Corrina admitted to herself that she had scanned the obituaries for year, hoping, silently that his name would not be there. It had been over half her lifetime since the less that two years they spent together, but those two years had changed her, made her what she was, Today, so was that short column in the obituaries, a story of life after her, of a few short years when he had tried to settle down, have a family, be free of his demons.
Her most daring adventures, were with him, her look into a world she had no idea existed were during her time with him.. The lights of LA from San Bernardino, the distant curves of the San Juan from a pull-off on the edge of a cliff. Eating burgers from a grill in the forest by the side of a road. saving a secret souvenir found among the shacks and shadows near those Mississippi tenant farms.
She remembered the big cities up north, staying with French-speaking Canadians with snow piled high on the road side in late April. She remembered the fear from some of the things that happened there,and from some that happened nearer to home.
There were things Corinna did, and did well, in that long ago day, that she can not imagine even trying, now as a grandmother. In these few years and in all the ones after, she was always hoping he had loved her like she lived him,though in her heart of hearts, she knew he never did. No the for even kind, maybe the for now kind.
His family was good to her when she was not close to her own, She still smiled, when she thought of her visits wit them, after he left and they still hoped they hoped he would go back to her. He didn’t.
Time went on, life went on, they had separate lives, a few strange connections, accidental ,meetings with each other, family members, a silent pain in the quick conversations, always a feeling of “what if…”
Corinna had countless dreams of him, he made her, but never knew it. Why did she often dream of him, crazy dreams, a little too real, instead of dreaming of the man she spent her life with smiled and suffered so many years with. She didn’t know.
Tonight, the dreams were different. There was no quiet ending, no sad goodbye, no answer to the “what if…”. The dreams-no, nightmares, were surreal, unimaginable. She woke up shaking, her heart thumping, time after. time.
Corinna was miserable, She finally told her daughters, one who knew a lot about those days and the younger, who knew only little, why she was in such a strange mood. She had to think of a way to find out what happened why, who was thee, who had been by his side.
Finally, she though of an answer. A bit crazy, but probably not unwelcome. There was one person who would care that she still cared and tomorrow, she would write an old fashioned letter, never knowing if it would be answered or not.