He stared at me, then nodded slowly. I smiled, wishing I hadn’t come. Wishing I’d had time to finish Julianne’s story before I was coaxed…no, forced…back to this world. The smile worked. He stepped to me and wrapped his arms around me, nuzzling his face into my hair.

“It’s good to have you back here,” he said. “I really miss you.”

“I miss you too,” I answered, my cheek flat against his chest, my eyes staring across the room at a poster of Cincinnati’s baseball team. I did miss him but not in the way he thought. Even when he was near I still missed him, missed him in the lonely place he should be in my soul. I wished again I had finished Julianne’s story. There just hadn’t been time.

“When we’re married we won’t have to worry about missing each other,” he said over my head. “We’ll just go on with living. We won’t need to think about each other.”

I frowned. He couldn’t see it, but he must have felt it. Or maybe it was because I didn’t reply that he took me by the shoulders and held me out where he could see me.

“Right?” he asked.

From “Mine to Tell” – when in your soul you’re starving for something more than just near…near is not enough.

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