by Mitzi Danielson-Kaslik
I found it hard to believe as I read and marvelled at how lucky I was to have found this note. Of course I still wanted to be his lover and of course I would come to him, I took a moment to flatter myself as to how Sylvester must have felt doubting if I still wanted him. I looked up into the thick gnarled branches of the blossomless tree and whispered my avid thanks into the air. I then regained myself and stood up hurriedly as I felt a droplet of water fall onto my hand realising that one of the famous September storms was about to unleash itself over the town. Grasping the note in my left hand I re opened the gate which had been blown half shut by the wind and ran down Old Oakbourne Street with the cold rain falling thickly and plastering my dark hair against my face until I could hardly see. What does a girl need to live in Paris? I had no clothes for the occasion, only a broken suitcase, hardly any make up and - now I came to think of it - no lingerie.
After a long afternoon at the shops, my note still clamped in my hand, I returned home to pack everything I would need in my battered suitcase, had a shower and caught up on some waxing. It was then that I dreamt of him; how had nine months changed him? Had he met anyone else? What was he doing to pass the time? Was he was wonderful as I had remembered him to be? I so wished that time wasn’t so cruel; that it hadn’t stolen Sylvester’s teenage years and that it had given us longer together. I wished that time didn’t march on in the way that it does for I could happily wait in this moment for ever.
Waiting for him.
As I packed, I began to realise that I would perhaps never see this place again: this town would cease to be my home and Old Oakbourne Street and Addison Avenue and all the other places I had once been a part of would slip into my memory and cease to be a part of me. Like all the good things in my life. Like beads on a string; cut the string and the beads scatter out onto the floor and into dark corners and soon you forget that you ever lost the beads to begin with.
Time ticked forward as I night drew in closer and I got my last things together and dressed in my coat and heeled boots and grabbed my case. I was very excited to see him. I closed the door to my old house with a heavy heart and began up the street to the corner to onto the lane and then onto Oakbourne Square then onto the end of Old Oakbourne Street. It was just as it had been the previous year; cold and dark and full of promise. It was almost nine. I held my breath. I once again opened the rusted gate and stood squarely under the now gnarled blossom tree. My senses heightened and my eyes once more scanned for the slightest movement to indicate that Sylvester was here and as the bells of Trinity Chapel chimed the hour, I closed my eyes and imagined him before me. My lover.
At the last chime of the bells, he appeared before me. An omen apparition it almost seemed. His hair was just as I had remembered it. His eyes. His cheek bones. His shoulders. He was beautiful. He looked at me with a look I had certainly seen before and leaned in close to my ear and whispered “We shall run and we both shall be free.” And with another look into my eyes, Sylvester kissed me. It was heaven. He took my hand and pulled me lightly down the hill to the docks from which the boat would soon leave.