I considered asking Natasha to play something for me, but didn’t. Instead I bent over the top of the piano, where the bust of Beethoven was perching, and touched my cheek to the cold reflection.
This time Natasha lifted her face to me. I plopped next to her on the bench and reached for her hand. Expecting no answer I said, “This place seems so empty, all of a sudden.”
To my surprise she looked around and said, “So it does.”
“Oh,” she said.
“I put him on the bus and waved goodbye to him.”
At that, she fell silent. A moment later she whispered, “Don’t I know how it feels.”
“You do? Really?” I asked. “What is it, exactly, that you feel?”
“Tell me, Natasha.”
“You wouldn’t understand it.”
The phone started ringing just as she was about to tell me something. When I got up to answer, she waved her hand, which I understood, somehow, even without words.
Oh, never mind.
And as I lifted the receiver from its cradle I heard her mumbling something behind me, back in the living room. I held my breath, trying to catch the sound of her voice.
“Can’t you tell?” she said, to no one in particular. “I feel loss.”
For a moment I thought she was talking about our son, leaving us, or else about me, having an affair. Perhaps it made her stop calling me Lenny, which irked me. That, I thought, was why she treated me as a stranger.
“Is he blind?” She shook her head in disbelief. “Can’t this man read my face? I feel as if I put my brain on a bus and waved goodbye to it.”
"A powerful and poignant novel that will grip at your heart strings ... a love story that invites the reader into a romance..."