I wondered if I would ever see her again. I wondered who she was, what she was. Was it all just a dream, a fantasy brought on by solitude and lust and frustration? I thought for several days that I would never be sure, that the whole interlude would always just be a memory in my own head.
But I was wrong. After moping around the house for a while, I pulled myself together and once again visited the market in the local town, to buy flour and meat and butter for the week ahead, as was my habit. As I made my way through the crowds to my favorite stalls, I heard my name, spoken aloud in a voice which I immediately recognized, even though I would swear I had never really heard it before.
I turned and looked into her eyes; eyes at a level only a little below my own, eyes bright within an almost-familiar face. They were the very same eyes, I was sure.
"Saffy? Is it you?" I gasped.
"Yes, it is," she replied, her eyes never leaving my face, "I have taken your gift and now I can bind myself to you forever. If that's what your heart desires."
With tears in my eyes, I took her hands in mine.
"We will be together," I assured her, "Always."
I had listened motionless to the man's tale, hardly daring to breath, not wanting the break the spell of his amazing story. Finally, he stopped, his confession - or whatever it was now completed. His heavy rhythmic breathing indicated that he had fallen deeply asleep. I wondered if he would even remember telling me this secret.
Carefully, so as not to disturb him with my movements, I lifted myself up on one elbow and looked again at his girlfriend, the woman who had been introduced to me as Saffy, still snoring gently. By the half-light of the moon streaming in through the open curtains, I saw again her slender appearance, a look which I had already described as "elfin", with high cheekbones and the faint suggestion of points at the tips of the ears.
Could it really all be true?
If you have enjoyed this story, why not explore the other stories in the Fantasy and Science Fiction collection?