He was lost in one of those waking dreams, trapped in an infinitesimal eternity with its own history which slowly merged with his memories creating an alternate existence, unable to perceive reality, or perhaps, merely, for that instant, unwilling to do so.
He thought he’d woken and perhaps he had. But as he walked out of the bedroom and into the parlor, she was there, and comfortably there, as if the home was hers.
She turned and smiled as though nothing had happened. As though the reality he’d once hoped for had actually occurred and his breast stirred with emotions he’d sworn he’d buried so deeply they’d never again share the light of day, or a starry night, or even a dream.
She was perspiring slightly and seemed to have been finishing some mundane household chore. She smiled at him, that dazzling smile that so easily came to her but so thoroughly devastated others, and he grew light-headed, as though he was spreading through time and space in a borrowed body. Her look was possessive and comfortable, as though she’d already spent years at his side and had become ingrained in his being, had become the other half he’d once been sure she’d be.
He shook his head hoping to clear it but then stopped, suddenly afraid that he would. He was afraid to move, afraid that if he did, this seeming reality would vanish, that he’d wake to find it all an illusion. That she had, in fact, betrayed him and left him as though nothing had ever existed between them.
He returned her smile, fear mingling with delight. His heart raced. But he was terrified that if he blinked, if he spoke, if he thought too much, if he tried to remember, the instant would vanish and he wondered if it was possible to capture an instant, to freeze it, and to remain there forever.
He wondered whether he could will himself to die before anything changed, then he wondered if that had already happened.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2016; all rights reserved