The Letter

The evening light peeks through the window casting enticing shadows across the room and on the woman at the cherry escritoire. The setting sun embraces the day as she readies herself for a restful night. Perhaps that elusive state will come before the wee hours this time. Long has she waited for a word from his hand. Sleepless she has been for far too many evenings when desperate imaginings claimed her thoughts driving Morpheus from her arms.

A linen envelope hastily opened, lies on the desk franked with foreign stamps. The worn edges and a smeared address graced its expensive vellum from the many hands it passed through on its journey to her door. The tale it imparts if we would but observe its condition. The sender’s feelings of exhilarating hope or crushing despair as they gently folded the letter encased within. The dry-mouthed tongue tasting the adhesive, so the linen was sealed for its long-awaited travels. The messenger entrusted with a missive so dear. How would the letter be met? Would there be tears of unbounded joy or a cruel dismissal of words come too late?

She sits draping her languid form on the chair seeming to rise to meet her every curve. The diaphanous gown caresses her figure showing alluring shoulders and a graceful neck. The hair bound up about her head in artless disarray was still damp from her nightly ablutions. An unlined face was arranged in a state of replete repose as though still glowing from an exquisite orgasmic reflection. Lashes fanned her flushed cheeks as her lips remembered unforgotten kisses.

A well-formed limb rested along the arm of the chair and in her dangling hand was the yearned-for letter. Fingers clung to the linen as her mind recited every word of the flowing script on the page. He had not forgotten nor was he gone from this life to the hereafter. Her salvation written in ink. Her anguish extinguished with the broad indigo strokes of love undimmed by time or distance. An illness of excessive duration, he said, prevented his reply but now health had returned. He dared hope it was not too late to pronounce his ardent devotion and hunger for her smiles. His regiment was heading north to take the boat from the port. She could be in his loving embrace in less than a fortnight if that were her passionate wish.

What would be her response? Was her affection strong enough to carry her? Would he find her wanting since they last cast eyes upon each other’s visage? Time and worry change people just as battle and bloodshed. Ah, sweet prolonged desire. Is it better to seek and hunger for that person kept from one than to have one’s ardor sated by their return?

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