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The Better Man

missing you old letter envelope

July 1980

To my dear Henry,

Forgive me for not being able to write sooner. It really hurt to see you go. I understand our country calls for you to serve her and you are very brave for answering that call. But in all honesty, my heart cannot help but be selfish. It longs for you day and night and although I think I’ve managed to handle the ache, the pain does not really go away.

I miss the joy of your gazes, the gentleness of your caresses, the strength of your presence, the sharpness of your wit. I simply miss you. Every morning I turn to your side of the bed, seeking your warmth. Then I realize you are not here beside me and the cold creeps in and there’s nothing I could do to stop it.

I long for the day when I can be back in your arms. Promise me you’ll stay safe and that you’ll come back to me. I will wait no matter how long it takes.




February 1981

My beloved Margaret,

It is my fervent hope that this letter reaches you in good condition. Our commanding officer is starting to restrict our mails as the conflict is getting more intense. Tomorrow we will start marching towards the border and I know not what fate awaits me there. Life is harsh out here and the snow is not helping.

But despite the cold, I only need to think of your warm smile and the tiredness and aches go away. I miss holding your hands and hugging you tight. I often think of our favorite picnic spot. It may not be that great of a spot, but your laughter has always made it a special place and I cannot wait to sit and eat with you there again.

I will do my best to come back to you. However, whatever happens, know that I hold you deep in my heart and nothing, not even the enemy’s sharp knife, can carve you out of there.

Missing you and looking forward to calling you my wife,



August 1981

News Article:

Defense Line Breached but War Over!

Enemies avoided the vanguards and launched a full scale attack on a southern town. Residences were razed to the ground. However, reserved defense forces were able to rally the attackers after one week and in the midst of the confusion, front line officers were able to devise a plan that successfully routed main enemy forces….

…scale of casualty in attacked town still unknown…


August 1981

Dear Margaret,

Please reply to this letter in the speediest manner you can. Forgive me for failing in my duty to protect our town but I hope you are safe and well. I am coming home but it will take me close to two months to get back. It would calm my mind if I receive your reply on my way.

Anxious to hear that you are okay,



September 1981,

To Mr. Henry Ratchet

It is with deep regret and profound sadness to inform you that Miss Margaret Sheffield perished in the recent attacks. She was a wonderful person to us all…

Town Mayor


September 1981

Local News Article:

Inconsolable Man Rushed to Hospital

A man staying at the local hotel was rushed to the hospital this morning after receiving a missive containing grievous news. According to hotel staff, the man was too shaken after reading the letter and just stood there for thirty minutes gaping at nothing, the light gone from his eyes. When a staff tried talking to him, he fell to his knees and started sobbing uncontrollably, buffeted by wave after wave of sadness. He wouldn’t accept anyone’s help and wouldn’t take any food. Drained of energy, he just stayed crumpled in a heap on the ground like a man who, even if given all the riches of the world at that moment, will never ever come to appreciate life again. His grief finally proved too much for him and he lost consciousness…


April 2001 (20 years later)

To Mr. Henry Ratchet

Good day. We would like to invite you to the opening of the War exhibit to commemorate your brave efforts during the Conflict.

In addition, we have discovered during our research in the attacked southern town a missive that we believe is addressed to you sir. Any input from you on this matter would be greatly appreciated.


Southern Town Museum


August 1981

To my dear Henry,

They will be here soon, just half a day’s march. We received the news too late and our defenses are nonexistent. There is nowhere to hide so all I can do now is wait for my fate and write this to you.

The chances of my survival are slim and if I do not make it tomorrow, please do not think that it is your fault. You are a brave man and I admire the courage it took you to heed our country’s call for arms. But you couldn’t have known of this attack, so please do not blame yourself. I do not wish for the light to disappear from your eyes. Your eyes have always been my favorite feature, they are full of life and full of laughter. It would be a shame if people you meet from now on would not be able to experience these.

In your previous letter, you mentioned our picnic spot. Ever since you went away, I’ve visited our picnic spot every day. And to me, it is your laughter that makes that place special. Your love has always given me strength and I will be forever grateful for this. In fact, even now when I should be overwhelmed by fear, I find that I feel at ease for I know that even if my physical self perishes, I will forever live on in your heart.

And no matter what happens, know in your heart that I already consider you my husband not because you are the better man compared to others, but because you are the only man I could become a better woman for.

I love you so much,



February 2013 (12 years later)

Written on an unassuming tombstone:

Here Lies

Henry Ratchet

He is off to meet the woman who made him a better man.


[Please respect copyright. Opinions are highly welcome because I am always willing to improve my writing. Thank you.]


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