There was old sex in the room and loneliness, and expectation, of something without a shape or name. I remember that yearning, for something that was always about to happen and was never the same as the hands that were on us there and then.

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More from The Handmaid's Tale

The more difficult it was to love the particular man beside us, the more we believed in Love, abstract and total.

All I can hope for is a reconstruction: the way love feels is always approximate.