Bifurcation in the Rearview Mirror

I had never seen her cry that way. Her eyes closed so hard. Her voice got high and her body curled into itself. It would break your heart.

Could you tell me what kind of things grandpa would do to woo you? You know. When things were good?

-Things started off really good between  your grandfather and I. We were so in  love. But you know, there was this boy, he was my age. What a sweet boy. We were both 14. He would accompany me to get milk. Milk used to be sold in reusable one liter glass bottles. Louis would walk me back and forth and carry the bottles. He was so sweet. We were both so content with our little repartee… I just can’t believe that happened to him. I feel awful about that. But you have to understand, he was still a student and your grandfather was a young adult. Louis was so sweet. He gave me a little ring with a ruby and his picture. He asked me for my picture too. I kept them for such a long time… He is a doctor now.

She was made of nails, she never showed remorse or regret about anything. But him, this boy who watched my grandfather make a move and then make her his wife. She described watching him pass by her store while he was there buying cigarettes. And her voice quivered and something that wrenched hearts occupied the room. I knelt next to her. But she didn’t need that.  For a  minute I thought she needed me to know it, but it had nothing to do with me. She needed it out.

-He would pass by and lower his head.

This is the part that hurt the most. This was the feeling that defined her memory. She mentioned that soon after that he and his family had moved away. She said that she didn’t know why, but in her gut you could tell that the words were there just waiting to be free or at least whispered.

The doorbell rang and her face brightened up. We were in the present again and there were things to be done. She quickly got up and said, well, we’ll talk more about that some other day.

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