“We had each other, yes, but even that doesn’t describe what we had. We didn’t choose each other, Frank. We found each other. It’s hard to explain.”
Sam leaned forward in his seat. He stared at the floor. His hands were clasped, and he trembled.
“There could only be one Susanna, Frank. My life began when I met her.”
He fell silent as he collected his thoughts, pored over memories, grieved again.
“An explicable feeling overwhelmed me when I met Susanna. I hadn’t spoken to her yet. I was half a block away when I saw her. As I drew nearer, a feeling of warmth and familiarity enveloped me like a second skin. My heart skipped. It skipped, Frank. It was intense, like in a dream, when you love a woman and the joy you feel is so incredibly intense that your heart feels like it’s going to burst. When you dream, there are no outside forces competing for your attention, nothing to dull the effect of the emotions. When you’re sad in a dream, it’s the most intense sadness possible. When you’re happy, it’s the most intense happiness possible. Dream emotions are pure, unadulterated, undiluted. They are the form, the definition, the substance, the being, the universal truth of the emotions we experience less deeply when we are awake. The love you feel for a woman while you’re dreaming is the purest, most complete and fulfilling love there is. Do you know why that is, Frank?”
“Because in your dream, you are giving the woman your undivided attention. She is the sole object of your dream. When you date a woman, the same thing occurs: you give her your undivided attention. That’s what a woman needs, Frank. That’s what she wants: your complete attention. That’s the key to love, Frank.”
Sam’s sincerity was rock solid. Frank had known Susanna since the day after she and Sam met, and he knew they shared a bond, a love, unlike that between any other man and woman.
“When I met Susanna that day, I knew we were destined to marry. There was no doubt in my mind. The thought that we were not never occurred. It was a truth, an absolute, an a priori fact. Water seeks its own level, fire burns, gravity is, we were destined to marry. It just was.
When our eyes met, the deepest, most intense, dreamlike feeling of joy and happiness, and fulfillment and inevitability came over me. It nearly brought me to tears. My knees were shaking, my cheeks were drawn, and my gut burned, Frank. My gut burned. When we reached for the same apple in the vendor’s cart our hands touched, we looked at each other, and I could see it in her eyes, Frank, I could see it in her eyes; she knew it too. She knew it too.”
Sam bowed his head and wiped his eyes. His shoulders shook. The plaintive wail that burst from the deep recesses of his soul echoed the grief of a heart in pain.
“Oh, God, how I miss you, Susanna.”