Vincent's Birthday Vignette

“Make a wish, Vincent.”

Between them, in the dim and quiet chamber, a small cake rests on a plate held up in offering.

He seems torn. The candle is burning, like an opportunity that could be missed if not seized upon, but he also looks at her as if she might disappear if he closes his eyes.

He does shut them finally. One… two… coalescing thoughts into a single yearning… He opens his eyes and blows.

The dark room gets darker, but she would bet her salt he can see her smile.

“What did you wish for, Vincent?” she asks, twisting to set the plate on his small table.

Before she turns back, he takes one of her hands in his own and kisses it. Somehow, even though he doesn’t close his eyes this time, this too feels like a wish.

“If I tell you, Catherine, it might not come true,” he says, keeping her gaze, brazen, almost uncharacteristically so. He kisses her fingers again, running his lips over the length of them.

He is bold. Years are passing. Opportunities almost gone.

She too won’t let this occasion fly by uncelebrated and unseized.

She cups his jaw and pulls him closer.

“I think I can guess.”

She kisses the corner of his mouth, then draws back into his fixed stare. “Will you let me?”

“Yes…”

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