A Year In France – Episode 62

Supplied © A Year In France illustration by Mandy Dixon

“Dad didn’t know you’d married,” Travis said. “It was something I discovered when I started looking for you.”

“He had beautiful handwriting,” Julia murmured, unconsciously tapping her foot on the floor as she studied the envelope.

“Dad was proud of his handwriting,” Travis said. “He was for ever trying to make me improve mine.” He glanced at Philippe. “Does she often do that?”

“Do what?” Julia asked mystified, looking up.

“Tap your foot.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realise I was doing it.” Julia said, immediately keeping her foot still.

“She does it all the time,” Philippe said.

“Dad used to do the same when he was agitated,” Travis said quietly.

Julia looked at him but said nothing as she opened the envelope carefully.

She moved away from Travis and began to read the first and last letter she’d ever received from her father.

My dear Julia,

If you are reading this letter it means that the reconciliation I’ve longed for over the years will never happen now, which fills me with regret.

I’ve had a good life over here in Australia – one that I’d hoped in the beginning to share with Geraldine and you, but it was not to be.

Geraldine had her reasons for not wanting to leave England and I had to respect that, while, at the same time, knowing it wasn’t the place I wanted to stay all my life.

I asked her to change her mind and join me out here, but stubborn was her middle name. She said she couldn’t imagine living in a foreign country.

In the end we decided it was better to set ourselves free so we could both have another chance of a loving relationship, but I want you to know, Julia, that your mother was my first true love and I loved you from the moment you were born. It broke my heart leaving the two of you.

I was lucky enough to meet and fall in love with Jacqueline and become father to Travis.

Travis will tell you everything he can about me. He’s a lot like me in many ways, and maybe through him you’ll get an inkling of the kind of father I wanted to be for you.

My dearest wish is that the two of you can form a relationship even at this late stage.

I’m sorry that I haven’t been a presence in your life, but I sincerely hope you are happy and will continue to be so.

Your loving father,

Tom Edgar.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.