Dear David,

There is so much that I want to tell you – need to tell you – about us, about my family, about everything. I'm tired of keeping secrets, lying, making excuses, living a half life to please others. I told my father the truth about our relationship so that I could come clean, escape the deceit and guilt that I felt in my heart over something that I should never have felt guilty about in the first place, not knowing that that one act would break this family apart.. I do not regret our time together during the blackout – you rescued me and showed me a love that I have never seen before. And from that one night came my greatest blessing, a bond that will hold us together no matter where we are, even if we never see each other ever again.

I wanted to tell you this in person, to explain why I couldn't testify for you during your trial; I could have solved everything if I had chosen to speak, but I couldn't go through with it. During that whole week I was feeling ill and light-headed. I was convinced that the cancer had come back, that God had come to collect on my broken promise to him. After seeing the doctors, I discovered that I was with child – your child. I was so terrified I didn't know what to do; all of my previous doctors had told me that I could never conceive a child, it never once crossed my mind that they could be wrong or that by some chance of fate the Lord would choose to make me pregnant.

The only one who knows about this baby is my mother. She knows that my father has eyes for your blood; he wants to see you – any part of you – destroyed, and that would include my child. This is why I couldn't testify in court, admit that we had been together or confess to my current condition. You don't know how sorry I am about my silence, but there was truly no other way, it would have been worse for the both of us. My mother believes that the child that I am carrying is the future of the Benjamin dynasty, and she will do everything she can to protect both me and the baby. This is why I am being sent away – banished from Gilboa and my family for no less than one year. It is the only way that I can keep our secret and protect both of our lives and our unborn baby.

This is my final night in Altar Mansion. I am losing everything that I took for granted, everything that I said I didn't want any part of and am going to be taking on the life of a commoner. My mother has secretly arranged for me to stay in one of her family's summer houses in the small country of Austeria. She is the only one who will know of my whereabouts. I will live in solitude until I know that it is safe to return to the palace, and even then my future will be rendered uncertain.

I don't have the heart to say goodbye to my father – the man that I have loved and worshipped ever since birth. I always gravitated toward him, even as a young girl. He was my champion, my hero, he could do no wrong. Yet images and expectations fade over time. The man that I once called father is now a stranger toward me, a ghost of the man that he once was. I knew this when I saw him turn against you when you were on trial for a crime that you never committed. The man before me scared me; his cold heart and vicious temper are signs of an unfair king. I worry about the people of Gilboa, whether they will be safe with him as their leader. Any assumptions that I have had in the past have been destroyed as I prepare to start a new life. I never imagined

The only thing that keeps me going each day is the thought of seeing again. My father cannot be king forever, and in time he may even release his grudge against you and allow you safe passage to Gilboa. Until then I will continue to write to you; you are always in my thoughts and in my heart. I have taken Reverend Samuel's words to heart: we were married a long time ago David and the bond that we share is unbreakable. I will always love and remember you.

~Your Michelle