Porter reached across the desk and took the envelope from Larry Walker's leathery hand. Walker offered a letter opener. Porter declined, slipped a fingernail under the edge of the flap, broke the seal, and opened it. Inside was a single, folded sheet of stationery paper, filled with Alice's handwriting.
My Dear Porter:
I hope this finds you well and in good spirits, my love, but I figure that's too much to hope for right now. Although I told you many times during the last months, it's important to tell you again, right now, that you were, are, and will always be the love of my life. No matter what happens, please don't ever doubt that. It is the truth, Porter. On this I swear.
You are no doubt confused and wondering why I created a will that you knew nothing about. On this, I can only ask you to trust me. All will be revealed in time. For now, please tell Mr. Walker that you are ready to proceed with the reading.
Porter slowly laid the letter onto the desk, more confused than ever. What could happen to make him doubt Alice's love for him? It was unthinkable, yet this letter clearly... He looked up at Walker and nodded. "Go ahead."
"You sure? You look a little peaked." Peak-ed. Two syllables. Tennessee style.
Porter nodded, and Walker opened the file folder. Porter leaned forward for a better look, but Walker quickly closed the folder. “Sorry. Strict instructions that you can only see what’s...authorized."
Could this get any weirder? Porter raised his hands in a mini-shrug and leaned back into his chair. Walker reopened the folder, removed a single sheet of paper from a thin stack, and handed it across. Porter would later wish a thousand times that he had not taken it.