A day short of a fortnight after the visit Eric and Corinne had paid to Aunt Susanna’s house the forces controlling Improbable and Undesirable events collided, resulting in Corinne’s discovery that living with Eric was on the brink of bringing her Dissatisfaction.
Today Eric had returned from his stall in the marketplace (at which he had resumed selling lavender bags, edible mushrooms and roasted chestnuts later in the week of the indoor picnic) and the kiss with which he had affectionately greeted Corinne had brought her no pleasure.
Corinne was distraught. She was in love with Eric. She oughtn’t to feel numb inside when their lips brushed in the manner that they had so many times before. The hollow nature of her core upset her and she felt terrible for not being able to share in the delight which formed almost all the sunlight in Eric’s life - even though this was the first occasion on which she hadn’t shared in it.
Corinne had grown so used to the brilliant joy of being loved by Eric and the pride in unfailingly putting light into his beautiful eyes that she was shocked almost to tears by the devastating thought that she might cease to reciprocate Eric’s love. She kissed him after he withdrew, causing him to chuckle and ruffle her hair in that fashion which always made her feel like a child. She was relieved slightly by the light in his eyes but that did not change the fact that she once again felt nothing.
It was incomprehensible. Every Wednesday and Saturday Eric bought her beautiful flowers. Every day he kissed her and told her how special she was to him. And every time he looked at her she saw astonishingly powerful love in his eyes.
And today none of that had touched her.
This morning, before he had left for market, Eric had planted the customary heart-warming kiss on Corinne’s cheek. She had only felt a faint ray of sunlight fall across her heart then but had reckoned that this was due to the typical tiredness she felt in the morning. But, within an hour, she had remembered a dream from the night before which up until this moment had completely evaded her memory. When she didrecall it, her heart had plummeted at a faster speed than a dropping stone.
She had dreamt of marrying Richard.
And this was why she felt such distress now. She was certain that her dream had a certain significance.
An improbable and undesirable significance.