~ a story ~
I knew it wasn’t him.
He wasn’t due in town for another month, his job taking him far away from me to places he never spoke of and people I didn’t know.
I could see, even in the shadow of the column by his seat, an almost familiar chin, almost familiar cheekbones, an almost familiar profile.
For a breath, I imagined my joyous surprise, imagined calling out to him, his glancing up, our eyes meeting, and the mad dash to each other. I imagined the impassioned embrace, the loss of care, the smell and taste of him, the feeling of his arms once more.
But, as the escalator slowly brought him more into view, and moved me slowly away from him, I could see it wasn’t the man I missed in my bed. It wasn’t the face I woke up to on lazy Sunday mornings, sunlight drifting into our room through the smallest of slits in our blinds. It wasn’t my Wesley, as much as I wanted it to be.
As she came into to view, I thought for a moment that it could’ve been her.
For a moment, I didn’t note how wrong the hair was. Red, yes, but not as vibrant, not as alive as hers was.
For a moment, I didn’t see how much shorter she was, how even in tall boots her height didn’t quite match.
Even her skin I ignored; it was tanned, unlike the pale milky color of the one I longed for, my sister, my heart.
For a split second I could’ve run, dashed towards her, encircled my arms around this woman, believing she was real, she was alive, embracing my sister, crying out, “Claudette, sweet Claudette. Beautiful, young, perfect Claudette! You are not lost. You are not hurt, mutilated, and buried in a box in a quiet meadow near our home. You are here. You are alive. My love, my sister, my heart!”
But the millisecond passed, and the woman walked away, and I remembered it all over again.
Every day I see them, the people I long for most in the strangers that pass me by. Every day I hope, in bit and pieces of time, for what I know cannot be.
My dreams are haunting me.
Categorised as: Gen Fiction
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