APO AE 09351
Attention: Captain Raymond Steele
Dear Captain Steele,
You don’t know me, but I am in love with your daughter. Believe me, that’s not the way I’ve always imagined I’d introduce myself to you, which is actually something I’ve thought a lot about. I wanted to take you and Ana out to dinner or maybe even something more extravagant. A vacation, where you could relax after your long years of service, have some much needed time with Ana, and you and I could get to know each other over several days so that I could show you just how much your daughter means to me. But Ana’s pregnant now, and she couldn’t bear to keep that from you. Much in the same way I can’t bear to see her so upset over the argument the two of you had over Thanksgiving. So, I think it’s better that I reach out to you personally and try to show you who I am so you might have more faith in the love your daughter spoke about over the phone, in spite of all the secrecy.
My name is Christian Grey. I would tell you that I was raised in Seattle, but even that has its own complicated history. At the age of four, I moved to Bellevue and have lived here ever since with my mother and father, my brother, and my little sister. My mother you know, Dr. Grace Trevelyan-Grey, and my brother Elliot. My father, Carrick, is a retired defense lawyer, who is currently battling cancer, and my little sister, Mia, is still in high school. Of course, I’m sure none of that really matters to you, but I tell you because at one time, it didn’t matter much to me either.
That is the first impact your daughter has made on me.
For most of my life, I haven’t been much for family. My mother, father, brother, and sister were all a part of my life, but more out of habit than desire. I was always distant with them, I think because I knew once I was out on my own, I wouldn’t have much to do with them at all. In high school I stayed away from them, or locked myself away in my room as much as I was able. I kept secrets from them. I lived a life they knew nothing about. In college, I wouldn’t come home unless I was forced to. I felt better being alone. I never envisioned myself as the type of man who would find a wife and would start a family. Then, on my second day at Harvard University, I met your daughter, and my life changed forever.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw her. She’s so beautiful, she had me immediately enraptured. She probably had me then, at first sight, and I would have been content to simply love her for her beauty. But then I got to know her, and I discovered that she was so much more than physically stunning. Her soul is somehow, impossibly, even more beautiful. Anastasia is warm and wholly good. When I first spoke to her there was an alluring quality to her voice that drew me in like nothing ever had before. At first I tried to ignore her, because I didn’t want to let her into my life to ruin all of the things I had planned for my future. I think I knew subconsciously that she could derail me, and at that time in my life I was so focused on business and success that I couldn’t allow anything to distract me from that. But, I couldn’t ever stop thinking about her.
Since the day she ran into me on the third floor of Grays Hall in 2007, she has occupied every single thought I’ve had. It would have been easier if I kept distance between us, I think, if I was ever going to resist her charms, but I couldn’t stand not talking to her or not being around her. She’s intelligent, and talking with her and hearing her ideas and seeing her perspective of the world was both refreshing and mesmerising. She’s the perfect blend of determination and innocence. Eternal optimism. For as long as I can remember I’ve been a cynic. Never once did I believe there was goodness in humanity, but through her eyes I could see people and their actions in a whole new light. It was freeing in a way, and I almost became addicted to the levity and happiness I felt being in her presence. She has an aura around her that is nearly divine in its warmth. So, I stopped trying to avoid her. Truth be told, I never really wanted to in the first place.
As I became her friend, it was obvious very quickly that friendship would never be enough. I fell for her hard and fast. I’m nearly convinced there hasn’t been a day I’ve known her that I haven’t loved her. When I began courting her I brought her home to Seattle, on a break she would have spent alone in Cambridge, to meet my family. I asked her on a few dates at school, I tried to dote on her and give her gifts I knew she would never be able to afford herself, but none of it worked. Your daughter is very self-aware. She knows what she wants and who she is, and she never compromises that. It’s something I respect very much about her, and it only made her all the more alluring. So, I pursued her harder. I went to visit her in Vegas while she was staying with her mother over Christmas that year, but it wasn’t until I let myself be open with her and confessed how much I wanted her in my life that she finally returned my feelings.
That was New Years Eve, 2007, and I can trace everything that has made me the man I am today to that one night. All to Anastasia’s enormous ability to love. She cares so much for the people around her and she’s both fiercely protective and absolutely loyal to those she loves. Where I always tried to pull away from my family, she led me back to them. She helped me accept and move on from some of the difficult things in my past that made me cold, jaded, and sometimes hateful.
That’s the second impact your daughter has had on me.
She’s taught me how to love, and that love can be safe, even though it never had been safe before. She’s showed me how to look for the goodness in others and helped me reconnect with the people who are the most important to me. She’s made me a better man. I am better for everyday that I have loved her, and I’m not only grateful for that, but it makes me love her all the more. I cannot understate that, Captain Steele. I am truly, and wholly in love with Anastasia.
I told you before that I never envisioned myself as a family man. Now, with your daughter in my life, it’s all I want. I want to build a home and a life with her. I want every moment of my future to be with and for her. I want to create traditions with her that we can pass down through our child. I want to show her the world, and provide for her and our family, and make sure that she experiences happiness every single day for the rest of her life. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her, no sacrifice that could be too great. Put simply, she means more to me than anything else in the entire world. Even my own life.
I’ve tried before and failed to express in writing just how much I truly love her, but what I can promise to you is that I will never hurt her. I will never betray her. I will treat her the way she deserves to be treated. I will support her and all of her ambitions and dreams. I will respect her. I will care for her and protect her. Most importantly, I will love her. More and more each day. She is the love of my life, and I will never give her, or you, reason to doubt my absolute commitment to her and to our family.
On that I give you my word as a man.
I’m sorry that you found out about me and the baby the way you did. I imagine you must have felt completely blindsided and I hope that you know Anastasia wasn’t being malicious, keeping you in the dark. She talks about you often and I know very well how important you are to her. Her silence was because of me. Because I have made mistakes in our relationship that made her not want to share what we had with you for fear of causing you pain by reading of hers. I’ve owned those mistakes, and I will spend the rest of my life proving to her that I will never make them again. You’ve raised a strong, intelligent, kind, caring, wonderful woman who would never do anything to intentionally hurt the father she loves. She loves you Captain Steele, absolutely. I hope you’ll remember that when you call again this Christmas. Don’t let the sour feelings this revelation has given you affect any of the love the two of you share. You mean far too much to her for her to feel as though she’s disappointed you in anyway. She won’t handle that well. She’s not now. She was devastated after you hung up the phone on Thanksgiving and it’s painful for me to see her suffer in anyway, especially when I can’t do anything to help her. Although, I hope I can. That’s why I’m writing you now.
If you must be angry, I am the one you should be angry with. I am the one who deserves the blame. I will happily take responsibility for the way this has panned out if it means that the two of you can move on and spend the last few months of your deployment focusing on all of the good in the special bond you share. It’s that important to her, and she is that important to me. You’ll soon be a grandfather, and I know that Ana can’t wait to introduce you to our child. Much in the way she can’t wait for you to finally be home. She misses you. She loves you, and her love is a gift that should never be taken for granted. I know, I cherish it daily.
I greatly look forward to meeting you in person, Captain Steele, and I hope the remainder of your deployment is quick and safe.