I SAW YOU.
I was driving through the old part of town when I was caught by the light next to the apartments where we used to live. Mom was shielding her eyes from the afternoon sun and I was fiddling with the rearview mirror to check on— My hand slid from the mirror. I saw you sitting behind me in a black pickup truck with narrowed eyes and a tilted head.
Was it because of the sun or because you saw me, too?
A gentle breeze blew through the crack in your window and ruffled your hair. You still wear it a little long, but that’s OK. I always liked it that way. I closed my eyes and imagined I was running my fingers through those unruly brown curls. Your lips were determined but gentle and your eyes were the color of . . . the color of. . . . No, it’s no use. I may not remember the color of your eyes, but I know they gleamed when you held me close.
I’m such a fool. I thought I was over you.
Is it possible to forget someone who used to make me laugh in the cold winter wind and smile at a sink full of dirty dishes? How can I not remember those late nights on the patio, gazing at no-name stars and shaking my head at crazy wishes? Remember how we used to dance in the elevators between floors and wake each other up in the blue hours of dawn to talk about how we met on the corner at the old bookstore?
That old brick building is gone now and my heart is breaking in two.
Did you leave because of the money? I never made you pay for anything I wanted. I had a job. Was it getting too serious? Was it because you weren’t having fun anymore? You warned me before I moved in that we were supposed to have fun. The last words you said to me were, “Baby—” No, wait, I want to make sure I remember this right. You said, “Angel, I’m bored. I’m going out with the guys.” I waited up till three and for breakfast I had stale crackers and old tea. I saved all the furniture and finished out the rest of the lease, hoping you would come back to me.
I opened my eyes and glanced at the mirror one last time. A woman with long black hair rested her head on your shoulder like I used to do.
The light changed and I drove Mom and our daughter home. She’s two.
You didn’t know about her, did you?