Sometimes I wondered what would happen if I told Char that I was just the right age to marry. With each of his letters I fell more in love with him. But I couldn’t tell him. If I said I was old enough to marry and his question had only been the continuation of a good joke, he would be horribly embarrassed and our easy friendship would be ruined. He might stop writing, which I couldn’t endure. If he wasn’t jesting, it was for him to say so. Until then or never, I treasured our correspondence.
Impatience is not usually my weakness. But your letters torment me. They make me long to saddle my horse and ride to Frell, where I would make you explain yourself.
They are playful, interesting, thoughtful, and (occasionally) serious. I’m overjoyed to receive them, yet they bring misery. You say little of your daily life, I have no idea how you occupy yourself. I don’t mind; I enjoy guessing at the mystery. But what I really long to know you do not tell either: what you feel, although I’ve given you hints by the score of my regard.
You like me. You wouldn’t waste time or paper on a being you didn’t like. But I think I’ve loved you since we met at your mother’s funeral. I want to be with you forever and beyond, but you write that you are too young to marry or too old or too short or too hungry – until I crumple your letters up in despair, only to smooth them out again for a twelfth reading, hunting for hidden meanings. Father asks frequently in his letters whether I fancy any Ayorthaian young lady or any in our acquaintance at home. I say no. I suppose I’m confessing another fault: pride. I don’t want him to know that I love if my affections are not returned.
You would charm him, and mother too. They would be yours completely. As I am.
What a beautiful bride you’ll be, whomever you marry at whatever age. And what a queen if I am the man! Who has your grace? Your expression? Your voice? I could extol your virtues endlessly, but I want you to finish reading and answer me quickly.
Today I cannot write of Ayortha or my doings or anything. I can only post this and wait.
Love (it is such relief to pen the word!), love, love–