(Six Months Later)

Dear Anna,

I apologise for not writing to you as quickly as I wanted to. In truth, I have not quite known what to say to you. It seems only yesterday you were married, when really it has been so long. Time can be a frightening thing to those who have faced the wrong side of it. I should know.

I expect you are angry with me for leaving, and for not saying goodbye. I can only offer my humblest apologies for it. I did not wish to cause any disruption to anything. And in all honestly, I did not know where I was going, or what would happen to me when I got there. I only hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me for wronging you.

I wish I could tell you everything. I wish I could tell you of the sounds of the brook, and how it sounds so different to the river back home. It's so sunny here, Anna, a beautiful light that never seems to find our town. I wish I could tell you of how everything is the lightest, most vibrant green that you have ever seen, and how it stays that colour even when thunder rolls over the hills. Even the rain is softer here. But words cannot describe it. Someday you shall have to come and see it for yourself.

It isn't all easy. He has nightmares, horrible, twisted dreams that wake him in a cold sweat and screaming. He says that me just being there helps him, but it is so painful for both of us, and I only wish I could do more. I think he has been somebody else for so long he can hardly remember how to be himself any more, and it hurts him. He is getting better, though, I think. Some days he is even able to walk with me to the village. And even though we cannot be as we wish to be, it is enough.

Once upon a time, he said to me that we could take a train to the country and be happy. I used to think that it would never happen. But it has. And although I miss you with all my heart, my dearest Anna, it was always the right decision.

I am sure you do not fully understand my words. But someday you shall. Someday you will be able to come and visit and revel in the beauty of this place. But not now. Now is too soon. However, I shall wish and long for the day when you venture here. It is so beautiful; I am sure you will fall in love with it as I have. And even though you may be hesitant, remember that I am the same as I was before. He may not be keen at first, but I can be very persuasive. After all, I persuaded him to take me, did I not?

Goodbye for now, Anna. I hope that you will reply, and not just through this letter in the fireplace. But I have faith in you.

With all my love and fondness,

Yours faithfully and always,

Ernst.

Anna smiled fondly, and ran her hand over the firm roundness of her stomach. She would go, someday, when she was allowed in. But until then, she could wait. And maybe she could take her child down, when the time came, to frolic and play in these beautiful green fields that Ernst loved so much.

She may have to reconsider her vows to murder Hanschen, she thought to herself, as she took up her pen and began to ink a reply.

Note-Oh, how could I help myself? Short, I know, but it wrapped up pretty much all the loose threads, I think. I am leaving for summer, but will return soon enough with a brand new fic or two, and maybe a few hundred oneshots. Till then, auf wiedersehen!