“Two Lights with No Beacon”
by Ann Marie Simard
She had seen the hotel so many times. The old centennial building, its sturdy Victorian frame, a lot like a mansion, a second place to call home. These business trips were subject to whims, as some would want it - calm atmosphere, the right papers to read, no tourists, please. Marleen - the assistant's name - knew that it was less expensive, by the way, and never asked where to book.
The two lights in the corridor before entering the room were still calmly incandescent with their soothing light. But this time was different. This time she had not come home to herself, in between meetings with Rochas and Dior. This was the time it had lost its lonely retreat magic, maybe forever.
It was their 6th honeymoon. But there was no moon to be mentioned. It was a sky of stark light, cloudy, and those two candles seemed to accuse all of what was wrong. The tense, past tense asymmetrical couple they had become. The symmetry seemed to call for a more appropriate mood, a song in harmony, not in minor keys. A cruise ambiance, a restaurant, France maybe. But two is sometimes such a lonely number. As is six. Maybe past the moon in the seventh house they would have made it.
She downloaded the divorce papers calmly and said she had some thinking to do. Alone, she walked barefoot on the beach. There was no beacon. The stark sky had turned into a starry, starry night.