Dear Mr. Todd

Dear Mr. Todd,

I've never been this happy in my life. Johanna is the most perfect woman alive. I want to give her everything. Oh, I wish you got to meet her! I owe you my life for helping us. Johanna's more than an angel. She gets so excited about everything. When we were married she giggled through the whole ceremony. It was the sweetest thing I've ever witnessed. I love her with everything I've got. Which isn't a lot so I suppose that isn't such a good saying in my case. I love her more than anything. But this isn't a love letter.

She's very attached to her reticule. It's the only thing her mother gave her. I don't know the story of her parents. I don't think Johanna knows either. I wish you could've come to the wedding. I want to repay you for everything. You risked so much for us.

This letter is really a thank you, despite all my ramblings. So there. Thank you so much. Johanna sends her thanks as well. If there is anything (and I mean it) I can do for you in return, write to me. Our address is 40, place Aurore Gilbert, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France. It's also on the return address if that's easier. You are a saint. And I thank you once again.


Anthony Hope

Dear Mr. Todd,

I write to you in need of advice. I only had nightmares when I was young. Like a small child, I went to my mother. She didn't really comfort me because she was too tired. Back then, all I needed was to tuck myself in beside her, under the covers and I felt better. Most of all, she was there for me.

But I don't know how to help Johanna. At night, she tosses and turns in bed, throwing her arms in the air and whimpering. I don't know what to do! I feel helpless - I am helpless. I want to comfort her, but I don't think my words make a difference in her anxiety.

I apologize for intruding on you, Mr. Todd, but I'm desperate. I want no need to help her. I just don't know how. I try to comfort her. She loves to be held so I hold her. Sometimes that helps, but . . . you know. I know she loves her hair to be brushed so I do that a lot. But I don't know what else I should do. I can't ask anyone else, because I'm afraid they'll try to lock her up again. I can't lose her and she can't go back to a place like that.

What do I do, Mr. Todd? I don't know anymore.



Dear Mr. Todd,

I mentioned Johanna was feeling unwell in my last letter. I panicked of course. But we now know why. Johanna went to the doctor.

She's having a baby!

We're having a baby!

I'm excited. I'm nauseated. Johanna is the best part of my life and we're having a baby together. I'm going to be a father!

I've realized I never asked before, which looking back, is rude of me. Do you have any children? I know I ask too much of you, Mr. Todd. But if you do have any advice for me, please tell me.

I can't wait for this December.



Dear Mr. Todd,

Did you know women with babies glow? It's beautiful. Johanna is the most beautiful woman in the world. And beyond! If there are people living in the stars, Johanna still outshines them all. This baby is making her even prettier.

I think she spares me some of the pain she's experiencing. I know she's nauseous a lot of the time. I think her stomach hurts. For whatever reason, Johanna feels guilty about it. I don't mind of course. I feel awful about everything. Sometimes I think I feel pain like her. It's not as intense as the pain she goes through, but I feel it. I feel her.

I know she worries about the birth and being a mother. But I know she'll be amazing. Johanna has a beautiful heart.

She's wonderful. I can't wait for our baby. I can't wait for Johanna to feel better.


Anthony Hope

Dear Mr. Todd,

I have a daughter.

I have a daughter!

She's the prettiest, tiniest thing. Little fingers, little toes. Her lips are rosy and her skin is pale. Like a little rosebud. She is the most perfect work of art I've ever seen. It's hard to believe I helped create her.

There's little yellow hairs on her head. Like Johanna. I knew she would look like Johanna. Johanna argues she has my chin and my face shape. We don't know her eye color yet, but I guarantee she'll have the forest green eyes of her mother.

December first is the most precious day to me.

Her name is Lucy. I don't know where that name came from. I read a book and one of the characters was named Lucy so I suggested it to Johanna and she loved it. The name sounded familiar to her, she told me. I wonder if she had a relative of that name. Well, she has a daughter of that name now, as well.

Johanna was incredible. I wasn't allowed in the room, but I know she was as strong as ever.

I've never been as happy as I am now that I have a daughter. My girl. Lucy.

An astounded father,

Anthony Hope

PS. Feel free to visit! I would love for you to meet Johanna and see Lucy.

He had a granddaughter.

A daughter. A son-in-law. Another Lucy.

They had a granddaughter.

Sweeney wished he met Johanna. Met her again more like. He knew her fifteen (no it was more like sixteen or seventeen) years ago now. As a baby. Much like the baby Johanna now had.

He kept every one of Anthony's letters. They came in about every one or two weeks. But those five were the ones he found himself reading the most. Anthony rambled about Johanna in every message. Yet those five made him feel like he knew her.

"Sir?" His customer cocked his head to look at Sweeney.

Sweeney didn't answer. He didn't need to. The razor slashed his throat.

He wiped his hands before picking up the last letter to read again.