Envelope by A. M. Linton

“You did what?” Michael asked, his light brown face distorted with a frown.

“I handed it to the bus driver and told him I found it on the seat and walked off the bus,” Melle said, sighing deeply with her fingers locked between each other as they rested on her purple and black, braided head. She paced in the U-shaped kitchen for several seconds.

“Let me get this straight,” Michael said, rubbing his forehead, “rent is short by five hundred dollars, and you’ve been praying that God would provide it for us, right?”

Melle nodded.

“The bus was practically empty when you got on it, and when you sat down, you saw an envelope on the floor, and when you picked it up and looked in it, you saw about a thousand dollars in it.”

Melle nodded again as she rubbed her forehead.

“You then held the envelope in your hand, and as you left the bus, you gave it to the driver.”


“I don’t understand you,” Michael said, throwing his hand into the air and shaking his head.

“I’ve already told you. I didn’t feel right about taking it. If it was on the pavement or something, yes, but it was on a bus. The owner would come looking for it.”

“The owner would come looking even if it was on the pavement,” he interjected.

“Yeah, but finding and keeping something on a bus is way different from finding and keeping something from a pavement.”

“Then what’s the point in praying about it? You’ve prayed about it, God provided it, you rejected it, and we may be homeless in a few days.”

“Don’t go blaming me for this. I wanted to keep the money, but it’s not right.”

“Well, we can agree to disagree,” Michael said, leaving the kitchen.

Melle signed and groaned loudly before twisting and walking to their one-bedroom apartment’s black and white stove.

Their supper of curried fish and rice was quieter than usual, and after they put away the dishes, Michael announced, “I’m going for a drive.”

“Where are you going?” Melle asked, walking out of the kitchen and into the dining room.

“I just need some air,” he replied, opening the closet and removing his black and blue Nike windbreaker jacket.

“The job interview I had today looks promising,” Melle said.

“Yeah, I know and with my new job, they are all great for the future, but we need that money in the next five days.”

“God will provide, Honey,” she replied.

“Well, he did, and you gave it away.”

Melle signed, pulled out the black dining room chair and sat in it.

“Look, I don’t know when I’ll be back, so don’t wait up for me.”

“Are you going to pass by the casino?” she asked.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Michael asked, looking up at her as he tied his sneaker’s lace.

“I’m just asking because we can’t afford to lose money right now.”

“Now, what does that mean?” he asked, standing, as he shoved his hands into his jacked pockets.

“I’m just saying…”

“Look, I’m not the one who changed you did,” he said, raising his voice slightly.


“Six months ago, you would have been at a casino with me. I’m not the one who changed; you did,” Michael said.


“Look, are you saying you don’t want me to go to the casino anymore.”

“I’m not saying that; I will never say that to you.”

“Okay, good, because you’re the one who suddenly became a Christian, not me,” he said, pointing his finger at her.


“Don’t wait up,” he said, turning around, opening the door and leaving the house.

Melle listened as his footsteps grew fainter, and when she could not hear them anymore, she rested her palms on the table, using them for support as she tried to get up. Tears, however, suddenly filled her eyes, and her hands dropped to her sides, and uncontrollable tears rolled down her face.

Later that night, she awoke to find Michael sitting at the edge of the bed with his windbreaker still on, and he was looking at her.

“Honey,” she said, “are you okay?”

The bedroom light was off, but the light from outside the highrise made it possible for them to see each other.

“Why haven’t you ever invited me to your church? It’d be about six months since you’ve been a Christian, and not once have you invited me. Why?” Michael asked.

Melle pulled herself up and braced herself against the Pine white-painted headboard. She rubbed her eyes.

“Because I didn’t want to come off as pushy and judgemental.”


“Yes. You’re right. I am the one who changed, and if the shoe were on the other foot, I would not respond well. One moment, we are going to the casino, a party, a friend’s house or something, and the next moment, I am not doing it with you anymore. That would be hard.”

“Yes. It’s as though I’ve lost my best friend, but you are right here, and I can’t reach you.”

He reached out and held her hand.

“I’m still here, but I do understand what you’re saying.”

He nodded.

“Do you want to come to church with me?”

“No, not really,” he laughed a little, “it was just that other Christians seem so glad to invite others out to church, but you never invited me. Actually, when I was about to go into the casino just now, a guy was handing out tracks, and he invited me to his church.”

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“That’s okay. Hey, come here,” Michael said, hugging her. “No, no. I’m the one who’s sorry. Who gives their spouse a hard time for doing the right thing?”

She giggled as he tickled her neck with his lips.

“And just in case you are wondering, although I was going to go into the casino, I changed my mind when I finished talking with the guy handing out the tracks.”

“Really. Why?”

“Because you are right. It makes no sense risking the money we already have.”

She hugged him tightly.

“Then where have you been,” she asked.

“I just drove back home.”

“Really? What time is it?”

“Eight, eight-thirty,” he replied. “I know I said not to wait up, but I was only gone for about an hour.”

“I must have drifted off to sleep,” she said, slowly pulling away from him and looking down at her jeans and a thin sweater.

“Yeah,” he said, touching her face.

“I’m glad you’re back home,” she said.

“Me too, and I might have a way of coming up with the rest of the money for rent.”

“You do?”

“Yeah,” he said, putting his hand into his jacket and pulling out an envelope.

“What’s that?”

“When I was driving back home, I took a long way, and to make a long story short, some guys were handing out an envelope with the address to a construction site. They are looking for construction workers just for the weekend and paying more than enough to cover us.”

“That’s great, thank the Lord,” Melle said.

“Yeah,” Michael said, laughing, and hugged her again.

The End

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *