Also known as: having little, or nothing, to do with writing.
The thing is, it only just sank in that this place I’ve been living in for the last year and a half isn’t going to be my home for very much longer.
“She’s a sweet girl. Her name’s Audrey, I think she’s French. Or Canadian? We’ve chatted at the bar.” Audrey looked up from her hamburger and saw Tameron’s eyes on her. She smiled around a mouthful of food and waved her two little fingers by way of greeting, realized that her mouth was full, flushed, and looked away again. He chuckled softly.
Gloriana’s eyebrows rose expectantly, and the amusement faded just that quickly.
“She reminds me too much of Janet,” he said. “It’s … I just can’t.”
“I met your wife,” Gloriana interjected in the hasty tone of someone who saw where things were going and had no intention of letting them get there. “As I recall, I liked her a lot. She had about as much in common with Audrey as I have with your partner.” A quick wit and no patience for beating around the bush, Forbes thought, but didn’t say because she was still going. “If all you’ve bothered to remember about Janet is brown hair and brown eyes, boyo, I think I’m ashamed to be sitting here talking about it with you.”
It struck him like a blow.
Janet … Janet had been his world. She’d been tall and strong and fiercely intelligent, with a mischievous smile and a generous heart and eyes he’d felt he could happily lose himself in for years. But she had died centuries ago. He could only remember fragments of his life that long ago, lost in a haze of nostalgia and bias. Tameron still remembered her face, remembered sitting with her by the hearth in a thunderstorm reading … reading something, until a leak they hadn’t known about worked its way through and dumped half the heaven’s worth of rain on them in an instant. He remembered riding with her, helping her roll pie crusts, and he remembered one glorious fight that had them not speaking for almost a week before either of them could calm down enough to see things rationally.
He remembered sitting still while she sketched him, and how difficult it had been to let himself laugh at the results, which more often than not made him look more like a squash than a man.
He remembered when her skin had turned to parchment, and her breaths had turned to whispers and then faded away into nothing at all.
But there was so much else he couldn’t put a finger on anymore. That thought made him ache somewhere deep inside, but even as he swallowed against a pressure at the back of his throat he found a peace there too. Nothing lasted forever. Nothing was meant to.
Whatever Gloriana saw on his face, her eyes softened. She set her hand on his and squeezed once, gently.