“Hey,” he greeted, “how’ve you been?”
I extended my hand but he stretched his arms forward for a hug. His touch, though faint, muted my senses. He housed a familiar scent, a blend of crisp mint and lilac that clouded my racing thoughts.
It had been three years. My last image of him? A tall, thin pharmacist-in-training with crescent dimples. He wore a soft jawline that hid below his firm, tan cheeks. His voice, acquainted with the breeze, was as swift as his smile. He had not changed much–he wore a plain shirt that outlined his handsome figure. The color in his eyes, though, had faded. They felt like strangers.
I followed him to the cafe patio, armored with my tainted tank top and jeans from college. My foot steps were heavy; and my hands were wrestling with air. We sat ourselves down to a view of a swaying palm trees and clouds. Silence ensued.
“So I hear you’re a teacher now?” he asked.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t hold back my emotions.
“Why did you let us go? I loved you. And I hate that I still do.” My thoughts caved into his dimming eyes. Our memories, encapsulated by tears, begged for an escape. He froze–and fought against the currents of my nostalgia.
I tried again: “I miss you.”
“I was so damn good to you,” he whispered, “maybe it was too late. Maybe I was exhausted. Maybe I was weak. But you know what? I fought for us. And I cried for you every night after you left me. Your love… was selfish.”
I dashed out into the street. He followed from behind. “Your love was selfish,” I rewinded in my head. Then, I felt the warmth of his hand on my shoulder.
“Just tell me,” I demanded, “Do you still love me?” His touch shivered. Finger by finger, he began releasing his grip–untangling its warmth. I felt my body detaching from his familiarity. My senses began crawling towards reality. He walked away.
“Your love was selfish,” I rewinded one last time.