She woke up at seven; her head almost immediately under the warm shower, trying to replace somehow her lost lover. Each morning the daily ritual, the foam in her hair and some daring songs out of tune that broke the air… songs that often had become a secret cry for James’ early death.
Her work as a professor filled every slot in her tight schedule. After her book was published, she had constantly received job offers, that had helped in a way to keep moving forward and to keep her tears safe for a moment of peace.
James had died seven months ago, but his perfume was still imbedded in the sheets shared in sin and on her own body. She missed him so much that sometimes she fell asleep with his pictures on her hands, yearning to feel his embrace again.
The phone rang. With the towel wrapped around her and held by a shaken hand, she answered with the lethargy granted by grief.
“You have to come to campus, right away,” said the man on the phone.
“Charles… it’s just half past seven, I still have…”
“It’s not work related. I will be waiting.”
She didn’t have a chance to answer before he hung up. It was the first time Charles have called her home; their relationship after what happened had been exclusively professional. The last time they spoke out of the office was in fact at James’ funeral. He had defended her.
She was orderly and her clothes were ready on the bed; it didn’t take her more than ten minutes to be on the subway, with her bag on her lap and a fruit in her hand.
Nothing could have prepared her for what she saw when she arrived to Charles’ office.
James was standing there, smiling at her.
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