Sofia put the letter in the top drawer of her nightstand, hidden, yet easy to find if someone happened to go looking. The damage was already done. There was nothing left to keep her from feeding the fire.
David found the letter on Sunday, a week after she returned from Paris. When Sofia woke up in the empty bed, the letter was on his pillow. She knew he was gone without even looking at the half empty closet, the empty hole in the toothbrush holder, the spot by the door where he always left his shoes. She knew he was gone because she felt free. He had left without a fight.
On Monday, she put the house on the market, furnishings included. She packed a suitcase of clothes and two boxes of books to put in storage. She booked a train ticket. And then she waited.
The house sold by the end of the week. Sofia wasn't surprised; it was a perfect house. But it was a family house and it deserved to be inhabited by a family, not a broken heart.
Sofia walked to the train station, dragging her suitcase and hugging her purse against her chest. Her love was in there. She couldn't lose it.
Two hours into the train ride, she called him. He picked up on the third ring.
Sofia cradled the phone against her ear with both hands and breathed into the line, praying he would know.
He knew. She felt her heart beating again for the first time since she had seen him last.
"I'm coming," she whispered.
Now it was her turn to listen to him breathe. They spoke better in silence.
"I've been waiting."
He was there when she got off the train, the same but different. They ran into each other's arms, as if they had been apart forever. In a way, they had been apart for a lifetime.
"I'm good at running away," Yves whispered into her hair.
"But I'm not good at saying goodbye," Sofia whispered back.