After having read and analysed Bernard MacLaverty’s short story, what are the secrets the title anticipates? To answer this question focus on the following passage:
Ten minutes must have passed, then the boy left his homework and went upstairs and into his aunt’s sitting room. He stood in front of the bureau wondering, then he reached for the keys. He tried several before he got the right one. The desk flap screeched as he pulled it down. He pretended to look at the postcards again in case there were any stamps he had missed. Then he put them away and reached for the bundle of letters. The elastic band was thick and old, brittle almost and when he took it off its track remained on the
wad of letters. He carefully opened one and took out the letter and unfolded it, frail,khaki-coloured.
My dearest Mary, it began. (…)
The boy’s eye skipped down the page and over the next. He read the last paragraph.(…)
It was signed, scribbled with what he took to be John. He folded the paper carefully into its original creases and put it in the envelope. He opened another. (…)
He did not bother to put the letter back into the envelope but opened another. (…)
He sorted through the pile and read half of some, all of others. The sun had fallen low in the sky and shone directly into the room onto the pages he was reading making the
paper glare. He selected a letter from the back of the pile and shaded it with his hand as he read.(…)
Suddenly the boy heard the creak of the stair and he frantically tried to slip the letter back into its envelope but it crumpled and would not fit. He bundled them all together.
He could hear his aunt’s familiar puffing on the short stairs to her room. He spread the elastic band wide with his fingers. It snapped and the letters scattered. He pushed them
into their pigeon hole and quickly closed the desk flap. The brass screeched loudly and clicked shut. At that moment his aunt came into the room.