By Anna Von Reitz
The wind blew from the West all night, a gentle, playful wind we haven’t had here in a very long time. It reminded me of when we were kids and every summer was ages long and every day was perfect –so were we, of course.
His funeral was last week. I saw her briefly and made all the usual condolences, hid my worker’s hands in gloves, and did my best to avoid both Simon and Oliver to no avail. They wanted to talk about old times. I listened to them talk about old times and finally managed to lead them away from the bar and out into the garden.
I knew that if I could just tough it out she would eventually escape and meet me there. And if those two got thirsty enough they’d retreat back to the bar and leave me to my vigil–which is exactly how it turned out. It was sunset by the time all the guests left and she found me there sitting by the fountain. She burst into tears.
She sat down beside me with her beautiful tear-stained face turned toward the sunset.
She said at last, “I don’t know what to say to him anymore….”
I suppose that now it’s up to you.
This last bit, his illness, the business enterprises, the government affairs and the strange torture she has endured all these years being married to him and his noble causes, yet still so very much in love with you, has taken its toll.
She folded her hands in her lap and wept like a child. It seems our lives have been spent in pursuit of so many splendid endeavors and now, for better or worse, we are left to pick up the threads of our regrets.
Don’t let it be a regret any longer, Uriah. Don’t waste a moment on decorum.
He had all his affairs and possessions, his kingly virtues, his duties. But he never truly knew her and couldn’t care for her as you have. She was not his “only one”.
Sitting there beside her I noticed how very thin she is, almost fragile, and very pale. I wish you could have been there in my place, could have wrapped your arms around her and whispered something in her ear.
A “well done, Sergeant Pfeiffer” wouldn’t do, but something in the equivalent in the language of your two hearts, to say you understand how difficult it’s been for her, how honorably she has acquitted herself, and now that she is free at last, that there’s a whole new world opening up, the world of what might have been, could have been, and should have been.
You know I am not the drippy sort of Sentimentalist to play harps and violins, but if you could have seen the two of us huddled there like two school girls wondering what next— you would have been on the night train, I’m sure, and not waiting for me to report.
I left the next day on urgent business of my own, and have waited to hear back from her, hoping to give her a few days to sort things out. She called yesterday and though her voice quavered dangerously near tears a couple times she seemed to have recovered some bit of her old gallantry and wit, and she said, “If you can contact him, if there is any way, tell him that I love him. Tell him that I always have and always will and never have figured out how to make my heart let him go.”
So there you are, Uriah. It’s time to come home at last.
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