I’m awake, watching my husband writing a letter.
It’s so cold that I can see my breath, hanging in the air. He thinks I’m still asleep, so I watch him, hunched over the note pad, pen moving slowly, each word carefully considered, weighed and measured.
I know who he’s writing to, an old friend, fallen on hard times. A man he calls a friend, a brother, but when he says his name, his lips tighten, eyes are cold in that face, the face made up of unlikley angles and planes. A face I know as well as my own.
I start to wonder what the letter says, but of course I know the answer, he cannot leave it alone, but must pick and prod, prolonging unneeded discomfort, convinced one day that I will, like some changeling child, be stolen while he sleeps.
I still have the lock of hair, tucked away, as these treasure are, almost forgotten, come upon and the touching of them takes you straight back to the moment of giving.
We were so much younger then, all three of us, our edges less defined, our routes less planned.
Yes, you made me happy, made me smile, you were wonderfully, madly ridiculous and with you I laughed and felt the weight of him, my husband, fall away from me. You made me feel like air, like sun and when i looked in the mirror, a girl looked back at me and you hand on my back at that very moment made me writhe with pleasure.
I always knew you were a little mad, but your madnesss after his austerity, his search for the words, always the words, the right words, felt freeing and I allowed myself to be enchanted, to be spirited away by you, the brigand chief.
I move in the bed and my husband looks at me, understands that I am awake and smiles and in that smile, his face is transformed.
He forgets that I came back, a little changed, a little lighter, easier in my self. I hid the lock of your hair, somewhere safe, somewhere dark and looked my husband full in the face and smiled.
I sit up, run my fingers through my hair and tell him to send you my regards.
He always forgets that I came back and that I stay.