The light from the lamp slanted over her face, caught something, something in her eyes that jiggled at the corners of his memory.
"Did you have a picture on the wall? Flowers, white flowers in a blue vase?"
Her fingers tightened on the brush. "Yes, in my bedroom in New York. One of my watercolors. Not a very good one."
"And you had colored bottles on a table. Lots of them, different sizes and stuff."
"Perfume bottles." Her throat was closing again, so she was forced to clear it. "I used to collect them."
"You let me sleep in your bed with you." His eyes narrowed as he concentrated on the vague blips of memory. Soft smells, soft voice, colors and shapes. "You told me some story, about a frog."
The Frog Prince. Into her mind flashed the image of how a little boy had curled against her, the bedside lamp holding back the dark for both of them, his bright-blue eyes intense on her face as she'd calmed his fears with a tale of magic and happily ever after.
"You had—when you came to visit, you had bad dreams. You were just a little boy."
"I had a puppy. You bought me a puppy."
"Not a real one, just a stuffed toy." Her vision was blurring, her throat closing, her heart breaking.
"You… you didn't have any toys with you. When I brought it home you asked me whose it was, and I told you it was yours. That's what you called it. Yours."
(Painting: The Elder Sister - William-Adolphe Bouguereau)
I read this story and it reminded me of one of my favorite Nora's Books - Inner Harbor.
Love lasts. Forever.
Yeny llevaba 30 años sin saber nada de Francisco, el niño que acogió
"I didn't think you remembered me. Or any of the time you stayed with me in New York."
"I thought I'd made it up." It was too hard to sit in the boat and look so far up. He climbed out, then sat on the dock to dangle his legs. "Sometimes I'd dream about some of it. Like the stuffed dog and stuff."
"Yours," she murmured.
"Yeah, that's pretty lame. She didn't talk about you or anything, so I thought I'd just made it up."
"Sometimes…" She took the risk and sat beside him. "Sometimes it was almost like that for me, too. I still have the dog."
"You kept it?"
"It was all I had left of you. You mattered to me."