If you would have asked Grace how she felt in that moment, you would have glimpsed at something. My mother says it is like the oldest tree falling in the forest at noon, when the sun has fully kissed the earth.
He always said that he was named after a missionary. He brought good news, conquered her heart, toyed with her will. When he called she ran. When he said, “I want to see you,” she packed an overnight bag.
Grace was his light. She felt like his partner, the one drug strong enough to numb his nightmares, but nightmares called wife and children can never be wished or kissed away. If Grace were to ask anyone, or tune into any local morning radio talk show, she would have received her judgment. She was too smart to feed her brain such mush, instead she took it as it came; the love and kindness, but of all, she lived for the way he cherished her.
Dinner after a long day at work.
Career recommendations and the phrase he kept saying “never change yourself to suit a man, change to suit yourself, keep your dreams alive and never stop working.”
It’s why eight months later seeing Henry at a dinner party walking with his arm around her made Grace desire never ending sleep. When he found the courage to walk up to her, she shook her head firmly, as though each shake could wipe away the images that were playing in her mind.
He reached out for her hand, “Grace.”
“No, don’t,” she said and took one look around the room, but even then she knew. She knew that his wife knew and that is what my mother says is like sharpening a knife.