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An unsent letter found partially burned in a fireplace: an epistolary fanfiction

Posted by Marie on Friday, July 13, 2012 in , , , ,
 Dear Mr Stevens,

        I will finally be leaving Darlington Hall tomorrow for a new life with Mr. Benn, and I should be resting for the long drive ahead. But instead I had lain awake for most of the night, thinking of ways to tell you things I wanted to say a long time ago. These things are, most definitely, not proper talk between professionals (as you call ourselves), and this letter might cause you some embarrassment or discomfort. For that, I truly offer my deepest apologies.

        I would admit that my first impression of you was not a positive one. To be frank, I found you obnoxious, snobbish, and overbearing, with a tendency to find fault in everything. I was certain that you were an automaton, like the ones found in those Verne novels, with a heart made of cold steel. I do apologize for any hurt this memory will cause you, but it was on your father’s deathbed that I had a glimpse of something curiously different. It was just fleeting, but I sensed then your vulnerability. That deep inside that shell of nonchalant professionalism, is a man, breathing, very much alive, and capable of feeling.

        Those times we were together – simple walks, chores done in silence – meant so much to me. I led a lonely life, and I believed that I found a kindred spirit in you. I will especially miss our daily meetings over cocoa. After talking about work, we’d find ourselves laughing over some silly things (which you’re probably be insisting right now only came from me), or some trivial events of the day. I wonder, did you ever realize that you unconsciously hum so softly during those rare times that you switched on the radio for a little nightcap music? I did, and I remember. What I can’t remember was when it started to shift into something else. I was surprised that you became suddenly so aloof. But then I'd catch you looking at me when you thought I wasn’t looking; or how you’d be so sullen every time I came back from my day off.  You confuse me, so very much. I wanted you to tell me what you were feeling, I hinted so many times, but you refused me. Was all of it simply a figment of my imagination? But I saw you. I sensed you. Why do you always have to pretend?

        Have you realized that you ruined me for other men? You kept breaking my heart into millions of pieces over and over again, and I loathe you for that. You made me happy every time we are together, no matter how short or insignificant to you it may be. Then, the same night, every night, I silently cry because you did not sense my feelings, or had never bothered acknowledging it. I realize now that you don’t see me the way I see you. You called me temperamental, defiant, and impossible. I am all that because, incomprehensibly, I want you, I want to share your life, your burden. But you refused to. I thought I was coaxing you out of your shell, to see that there is life outside Darlington Hall. I was wrong. I see now that there is no shell. Your soul is embedded in every brick and mortar. You ARE Darlington Hall.

        I'm tired of the heart ache. I'm tired of the tears. I am leaving. And I will be happy without you, you’ll see.

                                              Yours,
                                              Emma Kenton

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