The year following Paul’s departure was unlike any year in Adrienne’s life. On the surface, things went on as usual. She was active in her links of london children’s lives, she visited with her father once a day, and she worked at the library as she always had. But she carried with her a new zest, fueled by the se¬cret she kept inside, and the change in her attitude wasn’t lost on people around her. She smiled more, they sometimes commented, and even her children occasionally noticed that she took walks after dinner or spent an hour now and then lingering in the links london tub, ignoring the mayhem around her.She thought of Paul always in those moments, but his image was most real whenever she saw the mail truck com¬ing up the road, stopping and starting with each delivery on the route. The mail usually arrived between ten and eleven in the morning, and Adrienne would stand by the window, watching as the truck paused in front of her house. Once it was gone, she would walk to the box and sort through the bundle, looking for the telltale signs of his letters: the beige airmail london of links envelopes he favored, postage stamps that depicted a world she knew nothing about, his name scrawled in the upper-left-hand corner.When his first letter arrived, she read it on the back porch. As soon as she was finished, she started from the beginning and read it a second time more slowly, pausing and lingering over his words. She did the same links of london necklaces with each sub¬sequent letter, and as they began to arrive regularly, she re¬alized that the message in Paul’s note had been true. Though it wasn’t as gratifying as seeing him or feeling his arms around her, the passion in his words somehow made the distance between them seem that much less. She loved to imagine how he looked as he wrote the let¬ters. She pictured him at a battered desk, a single bulb illu¬minating links london sweetie necklace the weary expression on his face. She wondered if he wrote quickly, the words flowing uninterrupted, or whether he would stop now and then to stare into space, collecting his thoughts. Sometimes her images took one form; with the next letter they might take another, depending on what he’d written, and Adrienne would close her eyes as she held it, trying to divine his spirit.She wrote to him as well, answering questions that he’d asked and telling him what was going on in her life. On those links of london triple ring days, she could almost see him beside her; if the breeze moved her hair, it was as if Paul were gently running a finger over her skin; if she heard the faint ticking of a clock, it was the sound of Paul’s heart as she rested her head on his chest. Paul also called every so often, when he had an oppor¬tunity to head into the city, and hearing the tenderness in his voice always made her throat constrict. So did the sound of his laughter or the ache in his tone as he told her how much he missed her. He called during the day, when the kids were at school, and whenever she heard the phone ringing, she found herself pausing before she answered it, hoping it was Paul. The conversations didn’t last long, usu¬ally less links of london sugar cane ring than twenty minutes, but coupled with the letters, it was enough to get her through the next few months. At the library, she began photocopying pages from a va¬riety of books on Ecuador, everything from geography to history, anything that caught her eye.