As Time Goes By.
ONE EVENING BECAME memorable. It was just the four of them at dinner. Etienne and Mimi announced to the Porters they would marry in the Spring. Several toasts to their happiness later, Mr. Porter—forgetting to wink—began: We were also twenty-four and nineteen once. I was ready to go to work. I had just received my orders from the Bishop so immediately started for Lois’ farmhouse to give her the news. It was a beautiful summer afternoon.
Mrs. Porter, her body motionless anticipated his words, savoring the scenes they evoked as the dining room: filled with the song of birds, the rustling of their feathers in flight, the smell of the cherry tree where they alighted and of lilacs in bloom.
We were alone in the porch of her parent’s farmhouse. Mr. Porter continued: I have to leave next week. I came to say good-bye, I said, and had to look away, overcome by my emotions. By this nineteen-year-Old’s beauty, her lilac blue eyes, honey colored hair, bright rose lips, hourglass silhouette. When I looked at her again it was to blurt out: I came to ask you to wait for me. I’ll be gone two years....