She saw a glimpse of him, like a tree through the fog, there but not quite there until you’re touching it, your cold fingertips grazing its moist bark confirming its existence.
Yet, he didn’t appear, her fingertips wouln’t be finding his skin, tracing that smile, he was a part of the fog, wavering in the street lights as the wind moved through it. A figment of her imagination, his name playing on her mind. Her face curved into a soft smile and she breathed in the fresh air, listening to the frozen grass crunching beneath her feet as her dogs ran around with joy. She realised with a sad pang that he never met these beautiful creatures that had kept her alive, though they drove her insane. He hadn’t seen her get tattoed to release her pain, learn to dance with abandonment, sing her heart out on a stage, grow, change, learn to live and be herself on her own terms.
They had become people frozen in the past, images left long ago in an imaginary attic in an imaginary house that was never finished and lived in.
They were once strangers, they were once again. How peculiar life is.
But I’m still here, she thought to herself, I’m still here, holding on.
If she saw him now, would she still be able to read those brown eyes? She would know his smile, out of a billion smiles, she could pick his out but his laugh, it was now a distant sound, blurry, scratched from old replays, now only an echo of time gone by.
What would it be like to see a smile you knew so well on a stranger?
She wouldn’t let herself dwell on it, she let go, unclenching her hands, breathing deeply and surprising herself for feeling okay with these thoughts. He was an important part of her history and as history that he was, like the page of an old book, a book Instagram had shook the dust off by knocking it off the shelf where it lived, she carefully closed it.
It was a story her heart had re-read so many times that its pages were worn and tear stained and now she slowly caressed the cover and put it back on its shelf in her mind and clicked x on the friend suggestion. It was a story that would not be re-written, nor forgotten, it was a love story, tragic, beautiful and had come to an end and she was okay with that.