Date: December 31st, 1941 Subject: Agnes, age 35
It was late morning by the time I came to. I guess I’d landed so hard, it knocked me out. I leapt up from the bushes and went in search of Agnes and I eventually found her in the garden… sitting on the same bench where I’d first met her. I took my coat off and wiped my brow…it was an unusually hot winter day.
I sat next to her and rested a tentative arm on her shoulder. Then I waited for her to unleash her wrath upon me. But she didn’t. Instead she sighed sadly, refusing to look at me. I gazed at her intently and took note of the barely visible wrinkles that were beginning to form around her eyes and mouth. “You look very pretty today, Agnes.” I nudged her gently, hoping she’d at least acknowledge my presence.
“It’s been seven years, James. Why bother coming back?”
“You know why. For you.”
She clucked her tongue and tried to pull away from me unsuccessfully. “Every single time I try to move on and forget about you, you appear looking just as dashing as you did the day we met. And it’s always the same.” She picked a flower as she talked, pulling the petals off one by one. “You’ll be here for a few hours or maybe even a day. And while you’re here, you’ll fill my head with empty promises then leave me out of breath and with my heart racing. Stolen kisses on borrowed time.” She laughed dryly.
“Please don’t give up on me, Agnes. Not yet.”
“You know…a lot has happened since you’ve been gone. I was wed four years ago to a wonderful man named Robert. He was my second cousin twice removed…it was an odd match cooked up by my sister and strangely enough no one frowned upon it.” She stared off, lost in thought. “But I don’t think I truly loved him. I don’t think I’ll love anyone the way I loved you.” She spoke slowly and in past tense which kinda felt like a swift kick in the gut to me. “But he was kind to me. And we were actually speaking of adopting children when he was taken from me.”
“What happened to him?” I asked. I almost felt guilty for being so relieved that he was gone.
“A chandelier dropped a full two stories on him.” She turned to me then…her delicate features screwed up in pain. “And here I am once more…living in my sister’s house. It’s a burden I wish I could take away from her but then I’d have nowhere else to go. I truly believe I’m meant to spent my life alone.”
She stood and wiped away her tears.
“There is a party to celebrate the New Year tonight. You are welcome to come but I won’t hold my breath.”