Part 524 – The Past And The Future

Isellta opened the dresser drawers one at a time.

He was shocked and awed.

Every drawer was the epitome of perfection.

Perfectly folded.

Perfectly stacked.

Perfectly ironed.

Not a corner out of alignment.

Not a breath out of place.

He flapped his wings in excitement.

“Oh. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve seen since I entered this world. Such order. Such…such…”

His brain broke and his mouth stopped working.

He stroked the white shirts.

The well-stacked gloves.

The belts twirled into tight circles and pinned shut.

Ironed socks.

And every sock had a match.

“It’s beautiful. It’s so beautiful.”

***

Her scent.

Her scent is gone.

Raven woke up.

She wasn’t there.

“Missy?”

He came out of hiding.

There was no trace of her scent.

She wasn’t there.

He ran out into the hallway. “Missy?” The daylight stung and dazzled his eyes, but he didn’t retreat into the classroom.

Not this time.

He found a hint of her scent in the air.

He chased it.

***

Isellta reluctantly closed the drawers. He stroked the dresser, before turning his attention to the closet.

The order and attention to detail in there made him almost want to cry from pure happiness.

Then, he saw something that seemed out of place.

A round box stacked on top of a bunch of square boxes.

His curiosity burned.

He pulled the box out and carried it over to the well-made bed.

He opened the box.

A stack of letters bound by a black and red ribbon lay inside.

***

Raven ran down the hall.

Her scent led him to the front door.

He didn’t think.

He didn’t question it.

He pushed the front door open and ran out into the day.

***

Isellta didn’t question it.

He untied the ribbon.

He opened the top envelope.

It was addressed to Miss May Rose Farlington in a man’s elegant script.

***

Raven chased her scent, but the wind picked up, spiraling the trail into wrong directions.

He stopped and scanned his surroundings.

Old buildings.

Missing windows.

Places to hide.

Or places to die.

He closed his eyes and called to her with his mind. missy! missy! It is I. Raven. come back to me. missy!

***

“My dear Miss Farlington,

You want me to be honest about my feelings. You wish for me to speak my mind.

I cannot. I cannot say such words to one who is so high above me. Perhaps you understand. Perhaps you don’t. But this is the reality of our lives. I am your butler. I can only be your butler. I can never rise above my station to be anything more.

I long to be oh so much more, but such desires can never be spoken, can never be acted upon. They must be bound together and put away.

Yet, I will write those desires here. For, you see? I am a coward. I will never send these letters to you.

So, I shall speak my mind here. All of the words I long to say I will write here.

Here, May Rose, on this sheet of paper with this quill pen.

Here, May Rose, I will tell you my heart.

I love you.

I will always love you, May Rose Farlington.

James.”

***

Raven?

He opened his eyes and followed the sound of her voice.

Raven? Where are you?

Missy. I am here. I am here.

He pushed himself to run faster.

keep talking. I will find you. I will come to you. Missy. Missy.

Raven.

***

I don’t understand these sentiments at all. thought Isellta.

But he opened the next letter.

“My dear, my darling May Rose,

I am sorry for the way I acted.

I am sorry I refused to tell you what I thought, what I felt, what I want.

I know.

I realize that saying sorry is naught but a cold fire. It does little to offer comfort. I wish I could comfort you. I wish so many things. I wish I could tell you all. I wish I could tell you how my heart leaps at the sound of your voice. I recognize your footstep. When you look at me, I want to…

I must get back to work. Your father is calling me.

Until next time,

James.”

***

Two thugs tried to get the jump on Raven.

He slashed them with his claws in a sharp One, Two.

And in a One, Two, the thugs tumbled, crumbled to the ground.

Raven turned the corner and kept running.

***

Isellta opened the next one.

“May Rose. No. Miss Farlington,

You want to know how I feel about your engagement.

I hate it.

I hate that you are engaged to another man and that there is nothing I can do about it.

I hate that I have no say in the matter. But why would I? I am only Arden. I am only a butler.

I know my place.

I wish we could escape.

I wish I had the nerve to touch you and whisper I love you. But I cannot.

I will do so here.

I love you, May Rose.

I sit here in my room at my desk, writing these words and longing to say them. But I cannot.

I wish our reality were different.

I wish…

Miss Farlington.

May Rose.

I wish so many things.

I wish I could hold you in my arms.

I wish I could kiss you.

James.”

***

There!

Raven saw her up ahead.

She was walking towards Mark Caten’s Funorium.

He pushed himself to run faster.

***

“Miss Farlington.

Miss Farlington,

I am a vampire.

I was bitten.

I was changed.

I am changed, but I struggle to stay the same.

I keep thinking. I keep wanting to tell you, but then I see your face.

I cannot tell you that the monster that killed the baker’s daughter is me. That this is my reality now.

I am a vampire.

I must push you further away. I fear my desire for your blood. I fear how I feel. How much I feel when I see you. I want to hurt you. I want to bite you. I want to change you. I want to live endless years with you.

I cannot.

I will not.

I wish I could.

Don’t take my hands, Miss Farlington. Don’t look upon me in that lovely way  you always do. You don’t know how it makes me feel. And you cannot know.

I will never say.

I will never act upon it.

I love you.

As the ocean kisses the sand, I wish to kiss you.

I will always love you.

James”

***

“Missy!”

She stopped and turned around. “Raven?”

He ran to her.

I want to hug her.

I want to hold her.

I will not.

I cannot.

He kept his arms down at his sides. “Missy. Why did you leave me?”

She averted her gaze. “I have to go home. It calls to me. I need to go home. I need to stop running. I need to—”

“Come with me.”

She looked up at him.

“Come home with me.”

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