Seasoning – Part 29
“The letter?” Henry exclaimed.
“Yes dear brother,” Helen nodded, “you know the one. I’m not sure how you found it. After all, it was me who Alice had asked to reveal it. Imagine my surprise, after rummaging through those vanity drawers like a mad woman, when Hannah interrupted me holding that very letter! Why do you think I came all this way? I had to see if the rumors were true!”
“How did you? Alice asked you? What rumors?!” Henry rattled off questions without giving Helen a moment to answer. Exasperated, he slumped into his chair.
“Oh Henry, dear little brother,” Helen patted his hand, “let’s have some dinner and I’ll tell you all about it.”
Hannah, who had gleefully watched the two of them in silence, spoke up, “Yes! Let’s do, before everything gets cold!”
Henry looked at Hannah. She was beaming. He smiled softly. “God, you’re beautiful…” he thought, as his nerves settled to a purr, “oh, how I love you, Hannah.” Breaking the silence, he chuckled out loud, “Well clearly I am outnumbered here!” He reached for a slice of roast beef.
The three filled their plates and savored several bites before curiosity got the best of Henry.
“What I don’t understand, Helen, is how you knew about the letter. This is the letter we are talking about, right Hannah?”
“The very one!” Hannah blushed.
“Well Henry, you know you have always been a restless sleeper. Oh, the night terrors you had when you were young. Scared the dickens out of us! Especially Mother! I honestly thought you’d outgrown it. When Alice took ill and I came to care for her, she told me about your dreams. It seems you talked in your sleep, Henry, and Alice, the lovely girl that she was… well, she was so worried about you.”
“Worried? She never let on. I tried so hard to be positive around her.”
“Oh, you did Henry and you were. You were so kind and brave for her. But your dreams Henry; they told another story. There was a woman,” Helen glanced at Hannah, smiling softly, “there was always a woman in your dreams that you longed to find. Alice knew it was not her that you spoke of in your sleep.”
Henry’s eyes welled with tears, “I had no idea. She never told me.”
“Well, Alice wanted to be sure you would be alright…after she was gone. So she told me that she had written a letter to this mystery woman and asked me to hide it in the vanity. If her intuition was true, that one day you would find her, she asked me to give the letter to the woman of your dreams.”
“And how did you know, Helen? How did you know it was Hannah?”
“Oh my dears,” Helen cooed as she gazed at them across the table, “I knew the moment I saw the two of you together.”
Henry reached for Hannah’s hand, “So, what now, Helen?”
“Well, I think that’s up to the two of you.”
Hannah smiled and leaned into Henry.
“I think you’ll do just fine.” Helen softly remarked. “I suppose I’ll be leaving in the morning then.”
“So soon?” Hannah exclaimed, “but you just got here!”
“Oh, don’t you worry!” she winked at Hannah, “I’ll be back in the summer. I want to see that garden when it’s in full bloom! Well, enough talk! Hannah, I would love some dessert. How about you Henry?”
“That sounds wonderful!” Henry replied.
” Yes ma’am!” Hannah gushed. She glanced coyly at Henry adding, “…and kind sir. Dessert it shall be!” She sprang from her chair and skipped happily into the kitchen.
Henry smiled at his sister.
“You both deserve to be happy, you know. Don’t let that lovely girl get away, Henry.”
“Oh, I won’t, Helen. Of that you can be certain. I never will.”
Other installments of this series can be found HERE.