Texts From Rebecca

by Mallory Ortberg

oh Mrs. de Winter
I realized after I took you on a tour of the master wing
I forgot to tell you about her clothes
whose clothes?
Whose clothes do you think
of course
they were incredible
even her taste in nightgowns was impeccable
not like some nightgowns i could name
not like some nightgowns I have to regularly launder and fold and put away
I see
your nightgowns, specifically
I hate your nightgowns
so if when you come home tonight
you see a lot of R’s scribbled in lipstick and also blood all over your nightgowns
that was me
in case you wondered
who that was
Well, now I won’t wonder
the R is for Rebecca
I see
also I can’t stand the kind of tea you buy
so I ripped open all the bags
and strewed the leaves throughout the great hallway
oh dear
because honestly
bagged tea?
this is a stately home
like of England
this house has an actual name
you don’t even have a name
literally no one has ever mentioned your name
it’s just “where is my wife” and “this is Mrs. de Winter”
“the second” Mrs. de Winter
“the lesser” Mrs. de Winter
“the Mrs. de Winter who gets her tea in bags”
god i hate you
so much

you’re using the wrong fork you know
Please, I’m trying to have dinner with my husband
and I’d like to be left alone
you’ll never be alone
not here
not in Manderley
her spirit’s in the very floors and walls
in the mirrors
in the rooms behind the doors you’ll never open
in the fork you’re not using properly
Where are you?
I can’t see you anywhere
that doesn’t surprise me
not at all
Rebecca would have spotted me in a second
I’m sure I’m very sorry
but I can’t see you and I’m not Rebecca
I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t jump out your window last night
even after I left it open for you
No, I didn’t
you know who would have jumped out the window
if I’d asked her to?
I’ll give you a hint
you have the same last name
and married the same man
also one of you is dead and one of you is not
It’s Rebecca
Rebecca, I know it’s her
I know it’s Rebecca, I KNOW IT’S HER
oh my God
that is your SALAD fork
this is the fish course
what is wrong with you

Previously: Texts From Nancy Drew.

Mallory Ortberg is a writer in the Bay Area. Her work has also appeared on Slacktory and Ecosalon.