On Friday night, I received an express delivery to my front door.
“From Prince Edward Island, Miss,” said the post rider.
“Thank you!” I nearly squealed.
I tore the letter from its paper prison, but my uneasy feelings flew away at Dauvit’s greetings.
My Dear Zara,
I expect to receive your photograph soon, but for now, I can think of our good memories. You really are so fascinating to me and I love that you are smart and have an opinion. It is only a bonus that you have beautiful eyes and impeccable legs.
You would love the summer house, by the way. I hope that this is not too forward, but I miss you already.
The next morning, I went into town to purchase a few necessities. I stopped in the middle of the road, mesmerized suddenly at the fact that I had Dauvit actively pursuing me, and we had already experienced such amazing things – not to mention his secretive world. I had been so wrapped up in our moments together, that I had not allowed myself to ponder about what this world was and what it meant to our current world nearly as much as I should have.
I turned to see a familiar face across the road. Bekka was waving at me. Every time I hoped to think on the fantasy realm, realism pulled me away.
“Why are you standing in the middle of the road?” she cried.
I laughed and ran over to greet her. It was a relief to have someone to walk around town with for a change. We went to the market, looked at some jewellery, and then to a flower shop. Seeing such beautiful things on display helped settle my nerves about Dauvit. Though he was obvious in his affections toward me, a part of me still worried for something bad to happen.
“What do you mean something bad will happen?” asked Bekka with a frown, while we both waved down a coach.
A cab pulled by a distinguished chestnut mare stopped for us. Once we were inside, I sighed. “It is not that I think something bad will happen, but I worry.”
“It wouldn’t make sense for a man to write you the moment that he arrives at his vacation house, and he also asked for your picture, too. You needn’t worry, Zara.”
“You’re right,” I said with a smile. “I enjoyed our time together. You’re a very fun person to be around.”
The younger girl giggled. “I enjoy your company as well, you know. I need more weird friends in my life.”
I burst into laughter. “Well, I am definitely that!”
“I think you should take all of these wonderful new emotions you’re feeling and incorporate them into your work. I am no writer, but I love to read, and an author in love is a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps sometimes moreso than the melancholic ones.”
“You really think so? What an interesting thought. I always thought that a happy writer would write hogwash, but you know, I have just as much desire to write the same things that I always did, as I fall in love with Dauvit.”
“You see?” Bekka grinned. “I think you already are in love.”
The driver dropped me off at my place first. Bekka waved to me dramatically from the carriage window. It was a wonderful feeling to have spent a full day with someone kind like her, but as I stepped up to my front door, alone again, questions and concerns spun about in my mind.
“You cannot allow me to be happy, can you?” I muttered at my brain.
I sat at the table and re-read Dauvit’s letters, which brought me to happy tears again. I missed him more than I had ever missed anyone. Experience and travel seemed to make me soft, rather than thick skinned.
The rest of my weekend raced by as I wrote a new story inspired by Dauvit and then performed arduous tasks around the house. On Sunday night, I wrote Dauvit back. I had contemplated whether I should write down my questions about the other world and decided that one question would not hurt. I could not stop thinking about the miracle of discovering such a place and how amazing it was that we both had it to share with one another.
I folded and sealed the letter to him in an envelope, blew out my candle, and settled into my cool sheets. The week ahead seemed long and daunting, but perhaps I would be able to start performing dissections at the lab.
The next week dragged on a little, but speaking with Bekka at work and writing in the evenings helped keep my worries at bay. So many lovers had to be separated for months, so surely I could handle two weeks, even if I was prone to severe melancholy. I worried that he might change his mind about me after some distance. He had not been so quick to write me a second letter, considering that it was already Thursday night.
Inside my bedroom, I paced the floor, attempting to talk myself out of the panic. I fought the war of self-harm and self-harm won. I wept, longing that Dauvit was there to hold me and remind me that I was special to him. Instead, I was alone in my cool room, unsure if he could ever really love me.
I balled my fist and bashed my thighs and upper arms repeatedly, until the pain made me whimper. Exhausted, I collapsed into my bed. I fell asleep early that night.
On Friday night, I received two letters. One was from my parents and the second one was from Dauvit. Excitement and dread made my hands shake.
My Dearest Zara,
You worry too much. I told you that I would talk to you about the world at another time. I am better with speaking of such things in person, though you’re a writer, so I understand you may communicate better with written words.
I received your photograph and you are adorable. My sister in law thinks that you are pretty. I am having a wonderful time here with my family, but I look forward to seeing you again very much.
I was hoping to call on you at your house the evening that I return, and I will sleep on the couch so as not to impose on you. Let me know if you agree. I hope your writing is going well.
I took a deep breath. All of my remaining doubts fled. He was going to come straight to my house after his ship landed. It still felt a little too good to be true, but there was no denying how much he wanted to see me. I read the next letter, which had been written by my mother. She asked me to come home for a visit, and she included bills to pay my way back home for a week. She also said that there was a surprise package waiting for me at the postal office.
I smiled, longing to see my family again, and at my mother’s usual generosity, even though I insisted that I pay my own way. I worried about being away from Dauvit for yet another week, but it was much better than a two week separation. I would visit and have someone special to tell my family about. It would be perfect, really.
I relit my candle, sat up, and started to write. I ignored the tender bruises on my limbs.
(Photo Source: http://www.everystockphoto.com “Rain”)