Years Too Late

He patted the back of her hand, gave her a wan smile; when she did not withdraw her hand, a coldness crept into his marrow, sending a winters worth of shivers through his soul.

“I have a favor to ask of you,” she said, glancing up from their hands on the table. “Something I should have asked of you years ago.”

A sigh escaped his lungs and he drew in a deep breath of cinnamon fragrance. “You know I’d do anything for you.” He tried to make it sound nobel, but feared it came across as fatalistic. He knew the question even before it was on his lips, and the weight of years that had crossed under the bridge between them flowed high and threatened to wash them both out to sea.