© 2010, Patrick Hester. All Rights Reserved
Eli stared at the small piece of parchment. He’d bought several sheets just in case. Narut was right, Adia had agreed to carry the letter herself and without hesitation when they asked. She even offered to carry others as her duties brought her back to Evermist. But he still had to write them and that was where the difficulty began.
He didn’t know what to write. Telling Millie that someone had just tried to kill him seemed strange. How do you start that off? What do you say?
“I miss you,” he wrote instead. Simple enough and he meant it.
He thought about Millie for a moment, about her fair hair, the way it framed her face and fell across her shoulders, about her smile and how it melted him because she rarely smiled for anyone the way she did for him. For just a moment, he could still feel the warmth of her body next to his, bringing a smile to his face. Then there was her scent, that mixture of fresh herbs and sea air that quickened his pulse. One of his shirts still had a hint of that scent on it.
He’d refused to launder it.
Millie wouldn’t want him to lie to her, to hold anything back. She’d demand that he tell her everything on his mind, so that’s what he did, laying out the trip North as concisely as he could manage until he had to flip the page and start on the back. He told her about the crew member who’d been watching him, and how he and some others had tried to kill him and his friends before they even reached Evermist.
Then he detailed the coin they’d been paid and his suspicions about where it must have come from.
He also cautioned her to be careful.
“…if anything happened to you, I wouldn’t know what to do.”
Surprised at himself, he stared at the words on the page. How had she done it? How had she settled herself so firmly in his heart when he’d been so prepared to push everyone away before going to Evermist? He tried to think back, to see if there were any one moment that stood out. To his surprise, they all stood out, brightly.
He almost shook his head, then stopped himself. Aware that he still saw stars now and again if he moved too quickly. The medics told him he was healing well but not to overdo anything. Behind him, Narut snored. He’d come in late again, spending the greater part of the evening with Adia.
Checking the letter over several times before he decided it was ready, Eli folded it onto itself, then folded another sheet around it. Finally he sealed it with a spot of wax from a candle he was burning. Without a seal, he used the flat of his knife to press the melted wax down, then turned it over and wrote Millie’s name on the front.
He would give it to Adia first chance.
Blowing out the candle, he crawled back into his bunk and closed his eyes. It was done. Even if it did take months to reach her, Millie would have word of him and she would know everything that had happened. He felt as if a weight had been lifted and realized that every time he’d seen Millie, a similar feeling had come over him; a calm.
How did she manage that even when she was so far away?