Hello, everyone. It's me, Liz, and I've got some pretty good news: Anthony, Francie and me are moving to Vancouver next month. That's because he's got a job as a claims adjuster for All-Pacific Life starting on the fourth of January and commuting isn't gonna be an option.
Okay, that was a weak joke but I could use a laugh or two. That's because we've both realized what a mess we're leaving behind. It all started just before Mom went insane; I'm sure by now you've heard about how Anthony got all hysterical and stupid on our wedding night. Once he got the pole out of his hindquarters and decided 'to take another chance on me', he spouted some gibberish about how Therese was right all along. Instead of telling him that there are trains leaving for the real world every half an hour, I asked him to explain. It turns out that she tried to remind him that the me he thought I was wasn't me at all. It looks as if Candace and pretty much everyone outside the family was right; Anthony screwed up his life big time because he fell in love with a fantasy version of me. His half-hearted acknowledgment of that fact makes abandoning Milborough fairly easy for him. Of course, the fact that Gordo and Tracey Mayes want him gone so they can buy their freedom from Mom and Dad helps too. Everything in this town is reminder of something stupid or cowardly or shameful he did so getting away to make a clean start of things is the best.
Not, of course, that he's alone. Most people here think I'm some huge flake who profited from the misery of others and they've got good reason. They're right. So are the people in Mtigwaki when they say I'm a lightweight who bailed for a silly, stupid reason and gave a family heirloom to a thief who wanted a trophy. So is Iris when she says being flattered by a stalker overrode my better judgment. So is Deanna when she says I acted like the first person who ever got pregnant. Why do I admit to all this, you ask? Because I had my nose rubbed in how badly off Mom is. I was too busy and, frankly, too full of myself to notice or care how bad things were at the Tiny Train House. (I'm sorry; Mr Sobinski's wit is contagious. Half the time, I have to stop myself from calling this place "Milboring".) That changed when I went to tell Mom the good news. To call the place a pigsty is an insult to every pig in the world. You wouldn't believe that human beings live there. Mom, who used to be so tidy, is as almost badly off as her environment, an environment she no longer recognizes. She's not sitting in a pool of her own wastes yet but that day will come. Dad is no help at all. Unlike Mike, Dee, April and the Sobinskis, he thinks that all she needs is a bit of rest, some kind words and everything is gonna be okay. Wrong. The only thing that'll help is an anonymous call to the Board of Health. Once the authorities know how big a mess Dad made, his reputation isn't going to be worth squat. Getting away from here will the best thing for Francie and her unborn sibling; she may be fearsomely advanced but she's still a little girl. Getting taunted because her new grandpa let her new grandma go bonkers is going to be a terrible thing to subject her to and I'm not going to allow that. She already halfway thinks that when Baby comes, she'll get dropped off at the used kids store because she really doesn't have any reason to trust me than her mother did; I've got to reassure her that not all stepmothers are wicked. Trying to really build a relationship with Therese (who lives in Victoria now) instead of getting all huffy because I didn't want to hear how close to her fears I came to being will benefit everyone, including Anthony.
Anyway, I can't get any of that done here. Being here would probably encourage backsliding. Once we're in a new place, we'll all have a better life. That must be why Mike plans to move to Colorado and April out West. There's nothing for us in Milborough anymore. I might come back to show them the baby but that'd be about it. My next letter is probably going to be fairly short because we'll be busy moving into our new condo on the twenty-seventh.
Till then, yours,
P.S. You might have wondered about my teaching job and why I'd be so eager to give it up. It's pretty much for the same reason that Anthony was eying the door: they were looking for an excuse to fire me. You see, I haven't done a very good job of filling the hole the woman I replaced left owing to my being too busy moaning about dying alone and trusting in fate (look what that got me) to actually be part of the school's day to day life. They tell me that the substitute they're making permanent, a Diana Leung, is a much better fit for the school that I could ever be. Ah, well. Once the baby is old enough, I can get certified to teach ESL courses. That way, I can write my own ticket.