At the beginning of The Guilty One, London-based lawyer Daniel receives a letter. But who is it from, what are they apologising for and why was he unable to forgive her?
This is a hard letter to write.
I’ve not been well, and I know now that I don’t have much longer. I can’t be sure to have my strength later, so I want to write to you now. I’ve asked the nurse to post this when it’s my time. I can’t say I’m looking forward to the last bit, but I’m not frightened about dying. I don’t want you to worry.
I wish I could see you one more time, is all. I wish you were with me. I feel far from home, and far from you. So many regrets and bless you, love, you are one of them –if not the biggest regret that I have. I wish I’d done more for you; I wish I’d fought harder.
I’ve said it to you often enough over the years, but know that all I ever wanted was to protect you. I wanted you to be free and happy and strong, and do you know what? – I think you are.
Although I know it was wrong to do what I did, I think of you now, working in London, and it brings me a strange peace. I miss you, but that is my own selfishness. In my heart I know that you are doing grand. I am fit to burst with pride at the fact that you’re a lawyer, but I am not a bit surprised. I have left you the farm, for what it’s worth. You could probably buy the old place with a week’s wages, but maybe for a time it was home to you. At the very least, I wish that.
I always knew you’d be successful. I just hope that you are happy. Happiness is harder to achieve. I know that you probably still don’t understand, but your happiness was all I ever wished for. I love you. You are my son whether you like it or not. Try not to hate me for what I did. Release me from that and I will rest easy.
All my love,