valentine’s day

Valentine’s Day

Sixteen years to the day, after she left me on Valentine’s Day, I had a dream about her. She is living in a mansion high on a hill, and at the bottom of the hill, footpaths wind thru glades and meadows. We’ve never spoken since the day she left.

I’m wandering along the footpaths, and in a glade I happen upon an elegant sofa just off the path. Sitting on it, very prim and proper, is a beautiful little girl in a pinafore. She is perhaps five years old, her long dark hair brushed and gleaming with a pink ribbon in it.

“This is my mother’s sofa,” the little girl informs me. I turn, and there she is, well-dressed, like a professional woman, holding another little girl by the hand.

“I wasn’t trying to find you,” I say.

“I know,” she says.

Her hair is shorter, her face fuller, but she is still beautiful, a deep, intelligent beauty.

I remember a place we loved to go, and I ask her if she still goes there. She shakes her head.

“It’s not the sort of place Tom liked,” she says. “And now David seldom leaves the castle.” She if referring to the mansion on the hill.

Tom is the man she left me for, and David is her second husband and presumably the father of the little girls, who, I see now, are identical twins. They are sitting side-by-side on the sofa, their faces expressionless, staring at us.

I move toward her, take her in my arms, but there is no response. She is locked down in an impenetrable sadness.

I pull back, and her face fills my mind. She is unreachable. Totally unreachable.

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