Orange danced with red and yellow, illuminating the small area in which she sat. Snapping resounded in the quietness around her. Warmth enveloped her, twisting itself around her slim figure to keep her the perfect temperature. Edith turned a ragged paper over. Her brown eyes drank in each dark letter on the page. Tension spread throughout her delicate body, building as each sentence painted a vivid picture in her mind. It was almost too much. Her breath hitched in her throat.
“Madam, are you listening?” she heard.
Edith jumped at the sound of the tired voice that had spoken. All the tension that she had felt before changed into adrenaline within a small amount of time. Irrational thoughts came to her mind before she could properly identify the one who had spoken. After taking a few deep breaths to collect herself, she finally looked at the weathered man standing before her. His well-groomed features and proper attire made her feel guilty at her own sloppy look.
“I apologize, Weston. I was otherwise engaged.”
“I could tell,” he replied with a small smile. His wrinkles smoothed instantly. If she did not know better, she would have thought him ten less years than his actual age. “Your father sent you a letter.”
The elderly man stretched out his hand, trying his best to control the visible shakes. Edith reached for the yellow envelope quickly and pulled out the letter ensnared within. Hastily, she scanned the first note from her father since his departure six months ago. The rush that she once had felt fled from her.
“May I inquire as to its contents, Madam?” Weston asked.
“Father wishes for me to rejoin him in the country. He said that you should receive your letter of instructions a few days in regards for my departure,” she answered. Quickly, she rolled up the letter, no longer interested it. Stinging in her eyes attacked without warning. She was familiar with this feeling; however, this was his longest absence, and there was no warmth in his writing. All the words scrawled upon the page read with sharp, biting instructions. How she once found comfort in knowing that he still cared, but it had changed.
“I apologize, Madam.”
“For what, Weston?” she asked.
“Your disappointment,” he replied.
“Weston, you do not need to apologize for my father’s shortcomings. I honestly should have expected this since his departure.”
“It does not bring me comfort in knowing that you are accepting this.”
“Then I suppose I will have to bring you comfort in some other way. Thank you, Weston, for being the father that still loves me.”
Edith rose from her spot on the floor. She walked to the elderly butler and embraced him gently. When she pulled away, she smiled gently. He returned her smile.