With his mouth pressed against her ear, she slid her arms around his waist. To hold him close caused her to break out in goosebumps, and that poor heart of hers felt as though it couldn’t take much more. But it could, and it would, because it always had.
“Every morning since I last saw you,” he said, “as soon as I ‘ve opened my eyes, your face has been the first thing I’ve seen.”
His voice hadn’t changed at all, nor the feel of his breath against her skin.
“And every night while I slept, it’s you and only you who has filled my dreams.”
Leaning into him, she tugged his shirt.
“It’s always been you.”
She cried. Softly, and without shame.
“I wanted so much to find you, to let you know what you meant to me, and yet the door remained closed.”
Holding onto him as tightly as she’d been holding onto Bertie the cat who was now asleep on her right foot, she pictured the door George had taken her to, and when she gazed up at the sky, among the thousands of scattered stars, she saw him dancing there as carefree as a leaf in the breeze. She saw her father too. He had taken the form of a bear, and among the many constellations, he roamed as majestically as he had done in life. When she lowered her gaze, she saw the animals had gathered close enough for her to touch. They watched her intently, and she knew what they were waiting for, for she was waiting for the same thing.
“But then” he continued, “a strange and wonderful change occurred. It led me on a journey. I already knew the destination, but only once I took the first step could I see things for how they really were. It’s as if the veil was lifted and for the first time in my life, I understood what mattered, and there’s only one thing that’s ever mattered to me, Prudence.”
Digging her fingers into him as he said her name, she breathed in his scent and in her mind entered the vision of a fox. It winked at her before dispersing.
“Despite what’s happened between us, and for so long not knowing what became of you, I held you in my heart at all times. Perhaps it was a risk to place my faith in what I had no proof of, but it took me to this moment, and this moment’s been waiting for us since before we were born.”