You need not call me ‘Miss’

Thomas always called her ‘Miss’ and every day Sandra wondered why. She had told him once, from behind a half-smile, that he could use her name. ‘Miss’ was just too great a formality. She longed for him one day to call her ‘Sandra, my darling’.

Thomas could not say her name: his voice might crack and break. ‘Miss’ told how much he missed her when she was not there. One day, one day, he would call her ‘Sandra, my darling’.

Time passed but still warm words did not. The air drew frost when Thomas breathed ‘Miss’ and slowly, slowly, the ice between them grew. Seasons passed but words were always winter.

Then she was gone; and then she was back. And now her name was ‘Madam’.

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