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Since You Went Away = novel

By Marello All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Thriller

Chapter 1

If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,

Absent thee from felicity awhile,

And in this harsh world

draw thy breath in pain,

To tell my story.

William Shakespeare

EMMA

The first thing I remember is standing on a stone bridge above a river. I was walking toward the end of it, toward the quay, where there were cafés and shops. I must have been two or three. I always assumed this was Biarritz, but of course there is no river in Biarritz. So, where? It could have been Paris, crossing toward Boule’ Mich’, or St. Germaine, or crossing in the other direction, toward the Faubourg St. Honoré and the coutoure shops. Colin says it was Prague or Budapest or Krakow, or somewhere and Finn says he’ll tell me about it some day. There were women in wool felt coats, hunter green with hoods. There were people carrying baskets. I was marching toward the quay, stamping my feet, when Colin picked me up from behind, scooped me up, and Finn laughed at me. They both laughed. I was off to see the world, I suppose. I did not very much like being stopped. Finn says at that age I did not like any of my movements to be curtailed. Anyway, it started to rain then, and there was that wet smell, that smell when people are outside in a city and their hair and wool coats get wet. Finn and Colin took me inside, to a hotel room or an apartment, and put me into dry clothes, rubbed my hair with a towel, and gave me a bowl of hot chocolate. It was too big for me to lift, so Finn sat me on his lap, and fed me the hot chocolate from a spoon. I will always remember it.

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