January 2011




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Nov. 30th, 2010

At this point it's hard to say whether it's Eos having returned or time spent with Anton which cut down much of Anatole's throat-closing fear. (She's Anatole with her Lady, Anna with Anton, and for the first time in a long time she's happy as both.) He -- that quiet spectre of the butterfly touch -- is still outside her window sometimes, at the corner of her vision or with his eyes creeping along her spine while Anatole is out running errands. Those moments when she knows he's near increase. But nowadays she steels herself, breathes blessedly deep, straightens her back and stills trembling hands. Thinks of warm breezes, dawn's light on her cheek or the companionable comfort of Anton's arm pressed against her own while they bench-sit and people watch. (He was cautious at first, strange about touch. They developed an unspoken agreement: Anton would not flinch when Anna eased close, and Anna would not ask after what Anton really was. It's a good arrangement, as these things go.)

Hot on her heels, that creeping sense of end, that winding down of clocks. She's stopped crying over it in favor of taking what's left. This, then, is resignation.

Nov. 7th, 2010

It's an unexpected surprise, but not an unwelcome one. Anatole isn't sure what to expect -- she's been nervous and fitful for months now, something which settled down when she heard from Eos, but never really faded away. The package from Anton -- and for this she blesses him -- makes things better.

His return address gets a simple envelope days later. Nothing big or fancy, just the one photo (she took up photography this year, kept it quiet for her own reasons). She doesn't say thank you, doesn't throw her usual ten exclamation points out there, does not admit to always being scared. Instead it's just a question written on the photo's back.


Come ice skating with me?

- Anna