"Hello?"

"Hello, it's me."

"My God, I can't believe you're calling."

"It's so good to hear your voice. Can I see you? I need to see you. I need to see you right now."

"I can't believe you're calling."

"Why?"

"I'm getting married on Sunday, I won't tell you where."

"This Sunday? Can you repeat that?"

"I'm getting married on Sunday."

"Don't. Don't. Don't do that."

"Come on, stop it."

"Don't. Do you love him?"

"My mother is driving me crazy to get married, and ..."

"Do you love him?"

"... all my friends are married, and ..."

"Do you love him?"

"... I have to go."

"Where? Don't do it. Where? Where are you getting married?"

"I'm not telling you."

"Please, don't do it, don't marry him, don't do it. I love you."

"I have to go, my ..."

And, she hung up the phone.

The next time he saw her, she and her husband were walking into a fish store. He was sitting on a bench and she walked right past him. Their eyes met, hers out of the corners, and she drifted by wordlessly, in slow motion, the wind blowing her hair.

Another time, he was on the same bench and a man passed him with a little boy wearing a little leather motorcycle jacket, holding a string attached to a green frog balloon. He knew in his gut that it was her child and husband. Even if it wasn't, he knew that she had had a little boy.

The next time he saw her, she was getting out of a black car on Broadway. He called her name and she told him about her new little boy.

They spoke, and he watched her lips move, he watched her eyes move, he felt his mouth forming words. He couldn't tell for sure if he was standing on solid ground or in thin air, so he shifted his feet, but it no longer mattered because there she was, right in front of him, like a dream, like a woman, and she was there, still there, there she was.

Copyright Michael Marisi 2002. Title graphic: "White" Copyright The Summerset Review 2002.