This week I take on the 4th topic in Jenny In Neverland‘s letter writing challenge: Letter to a Book Character. I am using this subject to give you additional insight into one of my book’s own characters, Emmett Bailey. If you have read Chapter 1, you know that Emmett is an imposing figure who does not require words to instill fear in others. He is large, stoic, intimidating, and bald. In my mind, he looks something like Dwayne Johnson (aka “The Rock”). You also know that he spent some time in prison. While serving time, Emmett received this letter from his then girlfriend, who was pregnant with their child when Emmett was arrested. This letter will be referenced in the book, as it serves as a catalyst for some of Emmett’s motives. The full contents of the letter, however, will only be available here.
I was hesitant to send you this letter. Ultimately, I decided that you deserved to know. I gave birth to our child last month. You have a son. He came 3 days before his due date. He was a healthy 8 lbs, 11 oz, and just over 21″ long at birth. He gets bigger every day. He already sleeps through the night too. He certainly favors you, Emmett. He is quiet like his father too. However, unlike you, he is a happy boy. He does not experience the nightmares that you did. Of course, he is an innocent; his conscience is still clean. As his mother, I intend to keep it that way. I know it will pain you to not know his name, but I have been advised to withhold that information. I hope the enclosed photograph brings you comfort. I took it of our boy just last week. Cherish it, Emmett, for I do not intend to send another.
As I write, I can predict the fury rising in you. You have to understand, it is that rage from which I wish to shield our son. I so foolishly believed that I could change you. I thought if I loved you enough, the darkness in your heart would find light. I clung to the hope that you could love me enough to leave your old life behind. It broke my heart to betray you. However, when I became pregnant, any desire I had to change you became a mother’s instinct to protect my child from you. I do regret handing evidence over to that agent. I saw an opportunity to make a safe, clean break from you and I took it. I didn’t see another way. I am sorry that I’m the reason you are behind bars. Our son will only know about the best parts of you, I promise. He will be raised to believe that his father was a good man who died before he was born. The FBI is working to relocate us before you are released. Please do not look for us when you get out.
Emmett, there is more. It sickens me to tell you, but you must know. Erica is dead. Your sister passed away from a heroin overdose. She relapsed after you went away. Your grandparents begged her to get help, but as you know, she only ever seemed to respond to you. She told them she was untouchable and laughed in their faces. She was found outside a clinic just a few days ago with a needle dangling from her left arm. Someone dumped her there and left. There was nothing the doctors could do. She was already gone. I am so sorry, Emmett, so deeply sorry.
Your grandparents drove all the way to the facility to break the news to your mother in person. She didn’t believe them and demanded to see you upon hearing of Erica’s death. They had to tell your mom where you are and why you couldn’t be there. She became agitated and violent. The stress and perceived loss of both of her children resulted in a significant setback. She began engaging the voices again. Your mother has had to be sedated and restrained. I hope you can find a way to reach out to her. Your grandmother and grandfather are staying close to her for the time being, but she needs to hear from you.
No doubt this letter has left you reeling. Before you lash out, please look at the angelic, peaceful face of your son. Though you will never know him, I challenge you to live a life that would make him proud to call you “Dad”. Remember that the choices you make now will determine how much time you have to spend there. I know you are in pain. I also know your first instinct will be to inflict that pain on someone else. I hope you find the will to resist that temptation. You have a mother who desperately needs her son. Don’t do anything that will keep you from her any longer than you have to be.
You will find this hard to believe, but I do love you, Emmett. You gave me a wonderful gift. I will provide our son with the best life possible; I swear to it.
Haven’t read the first chapter yet? Check it out here: Novel