Hope Love Letters

Chapter 1 - HURT

It was a bright, warm, and clear Saturday morning. It was a bright, warm, clear, and very early Saturday morning. It was a bright, warm, clear, and very early Saturday morning in Hope Valley, as well as the third Saturday of the summer holiday.

Elizabeth woke up because she heard some rumbling from outside through her open bedroom window and Elizabeth did not want to wake up. She was captured in the remaining feeling of an enjoyable dream that ended with a kiss. A very pleasant, powerful, and passionate kiss. A kiss she still could feel was affecting her body, but she could not remember who she shared this fervent kiss with. Was it a memory of Jacks kisses that took over her dream and body or was this kiss one of those she and Lucas had? No, both felt not right but she liked the feeling that was running through her body and heart, and so she stopped wondering, just giving into this warm feeling

There, there it was again. A rumble coming from the street outside her house. What was that? On a very early Saturday morning? Shouldn't it be calm and quiet outside, the sun had just risen? Shouldn't everybody be in their beds and sleeping just like her? Who or what is causing that noise?

Elizabeth sighed and left her warm, soft, and cozy bed to have a look outside her window. Not very happy about the disturbance and to have to leave her bed she took her shawl, wrapped it around her, pulled the curtains aside and looked out on the street.

Just in that very moment she heard a rumble coming closer and she saw a wagon passing by. She followed the wagon with her eyes and saw that now three wagons stood in front of the last rowhouse, and men started to carry out furniture and crates. It was Nathan's house and Nathan's furniture with a lot of crates. What was going on? Thieves?

Nathan and Ally left two weeks ago, both with a suitcase in their hands, heading towards the train station. Nathan and Allie are on vacation and now their house is opened, and all their belongings are going to be taken by thieves, were her thoughts.

She has to do something. Fast. Very fast, but how should she do so, little Jack is sleeping in his room, and she surely does not want to wake him up this early.

While thinking how she could solve that problem she got dressed and just when she had finished, a loud, determined, and energetic knock from her front door thudded through the house. Elizabeth went downstairs and opened the door.

To her surprise she saw Bill standing in front of her with an unreadable, serious expression on his face and an intricately carved wooden box in his hands.

"Oh Bill, I just wondered how I should get help, there are men at Nathan's house who are loading his belongings on those wagons. I am sure you saw them. You should immediately go there and arrest them. Steeling from a Mountie, who does such a thing?" she said before Bill could even say a single word.

"Ahem Elizabeth, that is actually why I am here. Nathan has a new posting, and these men are just loading all his belongings to get them to the train station to be shipped to his new home," he said.

Elizabeth eyes widened by surprise and hurt, not able to believe what she was hearing.

A pain hit her, a feeling of loss, emptiness, and loneliness was shaking her heart, without her understanding where and why this is coming from and why it was so strong. She had to sit down.

While she was going to the table and sat down Bill followed her, putting the box on the table, and sitting beside her, taking her hands, holding them and cleared his throat, searching for words.

Then he began. "Elizabeth, Nathan left Hope Valley two weeks ago to travel to his new posting, find a house and get familiar with the surroundings. He couldn't say goodbye to you as he had a feeling, he just would not be able to find the right words. Instead, he gave me this box to give to you the day his possessions were planned to be picked up for shipping. He said that what the box contains will explain everything to you. All I can tell you is that he did not make this decision easily, but he could not see how things could get any better for him staying in Hope Valley. For anyone really, but mostly for him and Allie.", and with those words he gave her the box, stood up and went to the door.

When he reached the door he turned around, facing her, looking at her sadly and spoke.

"I will miss Nathan badly, as he grew very close to my heart. I hope he will find the happiness he deserves in his new home."

Before Elizabeth could even say anything in return, he opened the door and was gone.

There she sat on this beautiful, bright, warm, and clear and very early Saturday morning in Hope Valley, gasping, speechless and distraught that Nathan has left town without saying goodbye. That Nathan left her without saying goodbye. That Nathan wasn't here anymore. Suddenly this beautiful, bright, warm, clear, and very early Saturday morning in Hope Valley did not feel so beautiful, bright, warm, and clear anymore. It felt cold and grey and abandoned, it felt that the sun no longer provides the world with heat and light and energy. It felt like the world was shadowed by the absence of good.

She was confused by her feelings: She was confused by the intensity of her feelings. She was confused why these feelings were with her. And there was anger as well. Anger that he left that way. There was anger that he abandoned her here in Hope Valley. There was anger that he first came here without explaining why and how and now he is leaving without telling her why. Why and how could he do this to her? Doesn't he understand that she cares for him, that she could not imagine any other person to be a friend like he is. Why did he leave her? Everything was just fine, wasn't it? Between her and Nathan everything was out and cleared. He no longer had to look out for her, he no longer needed to feel guilty. They no longer suffered from an unclear relationship between them. She said to him she loved him but was not in love with him. She told him that she could not imagine a better man than him to be her friend in life, when she needs one. They both could move on from that day in the jail and so she did and enjoyed the easy life Lucas provided for her in their time together, in their courtship. Shouldn't he be happy for her that she allowed love to come back into her life? Surely, he was. So why did he leave, everything was good between them, weren't they all happy? Suddenly uncertainty and insecurity took over her but also curiosity about what that beautiful carved wooden box would contain and explain. Her fingers followed the lines of the lavender flower bouquet, carved out from the wooden top of the box. It looked so exquisite, so carefully crafted and so delicate.

She was touched by its beauty.

She opened the box wondering what could be inside.

She found letters, a lot of letters, carefully bundled and wrapped with a lavender colored silk ribbon.

Just one was lying on top of the others. Written in neatly letters she could read "Read me first".

She opened the envelope and began to read:

Dearest Elizabeth,
This will be my last letter to you. This will be my last words written to you as I can no longer have hope. Hope you ever will see what I knew from the very first moment I saw you. It is us. It is us who belong together. It is us who love each other. It is us who should be together. But I see and understand you have trouble allowing your heart to see and feel that way. I see and understand that me being a Mountie makes it hard for you to love me. And with all hope lost, I need some distance.
Dearest Elizabeth, my heart, my love, I still love you and I know I ever will. And all I want for you is, of course, that you are happy, that you are loved, that you are the everything to someone and that you feel the same way for this person. I hoped, I dreamed, I longed for so long that you would find your way and I would be this blessed man to be loved by you and love you back. But you chose differently and as much as I want to see you being happy and loved and cared for, I still wanted it to be me to be the one who is happy with you, loves you and takes care of you. But I am not the one.
I see how you give your love and tenderness and passion to Lucas, yet I want it to be me who receives these gifts and when I see Lucas giving you love and tenderness and passion, I want it to be me to be the one giving all this to you and even more as I know how much I love you. I do not have words for how much I love you, you know I am not good with words, but I know there is no ending in my love.

I see you with him and it hurts me. It hurts so much I can no longer stand the pain; I have to protect my heart and with that I have to leave. No man can live when his heart gets broken over and over again just seeing the woman, you love loving someone else. I wish you and Lucas all the happiness you can obtain. I truly do, but Elizabeth I also deserve at least a little peace and healing and to find that I need to go.
This decision was not made lightly but I have to do as I cannot and do not want to continue to feel pain and hurt every time I see you. I know it is you in my heart and it will be only you in my heart for the rest of my life. I do not fall in love easily. In fact, I have never felt this way before and somehow, I just know this will never happen again.

Again, I am sorry I just left. I am sorry I did not talk to you, but I just couldn't. My heart was, my heart is wanting, please forgive me my love.
I knew you would look at me and I would melt and maybe stay, and the pain would stay, the wound will be reopened over and over again, as soon as a tiny little bit would have healed. My love Elizabeth I have to go. I hope you understand. You need, deserve and should be happy but I should at least have a chance to make peace with me and the fact you cannot love me the way I do love you.
Leaving means Allie and I have a less dark life than we have right now. As we both are struggling with you not in it. Me because you chose Lucas and Allie because she sees me being hurt no matter how much I try to hide it. I need to go, I need distance.

I need to find all the pieces of my heart that shattered into so many pieces people cannot count.

Again, I am sorry I just left. I am sorry I did not have enough courage to talk to you, but I just couldn't. I was, I am weak, please forgive me. Forgive me my love. But also have in mind that whenever you need me, please let Bill know, as he knows where and how to find me. I might not be in Hope Valley anymore, but I will always be there for you if you need and desire me to help you.

You will find letters in this box. The box that I made for you. This box that I made for you even before I made that Emerson plaque for you. I started writing these letters the evening of the day I met you the first time, as I knew then that I had met the love of my life, I met the very one and special person, I and my heart and my soul belong to. These are my letters to you, which I had planned to be a wedding gift from me to you, to show you my heart was yours from the very first moment on.
I know now, there will be no wedding for us, but I think they still belong to you and you can be the one to decide if you want to read them one day or if you just want to feed the fire in your stove with them. They are yours and have always been yours. Will always be yours if you so desire.
Elizabeth goodbye, please be happy, love and be loved. Live your life with everything you have and can. Love is precious.

Yours always and forever
in deepest love