Is that you, Hope?
He hadn’t seen her in so long that if she answered back, he might not know how to respond, but he missed her enough to risk it.
Having gone their separate ways years ago, neither entirely abandoned the consciousness of the other. Memories of fluttering hearts and deep breaths, of sweet smells and soft sounds were stored in a vault, brought out to play like prized toys, although there was no one with whom to share.
The depth of their love was uncharted. A lifelong dance, her head on his chest, waist embraced firmly, hands clasped with an assurance that she would always be safe with him.
After the split, he would close his eyes tighter and tighter each time she was summoned to appear in his mind. He was certain beyond what he knew that she could hear him, even if she wasn’t there to see.
I won’t forget you, Hope. I’ll wait for you.
Birthdays came and went. Ritual and habit continued to salvage what little he had to cling to as her memory diminished with each day, like daylight during December.
Years had passed, and Hope was fading. Days were bland and he had all but forgotten the flavor of life. Waking hours were simply motions to wander through until he could adjourn to the place where dreams are made.
If I don’t recognize you when you come, please don’t forget about me.
Little did he know that every day, Hope was watching from close by. She saw how his smile had eroded into an expressionless flat line. His eyes weren’t angry, but they were fairly dim and lacking expression. He walked slower and didn’t seem interested in talking to others.
She hadn’t forgotten him, but she could not bring herself to be seen. Once his heart was filled with her; she reflected through his eyes, she made him kinder, and she tamed his demons.
But they were estranged. Where to start?
She decided that he would have to find her again, even if it took an entire lifetime, which is the same conclusion he had drawn, right before his memory faded completely…
…and her memory was beginning to cloud…