As he did everyday on his way home, John Smith went to his mailbox to check if there was anything there. Today was like most days, and the mail was nothing but a useless pile of ads and flyers. He rolled them all up in a cylinder and gripped them in his hand. He would sort through the pile later when he wasn’t so tired.
John unlocked the front door and made his way into the kitchen. He was parched after his long commute. His car was getting old and the air conditioning had given out weeks before. He had procrastinated about getting it fixed. John simply didn’t have the money to spare right now. He worried what he would do when the car finally died completely, and he couldn’t afford a new one.
He tossed the bundle of paper on the kitchen table and went to the fridge. Pulling a beer from the door panel, he noted that it was one of only three remaining. John frowned as he was reminded of one more thing that was going to cost him money. He twisted off the cap and took a long sip from the cold bottle before pressing it against his neck. Worrying would have to wait until later, he decided.
As he turned to go into the living room, he noticed that a letter had fallen out of the pile of junk mail. John was curious. No one sent letters anymore, except bill collectors and charity drives.
He picked it up off the floor to examine it, and he immediately realized something was strange. For one thing, the address was handwritten, meaning it was a personal letter and not bulk mail. He flipped it over in his hand bit there was no return address. Puzzled, he took the letter with him when he went to sit down on the couch.
His curiosity piqued, John was about to open the letter when he made two observations that would change his entire life. The letter was postmarked from ten years in the future, and the handwriting was his own.