prompt 6: handwriting/letter

Mrs. Lovett rubbed her thumb along the parchment, wishing she could sear the ink into the back of her brain, that she could let it sink into her fingers and be a part of her. The writing was black as a crow, the script elegant and slanted. If she brought it up to her face she could almost see the way he held the pen, every time he lifted it and dipped it in ink. She could picture him saying the words, that his soft voice was reading them aloud to her.

Sitting on the settee, Nellie let herself stare. The tears would not come. They never did. She had long ago shed her last tear, long ago worn out her eyes. Of all things to remember, she did not know why this particular letter of Benjamin's was so important. He had meant to send it to Lucy's family but had spilled ink on the bottom right corner, and Mrs. Lovett had stolen it from the wastebasket in his shop. And now she could stare at the meaningless words and pretend they are to her, that he is writing because he loves her and misses her and wants to proclaim his love. But she is finding it harder and harder to pretend when the dismal truth is standing before her.