Mr Todd was as good as his word. By that morning, when I had finally let myself free from that horrid parlour- for, you see, I had not slept, and a place may become dreadful when you do not leave it for a great amount of time- Mr Todd had left. He was never found again. I was surprised he had taken such care with his death that no one should ever know it, nor find the body. To this day, it has not been found.
The children woke many a time throughout the night, but it was clear that I had only the ability to care for one at a time, and my daughter was the one to be cared for firstly and with most tenderness. I curse myself I should be so open about my immediate preference, but it could not be helped. My son would forever be known as the child who killed his mother.
Not, to say, that I still did not love him as a father should. I simply did not like him. Dear God, the thought still sickens me that I should not like my child, even if I did love him.
As Johanna never had the chance to name our children, it was left to me to do so.
Our daughter was to be named Eleanor, after Mrs Lovett. I somehow had to repay her for taking us in, and for giving Johanna a true friend before I could find her again, even if they were not on best terms afterwards. Mrs Lovett cried her eyes out like a child herself when she found out, holding little Eleanor in a way I imagined she would hold her own child.
Our son was to be named Benjamin. He had started to sprout dark hair, almost black, on the top of his head, similar to his grandfather's. I knew it would be foolish to name the child Sweeney, and remembered that once upon a time Johanna had told me he once called himself Benjamin Barker. It seemed a much more innocent name, and may have been a much more innocent man. I could only hope for the best.
I was glad to know, before any long term plans could be made, that Mrs Lovett seemed to have realised Toby's existence again. They often would embrace as a mother and her child in front of the fire at night as I tended to Eleanor and Benjamin.
"Without Mr Todd, she don't have no one but me," Toby said to me once, slightly glad about it.
It was a thought to ponder on. However cruel, scheming and evil the man had been, he had been loved. Strange how someone like that should be missed. Murderers and men who thought themselves above the law would often die alone, with no one to mourn over their graves. And yet Mr Todd had a wife who loved him, and one beforehand who he had loved.
The idea came that perhaps, through it all, he had been a normal man.
Normal men could be loved, no matter what they did. A man could burn a shirt and his wife would still love him. A father could accidentally throw out a teddy bear, but his child would still love him, albeit after a small fuss. Perhaps, even though a man could murder another, almost bathe himself in an enemy's blood, he could still be loved.
Stranger still, I thought, that perhaps once upon a time he had been a normal man without plots of vengeance.
A man who could have been anyone I had met in the streets whenever a boat stopped at the ports of London. I shuddered at the mere thought of it.
It was decided, for the best, that I would not stay at the house for much longer than a month, at which point my children would have been strong enough for sea air. I would return to a life at sea, to raise Eleanor and Benjamin there. I supposed they would like it. They could decide that for themselves one day, in the future.
Toby seemed quite sad to let me leave, but he was also glad enough that his life should got back to one of a happy family. He prayed to me in private that Mrs Lovett would not marry again, and that it would just be the two of them, as he had once hoped. I promised myself to pray for such every night as long as I lived, having grown fond of the boy as if he were family. I only wished the best for him.
It was pure luck that an old friend of mine who had once sailed the Good Ship Bountiful had landed at the nearby ports, and contacted the captain of the ship to enquire a job for me, and to allow my two children on board as well. We were given access to the ship, and within that week we were prepared.
Any farewells given were brief, and before the evening was out, I was onboard the ship I now dubbed home. It took me a while to realise how much I had missed the ocean. Ever since my own father had taken me on board at six years old I had lived at sea, stepping on land only when we would dock in London so as to look about my home away from home.
Before the anchors were lifted, I looked out towards the ports. It was strange that I was not looking at London. Each time I had ever looked over the edge of a boat, it was at London. I wondered if I would ever return to the city I remembered, but then realised I had promised Johanna once we would never return. Even if she were not there, I was to keep that promise at least to myself.
And so, with that, we started to move.
I could not help but wish, though. Throughout the whole journey, I was wishing.
Wishing that Johanna had never died.
Wishing that she had never gone mad.
Wishing that we had not been found that day by Mr Todd.
Wishing that we had escaped from the barber shop.
Wishing that she had never even been put in a mad house.
Wishing that she had never had to live with that Judge Turpin.
Wishing that, to the extreme, he had never fallen so desperately in love.
Wishing it away.
Gah! Finally finished it all! I can't believe it took so long, but it's done. Anyway, I hope all my favourite people have enjoyed this! Especially ObscureBird, Verity Strange and Falling Stardust!
I will be making another story that follow after this one based on Eleanor [[Ellie, as she will be called]] and Benjamin's relationship, their life, what happens, etc. I have very little homework, so just look up and within the week [[when I say that, I actually mean three days, to be accurate when thinking of my boredom]] and it'll be there. Not sure what to call it yet...if you can think of random titles, I'll work it around that.