I could never afterwards quite understand how it was possible to compress an eternity into a few moments' worth of captured time. My mind, stiffened from years of bawdiness was incapable of processing such romanticism. But, as it was with several of my preconceptions before I came to this job—what I then understood to be a job—I was forced to reconsider…and understand.

I was numb, in shock almost, as I stepped outside that door. The deep, perfect green of that door, much like the seaweed that washed up on the shore where Frankie and I skipped stones on that one, perfect day. Every detail is imprinted in my mind. There were painted tiles, I remember. Painted like the shore. She was wearing a brown sweater…it was too coarse, when I touched it. Too coarse, where she was soft and gentle.

I remember the slight smile that she had. She wanted to make up for the lost time when she viewed me as an uncertainty, as an enemy…her eyes were so shy, so shy…I had never before seen eyes like that. Eyes begging to me for understanding, for compassion…eyes begging for love.

My mind seemed unconscionably slow, that night. As we stood, facing each other, I recalled playing with the frayed corner of my leather coat. That coat has long since fallen apart, but I remember that damned corner…and how awkward I felt as I looked at her. It was as if the two of us were alone, as if the promise that I had forced her to make in the beginning—that there would be no future and no past—had actually erased my life, and its terrible reality.

She leaned towards me, and there was nothing that I wanted more than to tell her, to express what I wanted…this great gift she had given me. But there was too much to say, and even in this eternity of a moment, there was not enough time to say it in.