Category: justin cronin

That is what two people must give to each other, he thinks: the history of themselves. How else can we hope to be known?

He isn’t sure quite what the problem is, though he has begun to suspect that he is simply one of those people who is destined to be alone, a creature of work and duty and not much else.

It was just a room, like any other—simple furnishings, a hearth blackened with long use, candles on the tables, books—but it meant vastly more. It meant everything. Here they had lived.

She was sad but also full of gratitude, for all he had given her.

All things fell into the past but one; and what that was, was love.

The place where, long ago, he had let life pass by, failing to say what his heart knew.

He knew that in his life he had been happy, also sad; for a long time he had been very, very lonely.

To know and be known: that was the final desire, the heart of love.

Hers is the greatest of all errors; she has grown attached to life. She has dared, unwisely, to love.

Painful as this story was, telling him was a gift she had given him, the heart of who she was, the stone she carried and how love had happened in her life.