Letters from Allison to herself — part 2

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If you haven’t read part 1 it is here.

Allison felt her feet carry her off the train and through Union Station to the cab line. She felt herself get into the cab and say 2716 S Street Northwest. The cab pulled away and she pulled he third letter out of her pocket.

She had found the letter in an envelope marked D.C. in her overnight bag at home. She wasn’t sure what was going to happen and clothes for an extended trip was prudent she thought.

Dear Allison,

Open this if you are going to DC. If you are reading this, but going to Miami then you must have also grabbed your larger bag for a longer trip. Either way it’s time I gave you some more information.

I am you, but you have had some difficult mental issues your whole life. Remember when you were pulled out of middle school and took the GED instead of going to high school with others? Remember when in college you woke up in the middle of the football field without having any memory of the week before? There are gaps in your life that you just have learned to ignore and pray that you didn’t do anything bad.

I am the part of you that is conscious during those times. You have always enjoyed puzzles. In fact this is why you became one of the youngest PhD students in the Yale Math department. It’s why you became a contractor for the company you work at in Manhattan developing new encryption techniques. There is one last letter in the apartment.

When you get to D.C. go to 2716 S Street Northwest you will find the letter in the refrigerator with your lunch. Read it and if you decide to follow through call 240–235–5555 and tell them who you are and that you will need an escort to the office.



The compact buildings of Washington D.C. passed in front of Allison’s eyes. All she could think about was how almost no one knew about her secret of lost time. Only her parents knew and even they were loathe to speak of it. They told her that when she was having an episode she was still the same person, but that she was more athletic and very competitive.

Allison was 29 and she lived alone in an apartment on the upper west side of Manhattan. She took the 2 train to work. She liked to run the New York Marathon and she enjoyed solving puzzles in her spare time. She didn’t really have friends. She was too afraid of what happened in her periods of lost time to get close to anyone.

She paid the cab driver when he stopped outside of a plain looking blue row house. The cab driver helped her carry her bag to her porch and waved goodbye to her while talking in Swahili to his cousin in Kenya about how money rained down from the trees in America and that people tipped you for doing service jobs.

Allison slide the key that was in her D.C. envelope into the lock and turned. The deadbolt slide open with ease and she slipped inside the house without hesitation. If this was her own planning then she was going to be fine. Allison needed to know what happened during her lost time and why it happened. It was the puzzle she could never figure out.

To be continued…

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Thank you for reading.

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Writer of The Polymerist newsletter. Talk to me about chemistry, polymers, plastics, sustainability, climate change, and the future of how we live.

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