My Dearest Lucinda:
I am writing this in the dark. I can barely see the notebook paper, but I can hear it through the gusts of wind that come up. The trees warn me of the gust seconds beforehand, with an eerie whirring sound that feels more ominous than it actually is. Otherwise, there is not a sound at all. Even the bugs are too afraid of the darkness. A chill is in the air now, one I imagine will become more and more prevalent with time.
The past days have been gloomy and dark. You are always on my mind, but the work is unrelenting. Every day I dig deeper and deeper into the soil, and everyday the soil gets harder and harder. My bones ache now, and my muscles are tired with the repeated wear. The "cling, cling" of the shovel on the brittle soil is now a cacophonous reminder of what looms over me, constantly.
Each night, we eat food at the shelter in a silence. All you can hear are the chewing mouths, the clangs of the silverware, and the scrapes of the food off the plate. The meal is the same. Some meat, a vegetable, and a roll. It feels like a mess tent, and in many ways, it is one.
The foundation will be laid in the coming days. I'm not sure how I'll handle that. I like to see the fruit of my labors, but in many ways, the hole in the ground is too bitter of a reminder, and too convenient of a metaphor, as to what I've been doing. The concrete will be a nice change, and soon the building blocks of permanence will set in. I imagine that will be the hardest part.
I heard your voice one night, and I couldn't help but turn around in glee. My happiness was dashed when I awoke before I saw you. I didn't fall asleep after that.
Each day, we march, dig, and climb out. Each day. Nothing changes except the scenery. Bit by little bit, we know change is gonna come. And I imagine, when it does, it will be a cold, dark winter's day. Maybe as gloomy as today. Maybe as deafening in its silence. Probably colder. Almost certainly as lonely. I keep telling myself to prepare for it, but how can I prepare for something so inevitably different and so devastatingly unknown.
I hear your voice again now, but this time I am awake. It haunts me, because it is getting harder to see your face already.