It was a perfect clock: unreliable, inaccurate. You could only see the numbers up close; from afar, you couldn’t see the numbers at all. It sat beside my wife’s bed and didn’t make noise.

The open window shared the air with an aroma unique to fall in Vermont. A long time ago, I bought her a gold-encrusted maple leaf necklace from one of the General Stores leaf-peepers find along Rte. 100.

I wandered off to a recent hike :

We trekked along a carpeted trail, viewing a deep blue sky produced only by clean mountain air. The foliage was peaking. The sounds of a nearby brook succumbing to gravity over pebbles and boulders, neither offering the courtesy to move for fear the babble would go silent.

As we descended, the trail leveled out as it opened to a Zen Garden.

The valley was surrounded by a variety of Beech, Aspen, Red Oak and Maple trees. Nature’s canvas painted with hues that made Vermont famous for such moments.

We sat on the bank of a Koi Pond along with the lily pads. The black-mottled fish were blurred by the ripples made by our infringing toes.

An impish grin unfurled on Pamela’s face that meant only one thing. We bounded off, giddy with lust. Pamela’s golden leaf necklace glinted as we intertwined our mutual passion.

The alert on my phone shattered the dream. I looked at the perfect clock. I still could not read it yet knew what it meant.

I checked the perfect clock to see if it offered more time. It didn’t. I removed the gold maple leaf necklace from my pocket and put it around her neck. A fallen tear splashed on the surface. I brushed her hair back and kissed her forehead.