Lavinia's Diary: The Notes

The inside back cover of the diary has a slice in the leather making a sort of pouch between the leather and the firm board material in the cover. Inside this hidden pouch are two folded notes:

The first note reads:


It is I; your mud-bespattered friend. I write this letter because I know that the journey we are about to take may be fraught with peril and there are things I wish to be said should I never have the chance again. There was much I wanted to say the other day – much I had been prepared to say – but I lost my courage. So, cowardly though it may be, I commit my mind and heart to this page – this page that may outlive me; I know not.

There are very few who know my story. That is partially because few would care to listen, but it is also because I am loath to be judged for it. Yet, with what you know of me, you never judged me. Your eyes have looked on me with a kindness I have never known – a kindness that has somehow seen beyond the wall of rank and pierced my veil of shadow.

I come form darkness, not just in name. The greatest tragedy of life is not that men perish, but that they cease to love. Love; what a word -one word that frees us of all the weight and pain in life. Until recently, I had no knowledge of it; nothing to lose. I’ve seen your heart break from such loss and I understand now, the shadow is lifted – Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. I find my happiness irrevocably tied to yours.

Other men say they have seen angels; I have seen you and that is enough. To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven. I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for their religion. I have shuddered at the though. I shudder no more. I could be martyred for my religion. Love is my religion and I could die for that. I could die for you.

But the greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitance to tell others how much they love them while they are alive.

There. If tomorrow never comes, it is said. No response is required.

The most precious possession that ever comes to a man in this world is a woman’s heart. Love is, above all, the gift of oneself, yet it is a gift that cannot be sought; only dreamed, and in dreams there are no impossibilities. You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.

The second note reads:

I don’t think I made myself quite clear before, and it’s important that I do. Lavinia, I’m not looking for anything from you. I’m just feeling kind of honest right now. Life’s too short for “ifs” and “maybes.”
You say I should be careful about giving my heart away as though it were mine to give. It has a will of its own, and it has chosen you. You didn’t steal it, as the poets would accuse, but it’s yours nonetheless. Yes, it is fragile, but it is only as precious as you ascribe it worth.
I’m not looking for anything from you. You have enough to worry about. Rather than take, I would give; rather than ask, I would offer. I offer myself, in part or in whole, in any way you need or want. When your burdens are great, I will help you bear them. When you are down, I’ll lift you up. If everyone else turned against you, I would stand by you.
Call me a friend. Call me a servant. Just promise me that if you need anything, ever, you will call me.

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