Ah . . . . She Loved Me
That day I’d decided to show Ed the cards and photos I’d found in his storage unit. It was Rosa’s idea – I never would have thought of doing that myself. I got up and turned on the black pole lamps at each end of the sofa. The one on the left didn’t come on. Reminds me – I have to get a new bulb. So I went to get the white lamp from the other corner of the room and put it at the left end of the sofa. Having illuminated the room as much as possible to compensate for Ed’s poor eyesight, I was ready to start the show.
“Kitty!” he exclaimed, coming out of the bathroom. “I’m so happy to see you. You are so beautiful!”
Then he sat down, careful not to disturb the little animals.
“Hi, Kitty. I found some old photos and cards I sent you many years ago and I’m going to show them to you today.”
“Marvelous! Superb!” he answered, using the words he always used when he was happy about something.
I decided to start with the cards. Although he was no longer able to read books or the newspaper, I hoped he’d still be capable of reading the cards. He was, and he even seemed to understand what he read. He laughed at the funny ones and responded more seriously to the others.
After he’d seen them all he looked up at me and said in a reverent tone of voice, “Kitty, I am so touched that you kept these cards all these years.”
I didn’t even try explaining that he was the one who had kept them.
Next we looked at the photographs. Some were from his childhood. There was one of him around age six wearing a sailor suit and posing with his father, and another with his grandparents, sitting on a bench in a beautiful park. I was awestruck when I suddenly realized some of those photographs were more than eighty years old. Then there were several pictures of us from the ‘80s and ‘90s. There were also photos of him with a whole variety of people I didn’t know. I guessed they were different Romanian friends and relatives. Probably some previous lovers, too.
He was drawn to the photos just as much as he was to the cards, studying each with interest. The last one was a picture of him with a woman standing behind him. She had her hands on his shoulders and her head was peeking around his, facing the camera.
“Ah . . . She loved me,” he murmured, an affectionate expression on his face. He kept looking at the photo.
“What are you thinking?” I asked when he didn’t say anything more.
“I’m thinking of love,” he whispered.
“That woman is me and I still love you.”
He looked up and gazed into my eyes the way he did when we were lovers. I couldn’t tell if he was in the past or the present. I decided it didn’t matter.