Lloyd Louis Cork waiting for me in this little box.
This image is what I see on most of those visits. Sometimes I find junk mail or random bills in there. But, the odd excitement I felt when I received his first letter has yet to be duplicated.
I keep thinking about the first letter I sent to him this past June. I was nervous about reaching out to the man who murdered my grandfather. I tried as hard as I could to remove emotion or the possibility of blame from my initial letter. I tried to give the impression that my interest in Cork and his relationship to my grandfather was just pure curiosity or maybe even mildly academic. I didn't give the impression that I desperately wanted to have him answer some vital questions about what happened the night that Booker Wright was shot in cold blood in his own restaurant.
Cork seemed to buy it. In late July I received a somewhat lengthy letter from him that was thoughtful and detailed. In the letter he seemed, for lack of a better word, nice. I got the impression that he wanted me to like him. He spoke highly of my grandfather and of Booker's Place. He also explained his version of how the events unfolded that led up to my grandfather's shooting. He asked me how old I was and said that he needed my phone number so that he could add me to his call list - this would allow the two of us to connect over the phone.
I wrote back about a week later. In my letter I asked him to begin the procedure that would allow me to meet him in person - an idea that he was open to according to what was written in his first letter. I didn't tell him how old I was or offer him my phone number. It's been well over a month and I haven't heard back from him.
Last week I wrote to him again. Usually, I take a piece of computer paper and write to him in longhand. This time I used a blank card with flowers on it and asked if he received my previous letter.
I am waiting on pins and needles for correspondence from a murderer. I am anxiously anticipating word from the man who shattered my family.
I simply need to know whether or not I'm ever going to see him. If he writes back, then I know that eventually I'll be sitting across from him. The question that keeps coming to me is how long do I hold out hope that he'll write me back. I could get a letter from him in two months or in two decades. I've opened a door that may remain open for as long as I have that PO Box.
Without intending to, I've given Lloyd Cork a bit of power in my life.
The other day I found a letter leaning on the sidewall of that PO Box. I was more than a little excited when I thrust my hand into the box and pulled the letter out. It wasn't from Cork. Why hasn't he written back? Is he toying with me? Is he taking the opportunity to hurt Booker Wright one more time by leaving his granddaughter in limbo? Or maybe he's just working to pull together the paperwork that would allow us to meet. Does it even matter? Whether he knows it or not, he's in the driver's seat in this situation.
I am at his mercy.