Previously: The Legend of Leonard Letterman, Pt 40
Leonard paced with a plodding tread, stretching out the moments between turns in the barely-four-small-stride length room; too quick or too long a gait would make him dizzy from the rapid turning. One hand waited impatiently at his hip while a finger of his other hand tapped his chin to the beat of his steps in a thoughtful tempo.
He puzzled over the things he knew, the things he didn’t (of which there were many), the quandary of emotions thumping in his chest. He asked himself countless questions, tried to examine things from every angle before eventually integrating his own desires into consideration.
In the end, the necessary decision was clear.
With a heavy but determined heart, Leonard reached for his pack as he took a seat on the bed. His back and gluteus maximus thanked him for the stretch and time pacing as much as their more pleasant placement on mattress over stone floor.
Leonard’s fingers fumbled with opening the bag and sifting through its contents in search of paper of some kind, and an adequate writing utensil. He found everything he needed after emptying more than half of the pack; Leonard maintained that the pen and ink had hidden themselves like a game of hide and seek and had only relented after many mutterings and threats of upturning the bag entirely.
He thought about replacing the items strewn across the bed before attending to the task he intended, but decided he would rather this task be behind rather than waiting for him. So, Leonard prepared a pen (after almost breaking the nib and ruining half of a piece of paper with trying to fill and write with it properly, not being used to pens that required manual refilling or practiced hands), and set to writing.
Occasionally, Leonard paused in his scribbling to listen for footsteps near the door, anticipating Osric’s visit with every passing second. He was oblivious to how long he’d been waiting in here, but three visitors and plenty of time on his own was longer than Leonard had expected. At this point, he was almost hoping to miss any knocker that may come to his door next.
At last, Leonard thought he was done.
With a solemn sigh, Leonard nodded his begrudging approval after reading through his note again; part of him screamed about how cowardly it was to sneak out like a thief in the night with only a note left in his place instead of bringing the option (and ultimate decision) to the group as a whole; another part assured him that his absence would only make this conclusion easier on those that would include him for reasons not related to usefulness; plus, he wouldn’t hesitate to return if they asked for him, if they needed him. He would be only too happy.
It wasn’t that he was giving up, which he repeated furiously to himself in hopes he would believe it, because he didn’t want to give up. He wanted to stay and see this through more than anything, not least of which to uncover the truth regarding his father; but Leonard acknowledged his lack of vital skills or useful information and refused to allow his deficits to become a liability to anyone.
Placing his note on the nearest bookshelf, Leonard turned to the bed littered with items. He sedately began to gather and replace them in the pack before realizing that his chaotic search had made it impossible for everything to fit properly, or with any semblance of order.
Leonard sighed again and upturned the bag. Everything came tumbling out in disarray, clothes, papers, books, food, supplies Leonard hadn’t realized or remembered had been tucked into it. Something about the bag disgorging such an eclectic and unexpectedly large pile of things put Leonard strongly in mind of Mary Poppins.
As he started sorting the stackable materials from the abstract, Leonard noticed an inconspicuously folded piece of paper. It wasn’t among any other papers or books and had no writing on the outside to indicate its purpose or subject.
Curiosity took hold of Leonard’s attention and he turned away from the pile on the bed and set to unfolding the paper. It was a small, ripped piece of paper, obviously written in haste by an unmercifully untidy scrawl.
Leonard read over the contents and signature four times before believing what his eyes were telling him; it was a note from Jerra, for Leonard.
Click here for Part 42!