If you would have asked Henry what being caught between two women felt like; he would have told you, “like Samson, standing in the Philistine temple.”
It is the kind of feeling my mother says makes monkeys flee when a storm is brewing.
Henry remembers the numbness he felt when he first met Grace. She was poise, charm, beauty and intelligence. He remembers taking her in as though he was working in a vineyard, tending to berries that would produce the finest quality of wine.
He could not bring himself to speak in her presence and for two weeks, this unnerved him. He walked into a room and people got to their feet, but with Grace, just one look, or the awareness that she was around him, rendered him helpless.
He did not as a result, later on, tell her about the wife and kids. Leah belonged to another realm. He attended to her in that realm and cherished every daylight with Grace.
“We are not as the world would seem,” he would say to Grace every time she raised an eyebrow or tilted her head to the side as she watched him.
He did not unravel the mystery that were; Daniel, Samuel, Jonathan and Delilah; his children.
If you would have asked Henry what it felt like when Grace told him “Don’t” and turned her back to him, he would tell you he didn’t know what you were talking about.
It’s like my mother says, “There are so many ways to break a man, but a man who lets himself be wounded is the kind that forests never speak of.”