Chapter 17.1

Afterward: About one month later

From: Emma Devlin
Subject: Happy New Year!
Date: January 01, 2019 10:42 a.m.
To: Brandon Devlin

(CLT): 10 min 29.39 sec

Dearest Brandon,

Happy New Year, my darling husband. I’m enclosing many kisses without benefit of the mistletoe. Wait till you see the newest calendar photos. For January, I’m decked out as the New Year’s baby, nothing on but a 2019 sash, shiny top hat, and a fashionable smile. ; p In honor of your arrival on Mars, this new calendar is made up of the days, weeks, and months reflecting your time on the planet. Superimposed on the pages are the usual Earth dates. Surprise! Hope you like it. I used your Devlinian Mars calendar to put it together. It took a bit of explaining before the printer got it right. If you want to show people your Mars calendar, be sure to add a few strategic cover-ups to the pictures. Hee-hee!

I’m so elated for Tom and Sally. Do you think the attraction had been building for a long time or was it kind of sudden? In your last note you said he was planning to propose on New Year’s Eve. Did he? How did she respond? Are they both walking on air? Come on now, details are essential here. Tell me all.

You know, Tom and Penny were dear friends of ours and I was heartsick when her sister called to tell me about the accident. How horrible. The funeral was difficult and everyone was still in disbelief. I almost lost it when I thought of Tom so far away and not able to have closure and grieve with his family.

A lot of men close up and shut down emotionally with loss. I’m really glad you are his friend and have been there to help him through it. From what you said, having other good friends around helped, too. Sally must be a very special person. I had only met her a few times and she seemed like good people. How long was she married? I hope she doesn’t end up breaking Tom’s heart. You say it’s a good match and they obviously adore each other. I trust your judgment when it comes to Tom and won’t worry.

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