|Along the Aure River in Switzerland|
Elise roamed down the river path, looking carefully at each marker.
38.1…38.2… Reaching 38.4 was all that mattered to her. He would be at 38.4 when the sun went behind the hills to the west.
Lengthening shadows from ancient oaks told her that time was passing, just as the river current that flowed so close to the path. Elise began to jog, peering through the dappled shadows to the next marker.
38.3! Almost there! Elise began to pant with the exertion. Keep looking ahead! He must be there! After all these years, Franz is coming home to me!
Long war years had passed and now they both were old. But, Franz had finally come home.
The pain in her chest struck her down before she knew it. Dropping like a stone, Elise rolled into the swift river to be forever swept away.
Franz watched and waited, looking back and forth down the dark path. When the sun had set and the moon was overhead, Franz sighed. He headed up the path, using his cane as he went.
Oh, Elise! Why didn’t you come? I have waited for decades for you.