ill for the last few weeks, it’s so frustrating! I’ve been so bored I picked up a book and started to learn about Inventing.  I’ve learned a lot about widgets and gadgets, but I don’t think it’s really my kind of hobby. Eugene is keen to visit China and has developed an interest in the martial arts. Maybe I should try that, instead.

Please give my love to Pasha and the boys.
Denver_Notera

 

4.10 So Much to Learn

3066Ms. Denver Milford
27 Herring Ranch Road
Twinbrook

Tuesday, April 3, 3066

Dear Liliya,

Time is passing so quickly, it seems like only yesterday I was helping Eugene with his homework. It’s sad that I can’t see him enjoying his final years as a teenager but I’m relieved that he’s enjoying his time at boarding school. His teachers are wonderful and I think it’s good for him to be around kind, intelligent men who can motivate and inspire him. I’ve always felt guilty that he never got a chance to know his real father.

Meanwhile Arthur Jr. always seems to have his nose in a book, just like his father. Unfortunately, he’s also become quite rebellious and has stayed out after curfew more than a few times.  Things were so much easier when he was a quiet, little boy!  I’ve already made some inquiries at Smugglesworth Prep School and they’ve agreed to accept him for the next semester.

Thankfully sweet, little Mikki brings me nothing but joy. He’s always doing his best to make me smile, he doesn’t seem to take after Arthur at all!

My horse riding lessons have been going very well, although I must admit that I love my outfit more than I love taking care of my horse.  Shamus is a male Irish Draught and although he’s very agile, he’s also quite shy and ornery.  Last week he was spooked by a lightning storm and I haven’t been able to handle him properly since.  I think it may be time to put him up for sale.

You know me well enough to understand that I can’t sit still for very long. My next project is so exciting, I’ve been bursting to tell you! A month ago I finally finished negotiations and the paperwork has finally been completed.  I am now the proud owner of the Milford Gallery, Twinbrook’s finest art gallery. I wanted to leave something behind for the boys, something permanent and meaningful. And now I can finally focus on honing my creative skills, I’ve already signed up for sculpting lessons!

Thank you so much for sending the family photos, it’s hard to believe that you and Pasha are getting older. It was quite a shock to see my brother with grey hair! As I get closer to reaching “middle age” I feel myself clinging to my youth.  I still have so much to learn, so many people to meet, I’m not ready to be old!

Liliya you continue exude dignity and grace with each passing year, getting older doesn’t seem to bother you at all. What is your secret?

All my love,
Denver_Notera

4.09 Life After Arthur

3065Ms. Denver Milford
27 Herring Ranch Road
Twinbrook

Wednesday, January 4, 3065

Dear Liliya,

Our lives have changed so much since I last wrote! I’m glad you and Pasha have worked through your marital problems, I know that he loves you very much. I’m also grateful that he let you stay with us last year, the stress was almost unbearable for me. I’m certain the boys and I wouldn’t be as happy as we are today if it weren’t for you.

Our new home is truly amazing, the inheritance from Mother’s estate couldn’t have come at a better time. The architect is well-known in Twinbook and I’m grateful every day for being able to live in such a beautiful space.

Eugene is growing up to be a fine, young man. I’m so proud of him and I try to tell him as often as I can.  I know it’s been difficult for him growing up without a father, he went through a rough patch and his grades really suffered after Arthur and I divorced. I had no choice but to enrol him at Dribbledine Sports Academy.  We’ll miss him but I’m sure it’s for the best.

I’ve given it a lot of thought and I’ve decided to stay in contact with Arthur, but only for the sake of Arthur Jr. and Mikki. I do want them to know their father and just because our marriage ended doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t play a role in their lives. They’re both growing up so fast! Having teenagers makes me look so old, it makes dating quite difficult. Thankfully I now have enough money to send the boys to boarding school as soon as they’re out of primary school.

Now that we have so much space, I think I’ll enrol in horse riding lessons. I think it’s important to keep busy while we adjust to our new lives on Ranch Road, and it’s a great way to meet new people!

Please give Pasha and the boys a big hug from all of us.

All my love,
Denver_Notera

 

4.08 No Question

3063Mrs. Denver Milford
14 Poker Flats Drive
Twinbrook

Sunday, July 19, 3063

Dear Liliya,

It was good to see you and Pasha at Mother’s funeral, I only wish we could have reunited under happier circumstances.  I’m flattered that you chose to confide in me, I’m sure you and Pasha will be able to work through this difficult time in your marriage. Mother’s deterioration following Mikhail’s death brought a great deal of stress to Pasha, I hope her passing will finally allow him to relax and focus on you and the boys.

It seems this is a year of unhappiness for us all.  I should have known better. I should have listened to you and Pasha when you tried to warn me about Arthur’s dark side. He may be an artistic genius but something much more sinister lurks beneath his brooding silence.

We had a terrible argument. I don’t even remember how it started but over the course of a few hours it got worse and worse, each insult and accusation nastier than the last. I’m not proud of the things I said to my husband, but I don’t think I will ever forgive Arthur for what he did next. I was screaming at him, trying to make him understand my point, when he just snapped. He came lunging towards me, his arm raised to strike, and the next thing I knew I was on the floor. I think he was as stunned as I was, but when I saw the darkness in his eyes I knew that this time wouldn’t be the last. I asked him to pack his bags that night and he left the house without further debate. Eugene is being very brave but the younger boys haven’t stopped crying since. The bruises on my face will heal but there is no question in my mind. Our marriage is over.

Oh Liliya, once again I am a single mother but this time with three children. Who would have me?

Please take good care of yourselves and visit us if you can.

All my love,
Denver_Notera

 

4.07 What Dreams May Come

3062Mrs. Denver Milford
14 Poker Flats Drive
Twinbrook

Saturday, May 24, 3062

Dear Liliya,

I’m so pleased to announce the birth of our son, Mikhail, who came into this world last Monday at 2:16 AM.  It was a long and difficult labour, I was told that I shouldn’t have any more children.  Instead of feeling sadness I think I was relieved. The night air was cold when we left the hospital and I couldn’t help but dwell on the eerie chill in my relationship with Arthur.

You’ve only just left and already I miss you.  I was so pleased that you and Pasha decided to visit us in Twinbrook, it was wonderful to see you all.  I’m also grateful that Pasha took the time to give me such good medical advice.  This pregnancy was so difficult compared with Eugene and Arthur Jr. and I don’t understand why.  My dreams have been so strange since Mikki’s birth.  At night my head is filled with visions of pills, garbage and cough syrup.  I’m tired all the time and I’ve become obsessed with checking for new wrinkles. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I look like my grandmother in her apron!  I wanted more out of life than this.

I’ve taken the news of Aunt Chantel’s death quite badly, I just can’t stop thinking about it. For her to die on Eugene’s birthday felt strange, almost too sinister to ignore. Something just doesn’t seem right about this wonderful life in Twinbrook, I can feel it in my bones. Liliya, do you think I’m having a mid-life crisis?

All my love,
Denver_Notera

4.06 Talking to Ghosts

3061Mrs. Denver Milford
14 Poker Flats Drive
Twinbrook

Thursday, November 14, 3061

Dear Liliya,

I woke up early this morning, put a smile on my face and made pancakes. The never-ending housework and being a good mother to Eugene and little Arthur Jr. keeps me busy and I’m generally quite content. But honestly, nothing makes me unhappier than cleaning a toilet!

We invited Mother to stay with us for a few days so we could all celebrate Eugene’s birthday together. What a disaster. A few times I heard her talking in the other room when she didn’t think anyone was listening but I know she was completely alone.  Do you think she’s talking to Mikhail? She and Arthur argued almost every day and when she slapped him for no reason he finally put his foot down.  She won’t be visiting us again.

Unfortunately, Eugene has grown up to be absent-minded, just like his father.  But one thing he never forgets is how much he loves skating. The entire lake has frozen over and Eugene is on the ice every chance he gets. He’s happy to have a little brother and can’t wait for Arthur Jr. to be older so they can skate together.

Arthur seems more and more withdrawn, he’ll sit for hours contemplating the meaninglessness of life.  I suppose it’s the price of his artistic genius but I do wish he wouldn’t be so gloomy.  His first book of poetry, Dreams of Autumn, did quite well and the royalty payments are enough to pay the bills. But now he spends most of his time at the library working on his new book Death of a Waitress. He tells me that I’m the only woman who will ever really understand him, but to be honest I’m not sure that I do.

Strangely, although I find myself yearning for new, happy adventures, I’m desperate to have another baby. It’s too early to tell and I haven’t told Arthur yet, but I think I might be pregnant again! I do wish you and Pasha would bring the boys to visit us, Eugene still asks about Nikki all the time.  Liliya, It’s been too long since we laughed.

All my love,
Denver_Notera

4.05 The Milford Wife

3060Mrs. Denver Milford
14 Poker Flats Drive
Twinbrook

Monday, September 3, 3060

Dear Liliya,

It’s difficult to write this letter because I’m still upset that you and Pasha wouldn’t come to Twinbrook for my wedding. I was hoping for a family celebration, a chance to introduce Arthur to the people I love most but obviously Pasha doesn’t approve.  I should be used to his disapproval by now but I can’t pretend that it doesn’t bother me.  Even as a child he would look down his superior nose at me, sneering at my attempts to keep up with his intellect.  I know that you must support your husband but, dear Liliya, your absence brought tears to my eyes on what should have been the happiest day of my life.

We were married in a quiet, private ceremony at City Hall. I invited Mother but she wasn’t well enough to attend. I hoped she would get better over time but I don’t think she’ll ever recover from Mikhail’s death. The doctors say that she is living in some kind of “suspended reality”, whatever that means. Arthur and I visited her shortly before we got married but we both walked away feeling confused and upset.

Our honeymoon in France was romantic but somehow Arthur seemed distant. After my nectar making lessons I often found him alone in the bookstore, with a scowl on his face, absorbed in his thoughts. Thankfully, we’ve stocked up on enough wine to last for months!

Ever since we got back from France I find myself feeling tired and listless. I’m sure it’s just a case of jet lag and stomach flu. Arthur is convinced it’s because I’m working too much and has decided that I should quit my job at the Bistro so I can focus on being a good mother to Eugene.  He’s very traditional and I do want to be a good Milford wife.

All my love,
Denver_Notera

4.04 Falling into Place

3059Ms. Denver Karev
14 Poker Flats Drive
Twinbrook

Saturday, July 9, 3059

Dear Liliya,

Congratulations to you and Pasha on the birth of little Pyotr, such a traditional Russian name! I know you were secretly hoping for a girl but Pasha must be over the moon at having two boys to carry on the Karev family name.

Life in Twinbrook is very good, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been! The people here are so open and friendly, nothing like the judgemental snobbery in Saint Cloud. A few months ago I applied for a job at the local bistro and they offered me the position right away. My pay cheque may be small but my cooking skills are improving rapidly. And it’s not just my new job that’s put a spring in my step, I have the most wonderful news!

It was a rainy summer night as I was leaving work and I couldn’t wait to get home to Eugene. A strange-looking man bumped into me just outside the bistro but before I even had time to complain he offered me his umbrella and the most heartfelt apology I’ve ever heard. We began talking that night in the warm rain and haven’t stopped since. It’s hard to describe but I’ve never known anyone so intense.

His name is Arthur and he just makes my heart melt. I can’t wait for you and Pasha to meet him! I just know he’ll be a famous author someday, he’s always got his nose buried in a book and the way he chooses his words when he writes me letters – it’s pure artistic genius.

It doesn’t bother Arthur that I’ve had a child out of wedlock. In fact, I think he respects me for it. When I watch him with Eugene I just know he would be a good father. Even though we haven’t talked seriously about marriage or children, he’s obviously very family-oriented. The other day I found him in the kitchen, brooding over his morning coffee. There was such a dark look on his face but when he saw me he immediately broke into a smile. I think he really does love me!

Money is still tight for us and paying the bills on time is always a struggle. But somehow I’m not worried because I know that everything is going to be okay. Oh Liliya, everything is finally falling into place.

All my love,
Denver_Notera

4.03 Fresh Start

3058Ms. Denver Karev
14 Poker Flats Drive
Twinbrook

Thursday,  August 12, 3058

Dear Liliya,

Greetings from Twinbrook! I’ve almost finished unpacking, thank you for letting me take some of the old family portraits. Our new home is lovely and Eugene and I are settling in nicely. The town is full of interesting people, I’m sure we will make good friends here. Those close-minded women in Saint Cloud often sneered when they asked about Eugene’s father, I am hopeful that people here won’t be so judgemental. I know it won’t be easy but I have no regrets about my decision to be a single mother. It’s a shame people can’t understand that I’m not a terrible woman with “loose morals” chasing after their husbands.

It was hard to leave you all behind but the only way we can have a fresh start is in a new town where no one knows us. I don’t usually let gossip bother me but the vicious rumour mill was simply too much to take. Just before we left Bradford I discovered that Niklaus, Eugene’s father, had a previous child out of wedlock with another woman. The child’s name is Jeffry and he lives with his mother in Saint Cloud. Do you think I should tell Eugene that he has an older brother?

Speaking of brothers, I am so pleased to hear that you and Pasha are expecting another child! You must be tickled pink. Eugene often asks about his cousin, Nikki, and I assure him that you’ll come to visit us in our new home soon. You will, won’t you?

Que sera, sera, dear Liliya. Whatever will be, will be but I must admit that I have a good feeling about this place.

All my love,
Denver_Notera