The Story of the Girl begins with the posting on January 8th. My true account spans a four-year period from 2001-2005. This is the third and final chapter.
The Story of the Girl
Chapter Three continued
In September, I continued to make sporadic visits to the dam, hoping the migratory travels of the Canada Geese would bring me a glimpse of the Girl. In an effort to console myself, I crafted a story of my own imaginings, as writers will often do: The Girl had found a mate, yes that was it, and laid a clutch of eggs. She was tending to her goslings in a protected marsh nearby and would make an appearance sometime before late fall. In retrospect, I understood that it was a story one told a child and one my child’s heart wanted very much to believe.
My visits to the dam that autumn became a melancholy sojourn. What had once been a lovely, pastoral place, a kaleidoscope of sights and sounds, now seemed desolate without the Girl. The memory of her calls haunted me and the sound of water rushing over the dam became like a dirge.
When the holidays approached, I decided to write some cards that I kept stashed away in a secretary outfitted with cubbyholes and drawers. As I opened one, a large white feather rose upward for a moment and then landed softly on the black leather blotter. It was one of many down feathers that the Girl shed; I often found them on the grassy slope above the dam. I had gathered this one up — snow white and perfectly intact — and kept it for remembrance. It was more than a keepsake now; it was all I had left of her.
...to be continued