their cabin, talking for hours,
laughing as if we’d known each other for
centuries.We would never have fallen in love.
And she wouldn’t be living her last days.
No. Even here, in these private pages, why do I continue to delude myself?
Lucinda would have found me regardless of my stupid book. Just like she always does. She would have tracked me down and followed me and lowered her defenses with a rapidity she never understands. She would still have fallen in love. For the thousandth and the first time in her life.
And why not? It’s not torture for her . . . until the end.
It means it’s up to me to make the change.
Because, as Heaven is my witness, I can’t go on like this. The agony of one
more loss will overwhelm me. Drive me mad. Having to watch her walk once more into the blaze of knowing
Let these pages serve as a record: If it takes seventeen years to purge her from my soul
and I know it will
—I’ll do it. The addiction will fade away. The
pain of withdrawal has to ease.Is it even possible? That someday love will loosen its grip on me? Until
she’s only a memory, not a drug I have to have? It’s too hard to imagine,and it’s the only option I have left.
If I can do that for her, Lucinda will live a long and healthy li
fe. She’ll dosomething she’s never done before: She’ll die old. She will love and blossom and find happiness. All these things she’s never known before. All
It’s too late now, but it won’t always be. I have already begun the
preparations for our next encounter seventeen years down the road.