I still remember that talk in December. The wind had grown cold and cut you to the bone if you didn’t wear any extra clothing. Southern California was pretty forgiving, but the chill would still surprise me.
I hadn’t seen her in months. I had all but given up on ever wanting to see her again, but she texted me asking to meet her for coffee.
She knew I couldn’t refuse.
We sat there, at the local coffee shop, watching couples bundled in coats that were too big bustle along the sidewalk. There had been a slight drizzle earlier, so the musty smell of wet asphalt was still fresh in the cold, December air.
She sat there, face in her phone as always, as I watched the steam from my green tea climb lazily out into the air. She put her phone down, took a dainty sip from her hot cocoa, and looked at me. Her brown eyes, big in what looked to me as relief, locked with mine, but Time didn’t stop like it used to.
“I feel like it has been so long since we last talked, you know?”
Of course it has. Isn’t that what you wanted? You wanted space or whatever it is you thought you wanted.
“I didn’t think I’d ever get to see you again. I just can’t explain how we always come back in spite of all that’s happened between us.”
I’m not the one burning bridges. I never have. You were always the one to hide away and stop talking. Even back when we used to work together, you ignored me and pretended like I didn’t know your mother was a raging narcissist and your father is to thank for your complete lack of trust in men.
We got up from our table, and walked out into the parking lot. She walked closer to me than usual, and normally, I would assume it meant something. Normally.
We got to her car. She turned to give me one last smile and hugged me, a little tighter than usual. She looked up into my eyes as she opened the door to her car.
“I’m just so glad that you wanted to come see me.”
“I just…I really missed you, H.”
I laughed, which clearly threw her off, judging by the confused look I got.
Just how dense do you think I am?
“You don’t miss me. You never did. You just missed the one person that loved you so much, no matter what, that you never had to love them back.”
I turned my back to her, and fumbled for my keys. I scanned the parking lot, trying to remember where I parked. I looked at her one last time, taking special note of how wide her beautiful brown eyes were that night. She tried forming a word, but was at a loss.
“I should remember that.”
I should fucking remember that.
I still remember that talk in December.