Disclaimer: I don't own anything, except for a part of the plot.
Goodbye my love
She recognized him from far away. Benjamin Barker was the only one in the group of prisoners who didn't look like… well, a criminal. She could tell how sad he was: her heart broke when he walked once more through the streets of the city where he had lived all his life and was forced to leave, now the Judge had banished him on false charges.
It seemed like Benjamin Barker was looking for something. Mrs. Lovett pushed a few of the people aside, who were there to watch the prisoners leaving the city, so she was closer to the road.
He walked by; after his eyes had briefly seen her, his gaze kept wandering over the crowd.
"Mr. Barker! It's me, Mrs. Lovett, from the pie shop!"
She looked straight into his tormented eyes, and realized what he was looking for; or rather: who.
"Mrs. Lovett," he almost whispered. "Where is Lucy?"
"She isn't here. I tried to persuade her to come with me, to see you one more time, but she said she couldn't bear it. When I left her, she was crying in her bed, and I think she's still doing that now."
"My poor Lucy," he muttered, not paying attention to the delay which was caused now he was standing still; or the aggressive looking guards.
"Mrs. Lovett, you have always been so kind to me. And although I know you don't like Lucy... please… look after her, and the baby. It would mean so much to me, to know they are alright. That's the only thought I need."
"Of course, Mr. Barker."
He was almost within the reach of the guards' clubs.
"Please Mrs. Lovett," he said with a haunted look in his eyes, "look after Lucy and Johanna when I'm gone. And give this to Lucy. I'm sure it'll be taken from me and… it belongs to her."
He removed the wedding ring from his finger, and to her bewilderment he gave it to her. In that one second her imagination created a hundred different versions of the moment, with a much more romantic nature, but the pleading look in his eyes let her return to reality.
"Please, Mrs. Lovett. It would mean so much to me," he begged when the guards grasped him roughly and dragged him towards the ship that was waiting for the prisoners.
"Tell my Lucy that I love her. Look after our baby and when she grows up, tell her that I'm proud of…"
One of the guards beat him powerfully, and Mrs. Lovett watched in shock how they dragged his now unconscious body on the deck.
She was crying openly and didn't notice the people who where staring at her. She cried for the grim fate of the man she loved, and shed tears for herself as well.
Not one word had he said to thank her… not one personal message just for her… not one word… he had not even said goodbye to her…
Hours after the ship had gone, Mrs. Lovett was still standing there, her tears were mixing with the rain. With difficulty she opened her right hand, which was so cold she could hardly move it anymore, just like the rest of her body.
In disbelief she stared to the golden wedding ring. The beauty of it was nothing compared to the knowledge of who the owner of it was. A man who was always loving and charming, except towards her. It seemed like he had hardly noticed her during their goodbye, that he was just talking to his wife via her. She was the only one who had come to see him, to support him, and for what…
For a moment she was so furious she wanted to throw the ring in the water, hoping she could destroy it, or at least would never have to see it again. She could only control herself at the last moment. She took a deep breath and cursed her own selfishness and envy. She would look after Lucy and Johanna, and she would return the ring, like he had begged her to do.
There was one thing she wanted to do first.
Carefully she shoved his wedding ring onto her finger. Of course it was too large for her small hands, but it felt like it had been made just for her.
One last time she closed her eyes, imagining the ring would actually be hers and the circumstances were different.
She smiled when she could persuade herself for one short amount of time to believe it.
"Goodbye my love," she whispered, wishing he could hear it, before she walked home again.