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A Vermont Fall
“I got through it. He didn’t,” she said when she called me with the news. I didn’t know who it was at first but I recognized her soft tone with her hint of Boston. They moved to their weekend place in Vermont full time months before. We’d not spoken since. We were just acquaintances, sharing a floor in a brownstone. Occasional dinners in their apartment.
“He used to say he wished he knew you better. He said you seemed…that you seemed like someone who would be a good friend. To both of us.”
I said how sorry I was, how I wished I got to know him better too.
“And now it’s too late,” she interrupted.
“Yeah, too late.”
There was a pause. I thought we’d lost the connection.
“I’m still here.”
“Look. I know it’s asking a lot. Can you come up? Can you…be my friend. I need—”
I thought she had family near the city. They both did. She must have asked them.
“I don’t have a car and I have work.”
“Okay. I understand. I’m sorry to have bothered you. Thanks for taking my call.”
I would have liked to have been their friend. I didn’t have a car, yes, but I hadn’t been in my office for months. And since Michael left I hadn’t really had a friend. So I arranged a rental car and loaded it up. Three hours later, I pulled into their…into her driveway. There was no answer so I walked around to the back.
She stood in a dark cloak amid the colors of a Vermont fall. She must have heard my car, and she turned. She came to me and reached out. I held her tightly, and she thanked me for coming.