His thumbs stroked over and over across my knuckles.
I woke gently. Sometimes when one wakes, it’s as if ice has been dropped down one’s spine, but I woke as if I were wrapped in silk and wool. Warm, loose, remembering only the stroking of my knuckles. As I arched my body, I knew he had left me, but I felt no fear. Not immediately . . . and then, like the aforesaid ice, cold crept over me and my toes and fingers clenched, my mind recalling death: Wilfred’s, Harold’s, my mother’s. I sat up with a rush.