A Letter from Charles
ST. MICHAEL ALLEY,
9th of April 1912.
Dear Ms Sierra Charmonte,
To be perfectly candid, I do not know what to say. All I know is that it was a few months ago when my mother had informed me of an arrangement she conducted with Uncle Dan. Where to begin? Well, first off, I offer you my deepest condolences. I was in Madrid when I heard of the terrible news. Uncle Dan was an exceptional being. He was the most generous and kindest person I have met in my life, and if you ever wonder, I am sure he is in a better place now, smiling down at those people who he loved and loved him. I am afraid to say this, but I know exactly how you are feeling now.
So, about the matters at hand, I only know your name and have never met you, although, mother and Uncle mentioned you occasionally whenever I was home for the holidays from boarding school. It is odd, is not? That we have not seen each other? And now they expect us to be married? I do beg your pardon if I sounded rude, but don’t you think so too? Because if it were up to me, I would like to get to know you first. Test the waters if I may.
I have never been this nervous, to be honest. If our parents had planned on setting us up for an arranged marriage in the first place, they must, at least, had the courtesy and to properly introduce us in person. So, we could get to know each other, even just for once!
I know that Brighton is only a few hours far from London by carriage, but I would still have presented myself to court you in the most fashionable way. Or perhaps, we could have built a kind of friendship first. So we would be aware of this engagement, not bombarded by it. But from all the stories I have heard from mother, I believe you and I will get along fine. I assure you, Ms Charmonte. I would still be a friend lending a hand whenever you would need me, even if you happen to decline my hand in marriage.
Tomorrow, I will be sailing to New York by “the unsinkable” cruise liner. I am sure you have heard of it, or maybe not? Anyway, it is to see you in person. Mother had been sending too many letters if you ask me. Can you believe that she even sent my sister, Victoire, to make me come home? I sound as if I am a delinquent, but I swear to you, I am not. It has been three years since I left and worked abroad.
In case you are wondering why I have not been home since, I will tell you, it is not much of a secret, but my mother has no idea about it. It is because I travelled around to escape this void I feel. It began ever since my father passed on. And the only way I know how to sense his spirit close is by helping others. Father saw my potential when I was still a kid. He knew how much I desired to build my name by working from the ground and treating everyone as my equal. For that reasoning, I want to feel that I deserve the money I earn, not just because I inherited it or because I am a Sinclaire. As a matter of fact, I am going to work as a steward, a bellboy. I refused the first-class ticket my mother mailed. I do beg your pardon, for I am babbling!
But I am sincere. I really wish you would like me once we get to see each other, for I am thrilled to have the chance and get to know you. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a new friend?
Is it true that you adore The Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare as much as I do? Because I remember helping Uncle Daniel pulled off a play about it a couple of years ago. Oh my, because if you do, you and I will be the best of friends.