When I rang her doorbell, after returning home from my voyages, it was the enigma who answered.
“We had begun to think you would never return,” she told me. We did not know each other well, but she knew of me, and I of her.
I could see, by the full sadness, hope, and mother bear protectiveness behind her eyes, that she had heard of me from two separate sources. One, from her step-daughter, whom she loved as her own heart’s blood; and two, from the village, which must have presented such overwhelming evidence against me that she cringed to have such a man stand on her doorstep.
“She’s been waiting for you.”
“I know,” I admitted, “but I’ve actually come to speak to you.”
“Really?” To my relief and surprise, her demeanor softened, and she let me in. “And to what do I owe this visit?”
“To Naomi, actually,”…
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