“Vincent.” A relieved, happy whisper.
He’d made no sound, yet she was tossing back the blanket, reaching for a robe, now half flying up the steps, opening the door wide to him.
“Catherine. I’ve come to ask your forgiveness ...”
A finger, light and purposed on his lips, quiets him. “It isn’t important. Nothing matters now that you’re here.”
He presses them together for a long moment, then holds her away, his head tilted low to see the face lifted to his.
“It is important, Catherine, and it does matter. I was wrong. I hurt you. I’ve stolen your joy. Again.” He pauses, gentles a silken strand behind her ear. “Let me try … to be better. I promise never to send you away. I’ll let you go,” the words an agony, “… only if it is your wish.”
“I’ll never want to leave you, Vincent.” She smiles at his foolish offer. “A funny thing about … loving a man … you want to be with him every moment. As for the rest, I’ve always understood, well, at least most of the time.”
Invited to serenity and confidence, to love not fettered in time or place, he longs to embrace everything she offers.
“I’ve brought you something.” He scoops pink petals from a pocket in his cloak, spills them into her open palms and onto the balcony floor at her feet.
“Fairy moonflakes,” she grins.
“May your every step be blessed, Catherine, through fragrant meadows, soft and safe, and may life guide you to a place white and hushed, where roses bloom and dreams come true.”
She lifts both hands, sets the April night to floating around them. “I’ve come to where you are, Vincent. My journey is done.”
always an anniversary of loving