He had not been expecting a letter. No one had sent him mail in years. His family never visited and never wrote, it was as simple as that. But the person he cared about the most, his wife Karen, promised she would write but never did. Where did it all go so wrong?
It was about 10 years earlier when Steve Filbert, a carefree newlywed, broke down on the side of a lonely stretch of highway. He figured he would just get his feet moving and walk back to town, it was only a few miles and he was young. He had been walking for about 20 minutes when he saw headlights approaching. He waived at the vehicle but it didn’t stop.
Another few minutes went by and he thought he heard a vehicle approaching from behind. He was right and this time the vehicle stopped. It was a rather ratty looking pick up truck and the two fellows inside didn’t look much better. They told Steve to hop in and they would give him a ride. He didn’t have a good feeling about these two and he tried to tell them he would prefer to walk. They wanted no part of that answer.
They both jumped out of the truck and grabbed Steve and muscled him into the truck between them so he couldn’t escape. They told him that they needed a third for a big job they were working on. Steve tried to act casual but he was scared to death. The two thugs told him they planned to rob the gas station in town and needed a local to do the front work. They wanted Steve to go in and look around to make sure there were no customers inside. It only took 10 minutes to get to the gas station. Steve was scared for his life and he didn’t know what to do except play along with what they wanted.
When they approached the gas station the two thugs thrust a gun into Steve’s hand. Then they forced him out of the truck and he fumbled his way to the front door just as the ‘closed’ sign was put out. The station owner, old Mr. Jones, recognized Steve and asked why he had a gun in his hand. At the same time the two thugs jumped out of the truck and ran to the store. Mr. Jones tried to run but guns started firing and there was total confusion. In the end Mr. Jones was dead and one of the thugs, whose name turned out to be “Lucky”, was also dead and there was Steve with the gun in his hand when the sheriff arrived.
He was taken to jail and booked on murder charges. The other thug, Marco, told the police it was all Steve’s idea to rob the gas station. They went to trial and Steve could not afford a good lawyer. He had a public defender who was still green around the edges. The gun had his finger prints and when the scuffle broke out he did shoot the gun by accident. One bullet from that gun killed Mr. Jones. There was no getting around it, Steve was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
He barely got to say goodbye to his wife before he was whisked away to prison. He told her he loved her but she would not answer him except to say that it was over. Of course it was over, he was heading to prison and she was free. He really did believe that once the initial shock wore off she would change her mind and visit him, or at least write him a letter.
Ten years later with no visits, no phone calls and no letters he had given up hope. He had no way of knowing if she moved away or still lived in town. He didn’t care, or so he said to himself. She thought he killed Mr. Jones on purpose, she didn’t believe the true story. He didn’t need her.
One spring morning he was shocked to get a letter. When he saw the familiar handwriting on the envelope he began to cry uncontrollably. When he calmed down he carefully opened it and began to read. His beautiful wife told him that she was wrong and she knew he would never kill anyone. Karen asked for his forgiveness and she said she wanted to visit him.
He was shocked, surprised and happy. Karen asked for his forgiveness and wanted to see him. He never thought he would hear from her and now he had. He was very happy because he had not been expecting a letter.