Detail from“Girl Reading a Letter in an Interior”
by Peter Vilhelm Ilsted
And then he came back. Like a quiet lightstorm. She saw him. From the distance. Coming up the driveway. She watched. From a window. His arrival. As if from some invisible realm. His return.
She opened the door. Stood there. Clenched fists. Curled toes. Frozen tears.
She heard everything. The crunch of tires on the gravel. The car door closing with a gentle thud. His tentative footsteps on the pebbled walkway.
Time seemed to move like it does in hospital waiting rooms.
He stood in front of her.
He smiled. A gentle kiss on her open heart. Her heart that twitched like a phantom limb.
She smiled. Hesitantly. Skirting the well. Skirting. But not plunging.
He held her. "I'm home."
That night they lay in the dark. Together. She on her back. Her lips caressing the air. He on his elbow. His breath caressing her face. She told him of herself while he was away. The waiting. The pain. The isolation. The loneliness. The madness. The emptiness.
She told him of the news.
"They said you were dead."
"And in this whole world everything was grey."