Because it was supposed to be here by now!

She repeatedly closed her eyes and opened them again, hoping the last time had been a dream. Hoping this time she would see something different.

“Howdy, neighbour.”

She glanced away to see her neighbour’s fifteen year old son, Gabe, can of some flavoured soda in hand. “Good evening.”

“So, uh, I can’t help but notice you’ve been staring at your mailbox for about an hour.”

“Do you know when we get our mail?” She rubbed the bridge of her nose.

He frowned, thinking about it. “Usually in the morning? Ten?”

“Then why is my mailbox empty?”

He leaned against the tree that stood so close to the edge of her property. Technically though, it was still on his parents’. “You didn’t get any mail?”

“No. Not possible.”

She continued to stare at her mailbox. He drank his pop. “Well, goodnight, Ms. Jone.”

“Goodnight, Gabe.”

Once a year

The mail was stuffed full with envelopes. Jay struggled to get them out without crumpling any of them, wondering how they had gotten in there in the first place and how this possibly could have happened. Every single envelope had Robin’s name as the intended.

“Why do you have your personal mail being sent here?” he demanded, dropping the avalanche on Robin’s desk.

Robin jumped, then began to look through them. “I didn’t! I’m sorry Jay, this happens all the time. I suppose the mail person decided to put the rest of it here, instead of having me come to the post. They never can fit all of this in my mailbox at home.”

It was an answer that bewildered him. “How often does this happen?”

“Once a year. My family, my extended family, all of my friends and their friends… It’s my birthday, you know.”

“No, I didn’t.” Jay gave him a look. “You didn’t mention.” Which was odd. Jay would’ve been certain Robin might use his birthday as an excuse to go out for some meal.

Robin was unaffected by his forgetfulness. “Well it is!”

Jay sighed, sitting down in his chair. “You know this many people?”

The shorter man nodded. “Not all very well, but it’s just the way birthdays are celebrated back home. I send out letters all the time too, just for that.”

Now that he mentioned it, Jay did remember seeing Robin writing letters often, though he hadn’t thought it was that often. “Well… happy birthday, Robin.”

Robin beamed at him. “Thank you Jay.”

Jay considered the current contents of his wallet. “Did you have dinner plans this evening? Or would you like to make some?”

The expression on his partner’s face was the only answer Jay needed.