Michael was on his way to the bedroom after brushing his teeth in the bathroom when the doorbell rang.
'Come in, it’s open!
The door swung open. And the world stopped moving.
They stood gazing at each other for a very long time in silence. Miranda felt the tears sting her eyes and roll freely down her face. Michael felt his own eyes becoming blurry with tears.
Then she dropped her bag and ran to him. He opened his arms and welcomed her. They held tightly to each other and cried genuine tears. It was a long time later that they separated.
She was the first to speak. ‘It seems like an eternity since I saw you last. I can’t believe it’s just been eight months.’
‘I didn’t think I would ever see you again. I prayed each day of the past eight months.’
‘Nine,’ again he corrected her quietly.
She stood back and eyed him anxiously. ‘Do you love me, Michael?’
‘More than you can imagine.’
‘That cannot be true. There is no day that has passed that I didn’t think of you. I thought I would go insane. I would lie awake at night wishing I could hold you in my arms again. You can’t think so intensely about someone and not know how much they mean to you.’
He didn’t answer.
‘I’ve left him. I’ve come to stay with you forever. I’m not going back.’ She sniffed away a tear. ‘I hate that place, Michael.’
‘I know, and I understand your anger over New York.’ He gazed into her eyes and took her hands in his palms. ‘But I am going back. That’s where my business is. I cannot just turn my back on it.’
‘Then I’m going back with you,’ she said resolutely. ‘I want to be with you, Michael,’ she added earnestly.
He shook his head as he would to a naïve child. ‘We can’t. You’re my partner’s wife. We cannot be together. What would people say?’
'Screw’em.’ She meant it. ‘I really don’t care what they say. I’m fed up with New York snobbishness.’
‘No,’ said Michael. ‘I know we need each other. But we’ve got to learn to live apart.’