PRESENT DAY — AT THE HOTEL
Back then, looking in the mirror, she imagined her hand was Robert’s hand saying his goodbye as he always did—so slow, so gentle—a caress only her face knew. Love felt so deep and, oh, the way he smiled at her, eyes making her feel more alive, more there. It always felt like one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments. His warm hand, tracing his finger across her lips and always, always saying to her, “Home…These lips will forever be my reason to come home.”
But at that time, she had just heard he was dead under a mountain of snow. She knew Robert was not coming home. She tried everything to hide from the haunting visions she had of his body, tangled and entombed under a huge avalanche of ice and snow. Was he curled up or did he die trying to claw his way out? The images were too torturous to go on imagining. She begged the nervous voice on the phone to do everything they could to find his body. But they told her that the possibility of recovering Robert’s body was very remote because of the dangerous location he was buried in. And although Monique was not a religious woman, she prayed that night in front of her bathroom mirror. She prayed out loud to whatever god would listen. Please let them find Robert, find my husband’s body. Just please bring him home—to see, to know, to bury…
And some gods must have heard, for the moment she asked, her bathroom prayer was interrupted.
“Monique, Monique!” The voice on the phone was out of breath.
“Monique, it’s Robert, Robert…They found him!”