It was the first time they had met since that brief meeting she’d engineered almost twenty five years ago as he was being hurried into the dangerous exile of being a an agent in a foreign, hostile land. There had been messages on and off, often years apart. After he’d come home she’d enjoyed using the message drop techniques he’d taught her all those years previously for the pleasures of both his communication and defying those who confined her. This was face to face though, and that was different.
He was still tall and still spare. His hair had gone white but his gaze was still sharp and alert.
She felt the weight of every negative thought and comment from the years of empty nights, clutching at straws and dashed hopes.
“I’m broken, I’m sorry,” was what she blurted out when they were in arm’s reach of each other again.
“And I’m old,” he smiled at her, the warmth of it everything she remembered, “but we could still go and have coffee together. Just to talk, if that is what you want.”
“Talk about what?” Maybe being broken didn’t matter. Maybe the days of punishment for pursuing hope really were over.
“How to be parents?” He suggested that with his wonderful smile. “My brothers keep telling me that I have no idea what I’m doing. Mind you, I don’t think Rune has any idea of how to be a daughter either.”