The desk had been set up in anticipation of this moment. The mahogany gleamed with a rich dark hue, having been lovingly oiled and polished ‘til the grains no longer were like rivulets in the sand, now smooth to the touch.
The lamp she loved so much, with its pearlescent globe and drop beads cast just the right amount of light.
Sarah liked to keep the light on, even as she drew open the curtains. It gave her a sense of warmth and strength. A sliver of sunlight caught a facet of her inkwell and cast dancing rainbows of color against the wall. All was in order.
Everything should have felt right. It looked right. Everything was in its place.
Sarah smoothed her damp hands down the front of her dress and cast a furtive glance over her shoulder towards the door,
“Silly me”, she thought. “No one’s coming. It’s all quite safe.”
But the knot in her stomach said it wasn’t safe. Not at all. No amount of arranging and rearranging her writing desk made it so
Sarah walked to the window and let the sun warm her face. She closed her eyes and allowed memories to creep in. Slowly at first, as if tiptoeing in from a place now unseen but forever remembered. Unbid but not unwelcome. A smile slowly formed on her lips, her shoulders relaxed, her breathing became lighter. A slight flutter in her chest felt like the wings of a moth drawn to the light. And then the flutter became a pounding torrent as the tiptoe became an avalanche of memories. Tears rolled slowly down her face. Could it really have happened that way?
She opened her eyes and drew a hanky from her pocket. It too was part of the memory. Quite exquisite. Soft and smooth as silk, tatted on the edges and embroidered with delicate blossoms. Violets and bluebells, with the initials S.P.
It had been a gift, treasured now for many years. Too delicate for this moment, Sarah put it back in her pocket and wiped her face with the back of her hand.
The memories slowly danced their way from her mind. It was always like this. They would visit quite politely at first, then become an unruly, unwelcome guest. And she knew that it was time.
Sarah sat down at her desk, dipped her pen in the well and with trembling and wrote: Dear Mabel…
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