It’s been five years since they last met in person. She thinks he’s changed a lot. He thinks the same about her. They sit restlessly in their own couch looking out to the busy street with ribbons of sunlight floating in the air. She always likes afternoons and the moments when the sun sets, but never quite as much as now.
He quietly comply with the woman before him. A more mature version of the girl he used to know, with much longer and tamed hair, hardened hands, but still the same amazing cheekbones despite of her plumpier cheeks. Still the same deep dark eyes that seem to be ready to swallow him whole.
She thinks he looks much like a hippie now. While, five years ago, he was such a neat person with crewcut hair, a pair of dorky glasses, well-ironed shirts and ties, although he did always wear sneakers to work. Now he’s grown such a long hair, beard and mustache, wearing a bleached shirt and a pair of stonewashed jeans. She closes her eyes for a moment when thinking, “But he still smells really good and is very well maintained too.”
Seven years ago they fell in love with each other at the very same moment in time; when their eyes met over the same CD in a record store downtown. It was Hall & Oates that first bond them, then they learned that they share the same sense of humor and readings. He thought she was so smart. She though he was amazingly intelligent. Then it was summer everyday for the next two years for them. Love, love, love. They were so sure they would be together for the rest of their lives. Until one day they realized they wouldn’t go the same direction. They couldn’t. The path branched and they decided to take the different way from the other.
They both thought how strange fate was. How could it be that two people in love decided not to be together and yet so sure about it?
It was half an hour ago when they ran into each other in the very same record store they met seven years ago. But this time he was looking for a pair of headphones and she was hunting for a jazz piano CD for her class. They bumped before the cashier. Despite of five silent years and numbers of changes, they instantly recognized each other. He offered her a cup of coffee and she said yes. She strongly believed they didn’t meet again only for a brief ‘hi’ and ‘bye’.
So here they are, breathing dead air and letting the memories embrace them along with the sound of lounge piano and people chattering about. They have so much to say yet too afraid to speak. All they have learned about each other for the last twenty minutes was that they both are engaged.
She stirs her latte and finishes it at once to compress her uneasy feeling. All those damn butterflies in her tummy. Then she tries so hard to look him in the eyes and say, “Thank you, so much, for the coffee.”
He smiles widely, “My pleasure, really.” While his cup of lemon tea is still half filled. “Where are you headed to after this?”
“Home.” she nods, “Yeah. You?”
“Not sure. The sun is too good to pass by. Guess I’m going to take a walk down to the lake.”
She looks at her empty cup thinking, “Darn you. You know I can’t resist that bench by the lake.”
“Wanna join?” he looks up to her eyes.
She exhales loudly. Ready to explode in any minute now. “Sure, why not.”
So they grab their bags then slip out of the diner to get immersed in the warm afternoon sun. They think it’s about to be summer allover again. They smile to themselves thinking how weird it is that they still have feelings for each other yet being with someone else at the same time.
He really holds himself back from reaching to her hand and hold it.
She keeps telling herself not to lean aside to sniff him.
They reach the wooden bench by the lake now. Where they used to spend most of their afternoons watching the sun set together. Silently they sit side by side just when the yellow and orange sheets spread themselves in the horizon and blanket the surface of the glowing lake altogether.
He closes his eyes humming, “One on one, I wanna play that game tonight…”
She looks down to her shoes humming, “I’ll do almost anything that you want me to. But I can’t go for that…”
Now he’s sitting alone watching the water gleams and she’s on her way home.
day twenty five of 365