Angie smelled alcohol when she entered. Odd because it didn’t mix with Byron’s meds, but also, he never seemed like the drinking sort. He didn’t answer when she called. The placed looked like the secret police went looking for microfiche.
Byron sat by the window, not really looking out or at the dust in the light. Somewhere in-between.
“Are you okay?” No answer. Photographs and papers littered the bed. And the big plastic magnifying glass that made him believe he could still see things.
“What are you looking for?”
“Who. From the war.”
Angie knew about his time in the Army. When she volunteered through church to read to the blind, he said his preferences were artists’ biographies and histories of WWII. Often they stopped reading and he told long tales of the liberation. But never mentioned a woman. Something too private, Angie gathered, but the alcohol coaxed it out.
“I had a photograph of her, but threw it out when I got married so Irene wouldn’t be jealous. So I drew her picture again and again, from memory, so my vision would never wane.
“This morning I couldn’t remember. And I can’t find a drawing.”
When Byron finally passed out, Angie went to the café where the artists hung out. $5 for my portrait. She came back and let him see it through his magnifier.
“Yes,” he smiled. “You found one.”
“I did,” she said.