The Letter of Henri Colinsforth to Sierra Charmonte
STARBOARD SIDE PRIVATE PROMENADE,
14th of April 1912.
My dearest Sierra,
Happy, happy, happy birthday! Not every day, a young woman turns seventeen, and I cannot believe you are now one. It seems like it was only yesterday when I first held you in my arms. Your tiny little nose, I could not help myself but to lightly touch it. You wept, of course, but you already were before I did that. You were so tiny, my dear, wrapped neatly in a pink blanket. And when I hummed you a song, you stopped crying. When you heard my soft voice, your eyes opened a tad bit in curiosity before closing them again, and you smiled at me for the first time. My heart melted. I had to cuddle you.
That night, we mourned for your mother, but we celebrated for you became the most significant person in our lives. I feared Daniel would lose sight of what was vital, but I’m glad he saw your mother in you, especially as you grow older, and reflected her image. Even though Eliza gifted you with her beauty and talents, I can still see Daniel running through your veins: seeking adventure and always have a smile on your face.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you don’t remember that time when you bothered me during my meditation in the pool. I believe you were seven or eight. Oh, wow, it was almost ten years ago! Anyway, even though Daniel told you not to, I remember you jumped into the pool. Sadie was fuming when she saw your day dress dripping in the laundry bin.
Oh, my dear, you have always been a breath of fresh air. It was three years ago, and I know you still remember the time when we were in Chicago. You and Daniel did not stop singing Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland on our way to the hotel and still singing even when we got home in London. Without even knowing the piano arrangements and the song’s tone, I memorized the lines and tune of it because of the two of you! Now that I think of it, you were so adorable.
I apologize if I recall too much of your childhood. I simply cannot believe you are now a woman. Seeing you grow up and learning so much about you has made me love you even more. I know my confession last night has come as a shock, I never had the guts before, but I have always wanted to tell you. You are my sunshine, my beacon of hope in this frightful world.
It was my fault for not showing my real feelings toward you. Nobody knew how I pined for you, my dear, not even you suspected a thing. I could never bring it up to Daniel because you are his precious daughter, and he raised me as if I am your brother. In the eyes of the law, it is unspeakable and highly frowned upon for us to be lovers. So, I kept my silence and showed my affections by simply being there for you.
Oh, dear, I apologize too for keeping your engagement with Celeste’s son, Charles, a secret. She wanted to break the news herself, but when it seemed that you started to be attracted to this young lad, Alec, Sadie wrote her a telegram. Thus, all of this happened. I am sure you will do the right thing when we arrive in New York. It is okay to have fun while you are young. You have so many great things ahead of you. Do not worry. I am contented to know you feel in love. It is a wondrous feeling, and I believe it to be the most precious thing to have in the world.
Knowing how Alec is making you smile and laugh better than I do gives me pleasure. Even though he and I have not yet introduced, I sensed that he is a great friend and takes care of you very well, so well that you confide in him more than I these days. I am not envious. In fact, I am glad. I can see it in your face, the sorrow you have been bottling up. You may not speak to me about it, but I know you too well, my dear, and it is all right. You will tell me when you are ready. I will be here for you, no matter what.
I cannot wait to take you out in New York. Oh, you would love it there. They have tons of shows on Broadway. Every night, we can go there if you want! Of course, when we are not busy with our tight timetables. I am thrilled to show you the city that never sleeps.
This letter has gotten long. All I wish is for you to have an extensive, fruitful, and pleasant life. Believe me, Sierra. There will be challenges and obstacles that are waiting for you. They will mould you to who you will be and teach you lessons you cannot learn in school.
I love you, my dear, always has and always been.
Other than the bracelet, I have a gift waiting in Celeste’s home. It is a surprise, of course. I cannot wait to see the look on your face when you see it!