- IX. -

 

White numbered boxes, neatly bordered and separated by thin black lines. Empty...white...boxes.

 

The boxes were dates on a wall calendar. Diana had been staring at it in the quiet hours after she returned from Below. She felt her eyes sting and water.

 

She jumped from her chair and tore the calendar off the wall. Flipping through it, month by month, she saw nothing written down on any of the little squares. Empty.

 

She ripped the calendar in half and threw it in the trashcan by her desk. She fell back into the chair and stared at the floor.

 

She was afraid of her thoughts. A memory of something Vincent had said earlier that night when he came to see her played over and over in her mind, taunting her, pushing her into a black mood.

 

Vincent’s words were simple:  “Please, Diana.  I have something to tell you.  It’s important.”

 

What?? she thought, wrapping her arms around herself. What were you going to tell me? What could it be? If Cathy hadn’t been there...

 

Diana closed her eyes and buried her face in her hands. Gonna be another long day.  Wasn’t that what she told Cathy last night?

 

”Could be a long life,” she whispered to the floor.

 

She rose and stood near the windows. Gazing down at the street, she spotted the familiar brown car, parked halfway down the block. She could barely discern the outlines of the driver. She returned to her chair, her face set in troubled lines.

 

Vincent had meant to tell her something. She fell asleep in the chair with one clear thought: she would make him tell her. Soon.

 

...to be continued...

 

 Restoration Trilogy index