Richard notices a note on his pillow when he goes upstairs to change out of his work clothes before dinner. He sits down on the edge of his bed and breaks the seal on the envelope. He recognizes his wife's delicate handwriting scrawled across the page elegantly. There isn't a lot of writing on the page, but he can notice in certain spots in the ink there are round spots where there is no ink. It appears as if Hyacinth was crying while she wrote this. She didn't mention anything when he came in. He pulls his glasses out of his inside pocket, in his jacket, and slowly reads the letter. He then looks up from the letter and pauses for a moment. He then rereads the letter a second time. He's unsure how to respond to this sudden outpouring of emotion, even if it is in a letter. Hyacinth isn't normally like this. Should he respond in kind or should he go downstairs right now, kiss his wife, tell her he loves her, and that everything is changing as of right now? He can hardly think straight at the moment. He sets the letter down on his bedside table, changes his clothes, and then goes downstairs to see his wife who has made a remarkable confession to him today, even if it wasn't spoken to him. She doesn't have to speak. "Hyacinth, can we talk for a moment? Just turn the heat down on dinner and come here for a minute."
Hyacinth turns from her place in front of the stove towards the sound of her husband's voice. For once she actually listens to what he says. "Of course, Richard." She wipes her hands on her apron and sits down at the kitchen table, not facing the window.
"I read your letter, Hyacinth, and I must admit I was surprised. I wasn't sure how to react. I didn't know if I should write a reply or tell you what I thought in person. I can't convey everything to you that I need to in a letter, so consider this my letter to you." Richard wipes a tear out of his eye as he speaks.
"Tell me, Richard. Whatever you have to say I'll listen to." Hyacinth reaches slowly for Richard's hand giving him time to pull it back if he wanted.
"I want you to stop blaming yourself, first of all. It's not all your fault. I played a major role in all this. I love you too, Hyacinth. I never stopped. Everything did change when Sheridan was born, but I never thought anything of it. You were just being a devoted mother and I loved that side of you too. Neither of us listen particularly well unless we're hearing something we want to hear. I don't like the way we are together, either, but we can change it now that we see the problems. I so desperately want to be close to you again. I'm surprised that this came up now. I didn't think you saw the problems. I wish I could show you all the affection I once did, but it feels harder now. I want to kiss you and make love to you and tell you I love you, but it's felt so hard and you push me so far away from you, not physically but emotionally. You are a wonderful mother and that was a role you relished. I should have said something when I felt you pulling away from me. Neither of us are very good at speaking our true feelings otherwise we would have tried to change this before now. So, what do we do now?" Richard looks closely at Hyacinth for the first time in many years. He can see the sincerity shine in her eyes. She meant every word she wrote in that letter. She can be so difficult to read, but she's being remarkably open and honest at the moment. Richard is surprised she's actually listening to everything he's saying.
"I can't blame you for this Richard. You did nothing but love me all along. All you ever wanted was to have a loving family and I excluded you from having just that. We have to start listening better to each other or this can never change. I'm glad we're so aware of the issues in our marriage now. Can we fix them all though?" Hyacinth sounds fearful which is very rare for her.
"Of course we can fix them all. Where do you want to start?" Richard says plainly. He's not a writer of poetry or a great orator, but he doesn't need to be. Hyacinth understands anyway.