Irving Ambrosi forgot to comb his hair again. He forgot most basic things like eating, bathing, and changing clothes. He wore his stained button down shirt from yesterday topped with a tweed sportcoat. But he never forgot to put in his dentures. He didn’t want her to see him without his teeth. He swiped a hand over his disheveled white hair and hurried into the library of his old home. Their home.

The library always spoke to Lilibeth’s imagination. She used to spend hours reading and writing letters, which she never sent. Irving often thought that her letters were really stories of her own composition.

The day she died, twenty years ago now, left him broken and alone. Their forty-year-old daughter tried to get Irving out of the house, but over the past six months, Irving had completely refused, claiming disinterest in her attempts to go for a drive or to restaurants.

Irving had no illusions about the fact that he was probably going crazy, but his path to insanity had been so sweet, so precious, he did not fear it. He welcomed it with the eagerness of his blissful wedding to Lilibeth with the stars twinkling overhead.

As he stepped into the library, those same stars transformed the ceiling of the library into a glowing wonderland. The moon shown an amber light onto the books, fading carpet and himself, making everything appear golden. She stood next to the desk, her back turned. “My love,” Irving whispered.

Lilibeth’s honeyed head spun and she greeted him with a delighted smile. Her beautiful blue eyes seemed to dance for him. Irving sighed as they reached for each other. She looked exactly the same as he remembered, only now less human, more goddess in her glittering, immortal beauty.  It baffled him how she could possibly become more enchanting. They clung to one another. Irving breathed her scent—soft lily, spicy musk, all Lilibeth.

“I have something for you, my Irving,” Lilibeth said. She disentangled herself and walked gracefully to the bookcase behind the desk. Kneeling, she extracted a hefty book. Lilibeth pushed the tome across the desk. Irving opened the cover, finding a hidden square hole containing folded papers. Irving lifted the delicate pages with care and began reading.

Lilibeth’s stories.

The two looked at one another, their eyes sparkling. “Thank you, my love.” Irving pulled Lilibeth to him and kissed her cherished lips.

First published in Truck, edited by Anny Ballardini, November 2014.