Written for: The Writer's Tower
Theme: Love and Lost (March)
Deadline: 3rd April 2014
(Written on: 28th March 2014)
My darling Catherine,
I am writing this in the hopes that somehow, somewhere, you might read this. I feel that voice pods and recordings, or even holograms still do not hold the same kind of intimacy that comes from a lovingly crafted handwritten letter, on soft parchment carefully chosen, enclosing the faint fragrance of the writer’s scent. Because I want you to know me, to remember me, to have a keepsake of me, long after even the technology we know is gone.
The day I saw you was the day I lived. Truly lived. You were so beautiful, so, so beautiful. Your skin was flawless, without blemish, perfect. Your hair was soft, oh so soft, like the inside of a rose as they say. When I breathed in the smell of you, I was intoxicated. Drunk in the perfume that is you, which made me burn with this vicious desire to own you, to love you, to protect you even with my life.
And when I first heard you laugh, it was like a thousand glorious bells tinkling in my ears—the most magnificent sound. And ever since, I yearned for it, I anxiously wished for it. Oh, what wouldn’t I do to hear you laugh? To hear that pure unadulterated joy and happiness in a chuckle, in a giggle, as you gazed at the world around you with such wonder, such awe?
It was through watching you that I learned to see the beauty in every little thing around me. I, like many others, have forgotten. Forgotten that the world, despite its fast pace and dark realities and loneliness and pain, still held much love, much compassion, much kindness. You showed me that.
I see you now, as you run ahead of me during our walks together, soaking in the sun rays shining on your face, reflected in your smile. I see you as you turn back to face me, your sweet dress swirling about you, your eyes imploring me to hurry up; your hands stretched out to me, to hold, to guide, to keep. I call you your pet name, Cat, and you reward me with your infamous smirk. I see you in my lab, cheekily scribbling on my research notes, laughing out loud at my annoyance. And knowing I cannot stay mad at you for long, you sneak kisses on my cheek, and I am appeased. Days such as these plague my dreams, every night. And I ache for you. Such an ache it is!
Oh, but loving you was also the most difficult thing to do! Oh, how frustrated I often was. How you stubbornly and absolutely refused to listen to anything I had to say, even though it was for your sake. You were selfish, sometimes uncaring. You loved to sulk, or storm off during arguments, knowing that it killed me inside, each time. Eventually, I’d give in, let you have your way. How could I not? You held my heart in your hands, and I was smitten.
Every single day with you, I know now, was a blessing, a privilege. Who would ever know what little time we would have together? If it weren’t dreams of our walks, our quiet times spent reading together on the couch, snuggling together under fluffy covers, sleeping side by side with your head on my chest, or hearing your sudden laughs, seeing your radiant smile, then it would be nightmares; nightmares of the day it happened, of you calling out to me, fearful, terrified, not knowing.
And I didn’t hear you, couldn’t see you. Every single time in my nightmares, I am behind the wheel and I am looking and looking, but I do not see you. I tell myself you are there, but I still cannot find you. I cannot control my body as I push the button that sets the hovercar into reverse, as I increase the speed. My mind is screaming “NOOOOOOOO!!!” but I can do nothing. The hovercar moves backward, and as I set it down to park, I hear that horrifying bump, feel the hovercar sway as it settles on uneven ground, crushing you beneath it. Sometimes, I hear your screams, sometimes it is just agonizing silence, the excruciating realization of what I had done. Then I jolt awake, perspiring profusely, but I am really dead. I died when you did.
I have tried to change the past, believe me. A friend who also worked at the university owed me, and I cashed it, gained access to a time displacement device. I went back to time before it happened, numerous times. Yet, in each time, you leave me. No matter what I do, however hard I try, however far back in time I go, I cannot save you. I cannot stop you from leaving me behind, in a world without you. I have researched and studied and experimented, obsessively, with God knows how many alternatives, but the results are the same. My friend tells me it is an anomaly, that in certain circumstances, it is just fate, God’s will. That there is nothing I can do.
How can this be, when I swore to love you and protect you all my life? I would gladly give my life in exchange for yours if I could, to grant you more than the 6 years you spent on this earth. How can I call myself a father, if I cannot even save my little girl? When I was the cause of your death? I still hear you calling me, “Daddy, Daddy!” and it breaks my heart. How can I accept this, Cat, that you are gone? How can I live, knowing what I have done? I killed you. Forgive me, forgive me, please.
I do not care what my friend has told me—I believe you are out there, somewhere, in some time. Maybe in some alternate universe that we have yet to uncover, you are alive and well. You are still beautiful, still lovely, still Daddy’s little girl. My friend tells me that it is possible to send things to parallel universes, through the Interspace-time Portal, strategically located at weakened points in the overlaps between worlds. So I desperately hope and pray that, somehow, this letter reaches you, to let you know how much I loved you, no, love you, even across space and time. And to beg your forgiveness, though I do not deserve it.
I love you, Cat. Daddy loves you with all his heart.Goodbye.