Hello Again

Her empty coffee cup clatters quietly as she sets it on the table, a by-product of her slightly shaky hands. Devoid of the cup, her fingers tremble and she grips her hands together, clenching them in a bid to mask the tremble. She’s certain she doesn’t know him, though he does look familiar, insofar as he has the same features as other people she’s seen. 

“I’m sorry; I don’t know you,” she murmurs, and it’s fortunate for him that she’s so far away from the noise of the espresso machine or he wouldn’t be able to hear her. As it is, she still has the same soft voice as ever, the habit of speaking as few words as possible.

Maybe, he thinks, this is not her. Because if it were, she would have recognized him, surely she would. He’s certain of it. He grapples for words, searching for a way to test her and see if it is her, a way to trigger her memory.

“You don’t remember?” he wonders, his gaze shifting from her to the light drizzle of rain outside.

“Remember what?” she demands, angry now. She resents him, this gray-eyed man who has tilted her afternoon with an accusatory I’ve been looking for you and the fact that this may not be mistaken identity.

He returns his gaze to her. From his coat pocket, he produces a silver necklace – the chain is thin and dainty, and hanging from it is a flat disc, on which is a crudely carved infinity symbol. She remembers this necklace, remembers when she took a tiny blade and carved an approximation of an eight, leaving it broken when she didn’t dare try to patch up the last little curve that missed the blade.

It too clatters from her fingers to the table and he does not look satisfied or pleased or smug – only sad.

She gathers her jacket and leaves.


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