The Torch He Carried Before Him In The Dark

It was that, all her life, she has said no. From the beginning, she had let so few people in. That first night, his young face glowing up at hers in the black light, bodies beating the air around them, and inside her there was the unexpected sharp recognition; oh, this, a sudden peace arriving for her, she who hadn’t been at peace since she was so little. Out of nowhere… He had seen her and made the leap and swum through the crowd and had taken her hand, this bright boy who was giving her a place to rest. He offered her not only his whole laughing self, the past that built him and the warm beating body that moved her with its beauty and the future she felt compressed and waiting, but also the torch he carried before him in the dark, his understanding, dazzling, instant, that there was goodness at her core. With the gift came the bitter seed of regret, the unbridgeable gap between the Mathilde she was and the Mathilde he had seen her to be. A question in the end of vision.

— Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies (pp. 389-390)


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