No, she never wanted to be a burlesque dancer. What she wanted and only because he asked was a china teacup and saucer preferably English and old, blue or orange or both. Her immediate vision was that it was to be similar to the small collection they once had. The collection he took with him when he left. When he left her.

The bits and pieces of English china had been assembled, bought and bartered over their years spent abroad. Not an expensive collection mind you, it was primarily mixed and matched, the odd and the old, sets or single pieces found during weekend and holiday jaunts, boot sales or charity shops. Think more a collected celebration of pattern and colour diversity. It wasn’t the amassing of. It was more the building of and the layering on. Not so much a collection but a relationship of the past and present and hopeful tomorrow. She knew that. It was exceptionally clear. He took it all with him when he left. When he left her.

She never wanted to be a burlesque dancer but since he was going back there…to that place where the collection became more than…and since he asked can I bring you something and without hesitation she answered a teacup and saucer, he did. He brought her a gift of one teacup and one saucer. She realized, but not for the first time, it wasn’t the same for him. That gift. Her gifts.

It had never been.

Just as well he left.