Fyodor loved Anna with pure love of caring. All through their former acquaintance he cared for her in a gentle, non-passionate, non-sexual way. She was the essence of friendship, though this was never put to the test. Until tragedy struck. Her profound loss. Disorientation. A need for help, comfort, succour.
Fyodor was on the spot to comfort Ann. She could not cry at the loss of her husband. She spent the last days concerned about the welfare of her children, her in-laws, her sister, and Fyodor himself, who was also deeply attached to her husband. For her, dry-eyed and smiling, there were things to be done, papers to be signed and submitted, new arrangements to be made. Since, being a student with final exams near, she had been unable to study those past weeks, she applied herself with will and determination that caused everyone to marvel at her. She made arrangements for the children to be dropped and picked up from school, since she couldn't drive.
Weeks passed and she still hadn't cried. She was growing nervous and thinner. Distracted when she was at home or not occupied in household activities. She and Fyodor spoke about those things, and she confided that she couldn't cry with people around.
"I could carry you to a quiet place. Perhaps a beach early in the morning. Then you may be able to cry your grief," he suggested.
The following Saturday he passed for her at six in the morning. They drove in the early sunlight to a beach about ten miles away. There were very few people about at that time. Fyodor led her to the water's edge near a large log that was being washed by the morning's tide.
Leaving her alone, he went strolling for a mile or two, immersed in his own thoughts, which sometimes floated, dived and dipped, like some of the birds that inhabited the area. He watched a flock of parrots squawking their zigzag flight pattern overhead as they unerringly headed for their feeding ground.
"Everything goes along the same", he thought, "just as in my childhood days in Mayo, Siparia and Palo Seco. The dead die, the living live."
After about an hour or so he started back towards Anna, who was looking about her, apparently in agitation. He held out his arms to her. She rushed into them with a kind of thankfulness, intermingling with her sighs and sobs. They just stood there for immovable moments in the morning sun, locked into each other's arms. He brushed her forehead and kissed her tears away, as their mouths met, hesitated, and their lips locked sweetly, passionately, there, under the warming sun. After some time, they released each other, turned, and walked silently to the car.