She by Yu-En Hsieh

Could sleuthing out scent, hair remnants and dead letters lead us to the life someone had here?

Since moving into this flat in south London two years ago, I have been receiving letters addressing to someone named Catherine every now and then. I kept all of them in a box, which belonged to her. But one time, by chance, I unwrapped a parcel and found her resume lay inside, which allowed me to inform myself of all her experience.

She is a British actress, having been cast in Les Misérables and The Sound of Music, being able to do more than twenty accents. The acting resume even tells about her height and hair colour. What was interesting about it was that I’d never gotten to know someone this way. I then opened the letters and parcels that I’d saved in the box for over a year, in an attempt to piece together her life. There were birthday presents from friends, check, bills, cash, etc. Through all these things, I gradually found out about her birthday, her recent situation, her everyday life and her love.

Later, I went to the school she’d done her drama training in, to watch musicals she’d performed in. I found the bed sheet she left in our room and I threw everything I collected and experienced about her on it. So, there laid her memories and the trace of her life on the bed in her room.

I will go on to piece together everything about her bit by bit.