As a precocious child of six, when they thought I slept, I’d hide behind the tattered kitchen wall watching my parents dance below a low, glimmering glow of a single amber kitchen light.
I recall the sweet smell of Tarte Normande Aux Pommes; with mouth-watering, yellow apples, and flaky butter crust, the radiance reflected in my father’s brown eyes and my mother’s smile when he hummed a melody in her ear.
He took her nimble, pianist fingers and kissed their tips. She’d giggle. Soft chanson music played, their heads bobbed and their bodies rhythmically swayed side to side as one.
One evening, years later, she danced. The same expression of love was powdered on her heart-shaped face and she pretended to be held by the waist. Teardrops stained her grief-stricken semblance and the space surrounding her carried the memory of his name.
The taste of sorrow swelled my throat and tore my face with sobs. Every night I prayed, hastily realizing it didn’t matter how much, loved ones don’t come back from the dead.
One early dusk, my mother’s melodious laughter woke me like that time long-forgotten in a corner of my brain. Peeking my unruly head of hair around the same brick wall, I saw her bare feet shuffled to the pitter-patter of thick rhythmical rain tapping on the stained glass windows. The yellow of an A-framed dress floated about her like a cloud, her face flushed, and there was a peaceful look in her eyes. It’d been a while since I’d seen her happy.
Entranced, her sight focused on a spectral form before her. That’s when I saw the ghostly vision. My chin quivered and tight fists scrubbed at the image in my pupils, but it was still there. His lips kissed every one of her fingertips and his calloused palm caressed the rosée stains on her cheeks. With the back of his hand, he pressed the rebel tendrils of coal-black hair behind her ear and he looked at her with longing.
In awe, I faced the most grandiose vision and understood, true love, is eternal.