- I. -

 

Prologue -- Catherine’s Journal -- December 11, 1989 -- 3:00 a.m.

 

It’s never completely dark here, even in the quietest hours after midnight. Vincent always leaves a candle burning on the table, and the window over the bed lets in a faint glow. I’m glad, because even here with Vincent and Jacob, surrounded by people who love me and by the comforting weight of stone walls - even now, I’m still afraid of the dark.

 

I’ve just nursed Jacob, and he sleeps soundly. He wakes up every night around two or three to nurse, then falls asleep instantly. I wish I could sleep as easily. Instead I sit at this table and write in this book.

 

Three weeks have passed since I came here, since I came home. Father gave me this journal a week ago. So far I’ve kept it hidden from Vincent. I only write late at night, listening to the faint tapping on the pipes and to the sound of Vincent and Jacob breathing. I love to watch Vincent sleep. He looks so peaceful. He says he can sleep so much better now that Jacob is well and I am here.

 

I should be sleeping. I should be content, but I’m not. Something is not right between Vincent and me. I am happy to be here, I am grateful to be with Vincent and Jacob, there is nothing I need that I don’t have. Well...that isn’t entirely true. I need Vincent, but what I need is more than he can give right now. I know he would try to do anything I ask, but there is a space between us that we cannot bridge. Too many questions, too many hurts, and each day we drift a little farther apart.

 

I spend my days reading, taking care of Jacob and helping some of the children with their lessons.   Vincent spends his time working on new chambers for the three of us.   He comes to bed late; I fall asleep waiting for him. Then every night proceeds the same: I wake up and nurse Jacob. I write in this book until my eyes burn. When I’m through, I crawl back into bed. I press myself against Vincent’s back and try to lose myself in his warmth and his strength. And I hold on as tightly as I can for as long as I can because I know when I wake up the next morning, my arms will be empty and he will be gone.


Chapter 2