Long Island, New York
July 15, 2015
He didn’t have much time left, the man knew that. He had known his time was coming for the past few days. He had hoped that could have stayed longer; to help his granddaughter in her mission. Unfortunately, that was not to be. Life had other plans for him. He focused on the task at hand: writing the letters that would guide his granddaughter on her mission. He glanced at the journal that was written in his granddaughter’s hand. The journal, along with the extensive research he had done, would serve as his guide. He hoped that his plan would work, that she would find the letters in time. He winced several times as he read the words that his granddaughter had written. They were recollections of a past she had yet to experience. Several times he had reconsidered his task, should he assign it to someone else? Was there another way? Unfortunately, the answer to both questions was no.
The journal was a bittersweet tale of a young woman thrown from one reality to another. It was a tale of love and joy; pain and betrayal; and last but not least, self-discovery. He despised some of the words written in the journal, some of the experiences she would have, but it was imperative that she have them. They were the events that would transform her into the woman she was destined to be. As much as he wanted to protect her, he knew that this was one instance where he couldn’t. He only hoped that she could find it in her heart to forgive him.
It took him all night to finish the letters. He had carefully disguised his handwriting so that his granddaughter would remain clueless as to who had written the mysterious letters, that was, until she reached the final one. Once he was done he folded up the cipher and placed it in the hidden compartment of the recently modified antique watch that had been in his family for generations. Then he took the letters and the watch up to the attic and hid them in the two-hundred and thirty-five year old trunk that he had only recently pulled out of its hiding spot. Once he was done he left the attic, went down to the library, and placed the journal in the spot he had designated. His daughter would need that soon. He knew she would savor the connection to her missing daughter, no matter how tenuous it was. He looked at the journal with tears in his eyes, once again wishing that he could spare his granddaughter from the atrocities that she would have to endure. Unfortunately, he could not. His granddaughter would have to experience both the joy and the pain if she were to complete this journey.
He wearily walked back upstairs to his granddaughter’s room. Her long, tan body was sprawled across the bed. Her dark hair covered half her face. He moved the long strands so that he could see her face. She looked like a peaceful child in her sleep. Once again a pang of guilt ripped at his gut. He was about to destroy that peace. It had to be done he reminded himself. She was the only one who could accomplish this.
The elderly man gave his granddaughter a soft kiss on her cheek. “I love you so much. I’m so proud of all that you have accomplished. I only wish I could make this journey easier for you.”
His granddaughter crinkled her nose and let out a sigh. The man smiled then left the room and made his way back to his bedroom, where he got in bed. Before he closed his eyes for the last time, he thanked the Lord up above for his life then begged His forgiveness for the pain he was about to cause his beloved granddaughter. As his eyes fluttered shut, a small smile tugged at his lips. If anyone could conquer the past, make sure that history took the correct course, it was his Annie.