Distance

by Random Contributor

Random Contributor is his/her name. Don’t wear it out.

We met, if only fleetingly, in a city that was not our own.

I was there on business, a short hop from the place I now call home. For you, it was just one stop in a long sojourn, a trek halfway across the world.

Together, we explored the city. We walked the beach, we ran in the rain, we navigated the back alleys, we travelled the night.

I never thought I’d fall for you. Maybe it was the way your hair blew in the wind as we watched the sun set over the ocean. Perhaps it was the passion you had when you talked, the creativity of your ideas, the playfulness of your mind’s adventures. Or it could have been that carefree laughter, that ever-smiling face, belying an incredible strength and courage inside.

Whatever it was, I didn’t have the guts to ask if you felt the same way. When we sat on that bench in the park, did you want me to move closer so you could lean on my shoulder? When you stopped along the bridge and watched the boats pass below, did you want me to put my arm around your waist?

I left first. I wanted to stay – I stayed as long as I could. My drive home stretched into the wee hours of the morning, but it was worth the extra moments with you. When I wished you goodbye, you gave me a little gift – but you also took away a piece of my heart.

You flew off a few days later.

I wonder what could have been. Was our connection just part of my imagination? Is the beauty that I remember you for, simply a concoction of my mind? Was I just a stranger to you, doomed to fade into the fog of your memories, like the countless people you must have met on your travels?

Today, we still talk. The wonder of the internet has made sure we are always connected, in a sense. But our messages are separated by hours, the electronic signals racing across the thousands of miles but crawling their way slowly from the screen to your eyes.

If only I could reach across time.

Editor’s Note: Simultaneously generic and specific, the approval of this work was based on the work’s identification of the three characters; the You, the I and the Us.

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