and I'm the kind of love it hurts to look at, but once I was enough to make you try
now, I'm underneath the rubble, trying not to feel the trouble.
She had gone, just as he had known she would eventually.
He had not been foolish enough to think that their children, their beautiful daughters, would be enough to keep her.
Still, he did not fault her for it. He did not allow their daughters fault her for it either. He reminded them patiently that their mother was wild and her wildness was no reason to resent her. No, it was only reason to love her all the more.
They missed her, certainly. They all did. But they did not let this make them bitter. Or, rather, Thomas did not allow it to make any of them bitter.
Life went on, as it always did. He loved her quietly, carried her in his heart. Sometimes he would allow himself to wonder if she would ever come back to him or if he would spend the rest of his days loving her alone. It made no difference, really. His heart belonged to her, whether she wanted it or not. But she owed him nothing, she had not asked him to love her. He had made the decision on his own and would not punish her for it.
The girls are gone now. Temporarily or permanently, he can never be sure. It’s impossible to tell yet if they are as wild as their mother or if they are more prone to staying in one place like him.
The girls are gone and he is alone. But there is some peace in this. He is accustomed to being left, Thomas. From the earliest days of his youth, he would wake in the night to find his twin gone. And she would be there again when he woke, smelling of the sea. He feels no bitter pang of loneliness. There is no sadness in it. He moves freely, without fear, in the light of a heavy sun.
And when he sees her, he thinks he’s dreamed her. Much like he always does. And he smiles. He has convinced himself that he would be content with loving her without ever seeing her again, but he cannot deny the relief that spirals through him at the sight of her.
Just as he cannot deny the sharp stab of something else when he notes the roundness of her barrel. But he does not let his smile slip, as much as it makes his throat ache. “Desire,” he murmurs, warm, and reaches out to touch her shoulder. He does not tell her that he’s missed her. No, he will not make her feel guilty for going.
— and you don't care for me enough to cry —