Anne set aside yet another tear stained paper to dry for later use. Unlike her father she was too frugal to throw anything that could be of use away, even in her great heartbreak. She just could not bring herself to begin the awful letter. She knew that it had to be done. She knew that her heart was playing tricks on her, and this would pass like her sisters’ passing fancies. Yet her heart was ripping slowly and painfully into two misused, bloody halves. She could not write the letter.
Anne was shaking in her desk chair, but she hardly knew it. She was in a haze. She knew nothing, but her own pain. Her face was swollen and sallow from crying and her hair was falling down in ringlets around her face as it slipped from her pins in her current frantic disposition. She gripped her pen firmly and began to write.
My Darling Wentworth,
I love you more than I can bare, but I am prevented from marrying you. It is completely impossible and would only tear us both from loved ones for a life of poverty and isolation. Please do not hate me. Surely you can see it can never be? I must do what is best for both of us and for my family.
Your Most Ardently Devoted,
This brought on a fresh wave of agonized wailing that would have brought the whole household into her quarters had she not had a pillow at the ready in her lap to muffle her cries. She could not bare to be mocked by her sisters or father in this state, even if they did not intend it. Her family loved her, but they were not overrun with tact.
She mopped her sore, tired face with her handkerchief and allowed herself to drop this one page into the nearby fire so that seeing it again later could not revive the initial pang. She sat down solemnly and again picked up her pin.
My Dearest Wentworth,
Please do not ask me to explain, but only, I cannot marry you. Please do not be very sad. I fervently apologize for the pain this will cause you. Know that I hold you very dearly in my heart and respect you above all others, and know that I do this for both of us.
Even as she wrote her excuses she knew that she was cutting the strings that connected their two hearts one-by-one, and soon he would be lost to her forever. Each word stung more than the last, but she knew in time she would be numb to its affect. She would endure. Anne Elliot will always endure. And so, with a heavy heart, her hand met her pen once more. She knew what was necessary for them both. Make it quick. Do not drag the pain along for either party. It ends now.
My Dear Wentworth,
I must reject your offer of marriage. I apologize for any false encouragement I may have given you. I hope that we may part on good terms.