Fifty-two unanswered letters later, Luke cannot understand why his secretive lover, Serena is keeping him hanging like this.
Set in the 19th-century, Luke is irregularly visited by the ghost of Molly Simmons, the one who previously owned the mansion he now lived in.
When will Luke find the reason to Serena's absence? Or will he ever?
“…and here I am, writing to you once again. Believe me when I say it’s not a burden. In fact, writing to you makes my life fuller, our little secret all the more amazing. The only difficulty is the absence of your replies. And so, to tell you the truth, I don’t think I can go on with this any longer. I feel like my life and energy are being drained thoroughly. Like one of spaces black holes sucking the final traits of joy and happiness directly from the core of my soul.
So now, love, I think it’s time I…I…..move on. But never forget, that for this, I shall not rest, and for this, I shall forever regret……forgive me, sweet flower.
And that’s that. My fifty-second letter to her. One for each and every week we’d spent together. Today would’ve marked our first year together. But not after this letter… Even so, I should never have been so tough on myself. Two months sans a reply hurt when realization dawned that I was wanted no more. It was time to concede. If only I could conjure up a satisfying reason regarding her disinterest in our togetherness. She loved me. I loved her. We both knew it.
I sat back and stared at the glowing ceiling. The candle before me burned as it painted the walls with a soft, yellow shade. I let my head fall to the left. The open window looked into the dark, forested growth beyond the midnight sky. The only light that polished the tops of the trees were those of the glittering stars, for it was a moonless night. What one might perceive of a new moon night depends on the individual. Therefore tonight is nothing but a night of flailing love. Of the fire of desire being put out. My eyes glared deep into the night…and then the room got cool.
The candle flickered. I looked from the corner of my eye without turning my head, like I knew what was going on. And I did. It was Molly Simmons; previous owner of the Elizabethan mansion I lived in and also, deceased mother of the one I have been writing to for four fortnights.
The next thing I know, her invisible arms slid around me from the back of my neck to my chest. My hand lifted to hers and grasped at the air for a moment before it dropped. I sighed heavily.
She obviously understood my pain. For we shared it. Serena was born out of wedlock right before Molly passed away. She was found by a neighboring couple right away. That’s the reason she never knew about the mansion her mother once owned. And of course, it was by chance that I visited this place over a year ago with my chancellor father.
How do I know all this? It was Molly, of course. Sometimes I would e woken up in the middle of the night by the screeching of a scribbling quill, under a wildly flickering candle in my age-old, velvet book of parchment. Then, as soon as she was done, the quill would drop dead to the wooden desk and the candle would stop flickering, rendering the setting untouched. After taking a moment or two, to be sure she was truly gone, I would hop out of bed and race to the desk, and flip through the pages to decode ghostwritten words.
It was a while before I became accustomed to it. But the flooding of information never persisted completely.
I sat up straight again after sensing her presence no more and watched the letter at my desk as it sailed in the wind. I watched it with wide eyes, embracing a newfound hunger for Serena again. I grappbed the quill and began writing.
“I know who your mother is. But she isn’t alive any-“
My mouth fell to the floor as the scroll of parchment was snatched from under my arm and flung across the room. I gulped.
After a tense moment, I got up and snatched it back. I turned it around only to stare at a long scratch over the sentence I had just composed, possibly done by the tip of the quill when it was pulled away from me.
I looked around the room, inspecting every corner for a trace of Molly. And then, the candle flickered. She was here. My eyebrows furrowed in anger and I opened my mouth to speak but instead, shot my head at the velvet book as it was dragged to the center of the desk and flipped open. The quill rose from the desk and struck at an open page. I lunged at it before it could start and crushed it in fury.
"That is my one and only way of getting her attention back! I know, I know you're afraid of letting her know the truth. But what am I supposed to do to hear from her?" I yelled. It wasn'tsoon before i felt hot tears stream down my face.
I dropped to my knees, and with my head hung low, i let the tears run down my cheeks onto the wooden floor. The windows creaked in the wind while the pages ruffled. I wept.Despair and sorrow had become my companions.
I leaned and rested against the wal as my sobs grew slower and softer. Gradually, i entered into a much awaited world of lost slumber.
The next morning:
My eyes opened slowly accompanied by a searing headache. I hazily scan the room whilst I hold my head. The candle had been blown out and the booklay open, pages flying wildly under the early morning sky .The room was scattered with blue sky light. I gently lifted myself off the ground and trotted towards the desk. My hand searched the pages of the book for a message. But there was nothing.
I checked and re-checked, but the emptiness of the pages only infuriated me.
My fingers then danced about the desk, but even the letter was nowhere to be found. As my heart beat faster, I found myself grounding my teeth. The letter hadvanished. Molly couldnt bear to see the truth being conveyed to her daughter. Even if it meant me getting closer to her.
I lean back at the desk and roar into the dense, cold morning air.
Two years later:
"You like that, don't you? Hey...fall asleep now, little prince," chimed Rosette to her baby as she gently rocked him in her slender arms. The look she wore on her face reminded me of the look my mother gave me as a child.
I smiled when our eyes finally met and then entered the room to sit by her side. We studied our sons face in silence. I then stroked his cheek.
"News just came in that Louise has passed away." I said, still playing with Henry's cheek. Rosette looked at me with sad eyes. "May he rest in peace," she said, and gave a pitiful sort of smile.
"Its at the City Graveyard this evening. I'll be home by nightfall."
* * *
With my dark cloak neatly pressed, I walked from the street to the hilly plain, through the dew-covered grass. Tall willows and their heavy branches hung over tombstones of the dead. I approached a group of dark-clothed mourners with noticeable humility. Everyone contributed their bouquets by placing them over the coffin and then we all dispersed.
I decided to take the back route home from behind the trees. Something about the death of a friendly co-worker did not make me feel too happy. I walked in silence, passing through several tombstones. By now, my mind was completely immersed in a clouded haze of perpetual melancholia.
I read the names on the tombstones but did not concentrate on them. And then i suddenly stopped. My eyes bulged and I was unable to breathe. The tombstone before me was sculpted with a delicate trail of roses and vines. It read:
Born: 27th Oct, 1829
Died: 16th April, 1852
You were our flower and sunshine"
More than two months since she stopped replying to the letters...Molly Simmons understood my pain....she couldn't bear to see her daughters love experience it too....she only prevented me from finding out so i wouldn't have to live the pain....Molly Simmons was my sole, true protector....