Too late a Tide.


I finally held it, I could barely believe it. I had never believed of its existence until I held it in my hands at that moment. It was beautifully embossed, hand-made, worn out from too many a hand on it. It did not look like the ones you buy off a shelf in a store, it seemed sort of ancient like an excavated piece of treasure. With trembling fingers, I opened it. “Are you sure you want to read that? It has been ten years, is it worth it opening old wounds?” Aunt Pricilla asked. “I have to know what he wanted to say, I can’t believe you kept it from me all this time”, I said. “I protected you!” She said. I glared at her, “It was not your choice to make”. She walked out of the room in a huff as I opened it and started reading the blue letters inside.

My dearest Rose,

I hope this card gets to you in time. You see I have bribed the watch the last few coins I had, but you see, I can’t trust him 100% because he will have to go so far out of his way to get it to you. My dear, I have missed you so much, it is like a constant ache in my chest. It is like a lone mosquito on a hot night, singing in my ear, biting on my lobe, but a welcome bite where the sweet pain goes all the way to the soul.  In my mind I see you, that day we met out in the market, your sun-kissed skin glowing in the midday sun. The look in your eye when you turned and our eyes met. The curl of your lip when you smiled and my heart melted against it. That day you stole my soul and there was nothing I could do about it.

I look out my little window and I can hear the waves crashing. It gets so cold in here my love, the only warmth I get is when I think about your body next to mine. I always imagine your body next to mine and I wonder how it would have been if I was outside these walls and we were together. If circumstances were different and we met somewhere sweet like that small coffee shop you liked so much. But I knew when you looked at me that day, when you smiled at me, that I was doomed. It was my job to make sure you never saw me. It was my job not to fall hopelessly in love with you.

Tomorrow is Christmas, I am told, and we are not allowed clocks nor calendars inside here. Two days from today I shall be no more. There are a few things that I would like you to know. I didn’t kill your parents, please believe me my love. I knew about the plot, I was the watcher, but I didn’t think it would go that far. For that I accept my punishment and I deserve your hatred. I know you feel it was unfair for me to call you out that night while I knew your house will be attacked. You were not supposed to be there, I told you not to come, but you didn’t listen.

Your parents were involved with some bad people and it was about time the things they did caught up with them. But you were innocent, I just couldn’t let you get hurt! Do you understand! I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself! But the fate which I face is much worse knowing that you will blame me forever for their deaths. The words you told me the day I saw you last at the court room still linger in my ears, giving me sleepless nights. “You should have let me die with them, I hate you!”, you screamed, the contempt, the sadness in your eyes was more than I could handle. I am sorry my Rose, I am sorry to the grave and beyond.

I can’t ask you to forgive me because that would be asking for too much. I can only imagine the grief you have being all alone in this world. I have to go my love. I am sorry for the smudges in some places on the card, you see, I didn’t anticipate that I will get so teary writing this. Some may call it a desperate attempt, the last kicks of a dying horse, but I hope you find it in your heart to read it and through it find peace. I am a man and as you know men are not supposed to cry. However, the sadness I feel at the position that I have left you in is unbearable. Death is the only fate fit for me. Can I ask you a small favor my little flower, I ask you to say a little prayer for me at noon, two days from now when I shall face my fate at the gallows. I know praying for a man who was involved in the murder of your family is a tall glass to drink from, but you can rest knowing that I am gone

Eternally in your debt,

Bruce. 

It was strange reading words written so intimately to me by a man I never met, I couldn’t even remember his face. I didn’t even remember screaming at him at the court house, I remember screaming out in grief and Aunt Priscilla holding me at the sentencing. I held the card to my heart and looked at the faded letters again. I could feel the touch in each letter as I tressed each one with my finger. A blurry sight they became as I pictured him up in his tower writing them one by one intricately, thinking about me and maybe wondering what my reaction would be when I finally got it.All he wanted by this letter was to give me peace but what he didn’t know is that, he had left me with more questions than answers. What was it that my parents were into? What was it that got them killed? Who was this man that loved me so much that he made up a whole relationship with me in his head?

All I have to go on is the last confession of a dying man, ten years too late.

 

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