I knelt down on the floor: I was mad to do such a thing: I never even had to do it as a child – my parents never believed in prayer, any more than I do. I hadn’t any idea what to say. Maurice was dead. Extinct. There wasn’t such a thing as a soul. Even the half-happiness I gave him was drained out of him like blood. He would never have the chance to be happy again. With anybody I thought: somebody else could have loved him and made him happier than I could, but now he won’t have that chance. I knelt and put my head on the bed and wished I could believe. Dear God, I said – why dear, why dear? – make me believe. I can’t believe. Make me. I said, I’m a bitch and a fake and I hate myself. I can’t do anything of myself. Make me believe. I shut my eyes tight, and I pressed my nails into the palms of my hands until I could feel nothing but the pain, and I said, I will believe. Let him be alive, and I will believe. Give him a chance. Let him have his happiness. Do this and I’ll believe. But that wasn’t enough. It doesn’t hurt to believe. So I said, I love him and I’ll do anything if you’ll make him alive. I said very slowly, I’ll give him up for ever, only let him be alive with a chance, and I pressed and
pressed and I could feel the skin break, and I said. People can love without seeing each other, can’t they, they love You all their lives without seeing You, and then he came in at the door, and he was alive, and I thought now the agony of being without him starts, and I wished he was safely back dead again under the door.