Andrei was there. Kim saw him standing beside Peter on the other side of the newly-dug grave. His eyes met hers, for just a moment. She had looked into those eyes many times before, had seen them warm with passion, cool with anger. What was in them now? Sadness, certainly; perhaps regret as well.
She thought about the last time he had called her, before she had left Chicago. I needed to hear your voice. His words had touched her. She knew that deep down inside, he still loved her, and as nonchalant as she tried to act, she realized that she still loved him as well.
I'm leaving Chicago. Don't try to find me. Even as she had said the words, a part of her had known that that was exactly what she wanted him to do.
The funeral was coming to an end, and the attendants were beginning to disperse. She watched as he turned and walked away, knowing that she might not see him again for a long time, if ever.
"Andrei!" She heard herself call his name, felt her feet seemingly of their own accord hurrying to catch up with him. He turned to look at her, unflappable as always.
"I knew you'd come," she told him.
"I had to see you one more time," he told her.
"Did you miss me?" she asked.
"I missed you too," she admitted.
"Then why did you run away?" he asked.
"I was...afraid. Afraid of my own feelings. You once told me that I would have to make a choice, Andrei, and you were right. I was so scared that I was making the wrong choice. I thought...I thought that running away would make things easier, but I was wrong. I still love you, Andrei. I don't know whether that's right or wrong, but it's true. I wanted so badly for you to come after me and find me. I want so badly to feel your arms around me again. Oh, Andrei, why does it have to be so hard?" She buried her face in her hands and sobbed. She felt his arms around her and looked up into his face.
"Dear little Kimberly," he murmured. "It doesn't have to be hard at all, unless you make it that way. Come back to me, back where you belong. Stop running around like a scared little girl. Let me take care of you again."
She thought about the apartment she had shared with him, how luxurious it had been. She had been free to do pretty much whatever she wanted, had had all her needs provided for. Yet she had thrown it all away for...what? Someone else's idea of patriotism, of loyalty to some ideal? Had she been a fool?
"Do you mean to say it's not too late?" she asked him.
"Of course it isn't," he quickly assured her.
"I want to go home, Andrei," she murmured.
Silently he took her hand, and together they walked to the waiting airplane.