“He was my first love,” she said with a faraway look in her eyes. The silence grew, lengthened, as I waited and wondered. Her fingers played with the delicate chain she wore around her neck. I thought she’d forgotten me.
She smiled a half-smile as she finally turned to me. “That was fifty years ago. He always held a special place deep in my heart,” she paused again, quiet, reflecting, still. Reliving a past I could not fathom and dare not intrude upon even if I could.
“Our parents said we were too young,” she continued, “too young to know what love is. But we knew, we both knew. I remember … It was such a tender love, almost, well, spiritual. We were so young, but we knew what love is,” her voice trailed off once again as she re-entered that distant past and tears glinted in her eyes.
And I, a fool, did not know what to say or what to do to comfort her. I, in turn, was much too young to understand. I had no knowledge of such love. It astounded and confounded me.
I was too young at that time. But now the years have tumbled by and I am now at that age that she was then. And still, I wonder at a love held close for so long. So long. A love that never died.