I placed your likeness on the parapet beside me as I readied myself this morning. I looked upon your sweet face as I drew. I know you weren’t happy with my chosen profession. I would have given it up but I wanted the best for you and our unborn child. I’ve always wanted a boy to show the world to. A girl with your golden hair is never far from my thoughts. It’s not that I didn’t want a ‘real’ job. The truth is: no other employer would have me. I’m an artist, at least, that’s what I’d like to think.
The day’s first light made the Queen’s eyes sparkle. Her regal garb was something to see; how I wish you were with me. It pains me to be away from you. You know, my chest actually hurts to think of it? You have chided me often enough about being sentimental; even now, it makes me smile. You’ve always been practical but you cannot deny your tender side. I would have forsaken time spent in the Queen’s presence, had we not need of the gold.
My hands trembled slightly, for the first time in many a summer. I worried, for an instant, that I might make a mess of things. Thinking on our life together, and how happy you’ve made me, soon steadied my hand. You’ve transformed me, dear Delwyn. I was lost in my own world when you found me. My life had been one of trial and toil. You searched my face for things I knew nothing of. You illuminated qualities I had no words for. You shed light on the man I wanted to be, guiding me through a forest of doubt. You made me a better person.
As I let loose my arrow, I smiled. It was all for you and our new family. The Queen fell but my hopes rose. In the ensuing chaos, I was filled with unbridled energy. I jumped from rooftop to rooftop, like a young mountain goat. I should have paid more attention to my footing. I fell quite a distance, onto the meat seller's market stall, no less. I broke my leg and could not run from the City Watch.
In the dungeons, I met a young Friar; he had been brought in on charge of fornication. He said he was there on pain of love-sickness. We exchanged stories, before interruption by a guard with a message. He told me of your death: wolves, he said. I had always warned you about venturing too far into the wood. The Friar tried to console me. He suggested that I write you a letter; he said that it would help ‘put things into perspective prior to my execution’. I think he’s simply a frustrated romantic.
One thing’s for sure: it has put me at peace to write these words. I wept and wailed when the news of your passing was first delivered. Now I see the truth. You and I – and our child, I hope – shall be reunited in a world far greater than this; my new friend has absolved me, you see. Come the morrow, I shall look upon your sweet face once more.