Love Letters

Today’s “Word of the Day” is:


 \ BIL-ey-DOO \  , noun;

plural billets-doux  \bil-ay-DOO(Z)\
1. A love letter.
          The literal translation from French to English is “gentle note.” In my lifetime, I have both sent and received a few love letters, and for whatever reason, the ones that are stamped in my memory are those that said goodbye.
          In my work-in-progress sequel to The Red Kimono (currently titled Broken Dreams,) Nobu finds a decades-old letter his mother had hidden from her family. Written by a former lover, it was given to her the day before she left Japan for America, where she would be a picture bride.
          I have “redacted” parts of the letter with ???????? to keep from spoiling a secret:


May 24, 1920

My dearest Sumiko,

I accept your choice only because I know you have no choice. We knew from the beginning that you were promised in marriage to Kimura-san. Yet some force drew us to each other, and though we kissed in the shadows, we fell in love.

True, we knew the end would come for us. But, does a caterpillar not weave its cocoon, become a butterfly, simply because its end will come too soon? I was prepared to let the butterfly go when the time came. Then, ???????????????????????.

Now, ???????????????????????.

?????????????????????????????????????????? But, I know you too well, Sumiko. My logic tells me that between love and honor, honor must be greater. But my heart tells me the love I am losing is greater than anything I have ever known.

So, I will say goodbye with this letter, and tomorrow you will leave to meet Kimura-san in America. I cannot see you off. If I came to the ship, I am afraid I would hold the butterfly so tightly it would smother in hands that refuse to free it.

Take care of yourself. ??????????????????????? I wonder if ?????????????????????????, but I leave that decision to you. My love for you had to be hidden in my heart, tucked away for only you to see. That is how it will remain.

Forever yours,

Taro Inaba

This entry was posted in Excerpt, The Red Kimono, Word of the Day and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Love Letters

  1. Jan Morrill says:

    Reblogged this on Jan Morrill Writes and commented:

    Creative non-fiction or purely fiction? Only the author knows . . .

  2. 8teen39 says:

    Ah, yes! I have been the recipient of many a good-bye gentle note. I guess I gave a few, too. What a lost art. Today, people are more likely to tweet or email a break-up. How would that work in a romantic novel? Sort of breaks the mood for me.

  3. Pingback: GOODBYE LETTERS! « Beyond words

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