Mourning Dove (Men in Caves)

It feels all right because you are here with me now.  I’m sorry you were stuck in the mine and I’m sorry that you felt alone while I let Adam hug me for a little bit too long. It feels just fine and I hope I can see you again without thinking of you battered and bloodied and scabbing and bruised all alone down there. If you please could come up if they could just rescue you, I would walk backwards and start it all over again. My stomach is stretching and I’m having trouble hiding it and I’m tired of these people here. I’d rather have you than them, any day. I’m a fool.

Instead of praying to God, Justine prayed to Blake. She believed he could hear her forceful thoughts as she tore up the path up the mountain, her pumps hindering her flight. After fifty yards up or so she takes the pumps off and they roll awkwardly off the path; Adam picks them up for her, he knows she’ll want them later. Like all of us, when we face our greatest fear (which is losing our greatest love), Justine had supernatural powers as she ran. She got to the mouth of the mine in less than five minutes. It usually took an able bodied miner twenty to do the same.

All was blurred around her, in underground emerald green, like something out of a Chinese fairy tale. Justine focused on the men that had gathered at the mouth, on their expressions, at any sign of revelation or hope. She didn’t want to be the only one hoping for a miracle still. She didn’t want to be the last one standing and praying and wishing and knowing.

Adam sprinted up the hill behind her. He loved her now as a whole human being, not just a lover. Anna has gathered her students in a tight little circle, they spotted her walking towards the dining hall, which is where they’re headed with their mothers. Every one of course has had heard the news and the mothers want to keep their children close and fed and happy while they listen for updates and roll rosaries between their fingers.  Anna tries to reassure the children calmly, cooing softly like a mourning dove. One of the mothers realizes that that was what Anna had always reminded her of.  Anna, with her gleaming corn-silk hair and her powdery blue eyes and muted grey clothes and long, slim, curving figure. A mourning dove.

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"... all my lovers were there with me, all my past and futures."

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