We were standing in the dark dining room. Dim light streamed in through the windows, a full moon’s blessing. The candelabra cast fingerlike shadows across the polished tabletop. I took his hand.
I wanted him to come to me this night.
“No. I am sorry.” He stiffened. “No.” He shook his head, never making eye contact. His breathing was heavy, deliberate.
I needed to show him love, to say thank you. It was the only way that I knew how…physically, offering my body to him. It was the one thing I knew that he wanted the most. He had been devoted and steadfast and strong, always my constant. Even so, I had watched as he had lost weight, seemingly eaten away from the inside as baby Levi had died, the funeral, even now months later.
“Please?” I begged quietly.
“What if it happens again, Evelyn?”
I had no answer. I could not tell him that Levi was not his, that he could not blame himself. That Levi was my burden of conscience. I lacked the courage. Everything that I had done to this point had lacked courage and this instance was no different. He was afraid to touch me.
We parted ways; he to his room and me to mine.