I loved her fiercely long ago, this woman with her dark hair and dark eyes and wonderful smile and her bright, shining eyes when she looked at me.

She brought me flowers and a hug just as I moved into a new place, a place of my own. I was grateful for her small kindness, and told her so.

I was lonely at the time, even then a vagabond of sorts because pressures of work and place demanded it. She started coming to keep me company when she could, bringing her smile and her sense of humor and her constant stream of conversation and questions and always, oh always a hug, a touch, a look.

Before long, I had fallen in love with her, and we became lovers. I knew she loved me too.

It was difficult for both of us. I was always packing a bag to fly off to somewhere in North America, often on only a few hours notice. Her family kept her busy when I was away, but even so she found time to come by an empty house and leave me notes, pictures, flowers, something she had made. I was always happy to get home just for that, for isn’t it nice to know that someone thinks of you even though they have a life far removed from yours?

I thought so then, as I do now.

She wanted children, as did I, and when she finally became pregnant we were both very happy. I would spend hours with my hand on her stomach feeling the soft, abrupt kicks, sharing the laughter neither of us could hold back.

It was a wonderful time for both of us that ended on a warm night in Georgia, so long ago. She miscarried in Atlanta.

Although we both tried very hard after that, it was never the same. Eventually I just had to move away, and though I asked her to come, of course she wouldn’t. She couldn’t by then. I had asked too late.

You asked me if I had ever had any children, and I answered, “No, none that lived,” in that flippant tone that I have. That shocked you, I know, and before I could explain further we were interrupted and I had no opportunity to share this with you at the time.

I hope you won’t think less of me for having told you now.

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