When Antonio arrived back home from visiting Paul, he went straight for the letter Ruth left him. Before, he had told himself that reading the letter would make Ruth’s death final. But, now he needed her. He had never been told how one feels when one is captivated by another. Ruth never had a reason to teach him about love. He was never interested in anyone. Today that changed for Antonio. He could still see the few escaped soft curls hanging loose over Elizabeth’s forehead as she served him his plate.
Antonio reached back in the nightstand drawer and retrieved the folded letter with his name written on it. His hands trembled as he slowly unfolded the pages that revealed Ruth’s hand writing. Seeing her words on the paper made Antonio feel like Ruth was right there with him. He lit a candle and settled himself at the kitchen table to focus on what Ruth had to say to him.
My Dearest Antonio,
There will come a time when I will be gone and these words will be meaningful to you. You are much stronger than you give yourself credit for. There is life after death, I need you to live. I was overly grateful the day you came into our life for the chance to pour my motherly love upon you. You have brought me so much joy. From the moment, I looked in your eyes I knew I would not be the only woman to love you. You possess a character, strength, and a pursuit for purpose, that will attract women. Unfortunately, some women will not respect that and trample it out of you and bring you down, if you allow them. The woman that is for you will nurture and support you to manifest into your best version, just as I did for Frances.
The land is your legacy Antonio. All the lessons that Frances and I taught you since you came to us are kneaded in its folds. You will soon want to share your legacy with someone who will value what it represents. Keep this letter close to your heart my son. I will guide you through my words in how to know a good woman and how to be the man you need to be to keep her.
Antonio a good woman …
Antonio continued to read Ruth’s letter into the wee hours of the night. The candle wick burned until it met the metal base of its holder. Antonio absorbed every written word Ruth wrote. He thought about Elizabeth’s gentle smile and wondered if she thought of him the way he was thinking of her. It was 3:00 in the morning and Antonio felt more awake than he did when he arose the day before. This must be how love feels, he thought. Not wanting to ruin the mood with doubt he forced himself to sleep with only good thoughts about him and Elizabeth. In the morning, he would see her face again but, this time he would search for confirmation that she felt the same way he did.