A room in the past

30 Mar

The husband and wife lay naked on the bed.  The glow from a narrow candle cast the room in a flicker of shadow and light.  A hint of slow piano music seeped through the walls from the next room.

“I feel sad,” the husband said, breaking the silence they’d been observing.  “About things that were, but are no more.”

“I was just thinking,” the wife said.  “About the old apartment.”

“Days and days and days,” said the husband.  “It seems like forever, but it isn’t.”

“That room was so real to us ,” the wife said.  “The way we used to lie in it.  Loving each other.”  She sighed.  “Think about that little room!”

“I am thinking about it,” he said.  “That’s one of the rooms I’m thinking about.”

“We went about our business, dreamed our dreams in that room,” she said.  “We thought that was reality.”  She closed her eyes, stretched her arms above her.  “When I close my eyes,” she said.  “I remember, in a way.  The rickety old table, for example.  Or the window that gave onto the courtyard.”  She opened her eyes and turned to her husband.  “That room is gone,” she said.

Her husband sat up in bed.  He pointed at the nearby candle.  “We’re like that candle,” he said.  “No.  We’re the light from the candle.  No.”  He remained sitting up a moment, pointing at the candle.  Then he lay back down.

“We’re ghosts in the world,” he said.  “This is our dream of being alive.”

“We fell in love in that room,” the wife said.  “I remember that.”

The husband moved closer to his wife.  He put his head on her chest.  Her heart was beating as though it would never stop.  “Something…” he said.  “I don’t know.”

She nodded.  “This room, too, ” she said.

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