For every light there is shadow. For every sound, silence. In this massive room the silence was complete. Considering that there were nearly twenty-five hundred people in the Verizon Center, it was all the more profound.
The last note of Sinfonia Concertante sifted through the hall, and the applause began.
As the conductor turned to the audience, Byrne saw people noticing Christa-Marie, heard their whispers. The story had broken wide a few weeks earlier, the account of Christa-Marie's innocence in the murder of Gabriel Thorne. Byrne could not imagine the courage it had taken for Christa-Marie to come to this place on this night.
Soon the applause turned from the stage and was offered to the woman in the tenth row. A soft spotlight found them. The conductor walked to the footlights and bowed. The orchestra rose to its feet.
Byrne didn't know how much time together they had left, but he knew that he would be with Christa-Marie until the end. More than that, he wondered how it sounded to her. He wondered if it sounded the same, if it meant what it had meant twenty years ago when she had been the brightest star in the heavens.
Kevin Byrne took Christa-Marie's hand and held it as the applause grew, the sound echoing across the deep chasms of memory, the vast and merciful landscape of time.