When I finally saw her again, she was seven months pregnant with her second child. She was sitting at a kitchen table with her legs crossed, sipping tea from a delicate cup with a hairline crack near the rim. Grape leaves adorned the cup and the glaze had faded. I walked toward the table with heavy legs and I could see the cup tilt slightly as she set it in the saucer with a rocky drop. Our eyes met and seeing those blue eyes made my face twitch and my breath collapsed. My lips grew tight and I could feel my eyes start to leak and my sinuses felt temporarily congested. My feet gripped the floor as I methodically moved toward her and pulled out the iron chair nearest to her facing the window. Her hair was longer now and the striped sweater she was wearing was multi-colored, it folded many times where the top of the baby inside her lived.
I sat down and put my hands in my lap. I had replayed the moment in my mind for the eternity of years and I didn't know if my words would come out right, or if the tone of my voice could battle the choked feeling inside me, but the words came.
"Why did you forget me?" I asked, letting my eyes drift to the grain in the wood of the table, watching her tea steam and feeling my heart fly away.
She put her hand on the table and I let one of mine come near hers and they slowly drifted toward one another like two flecks of flotsam drifting in the tide, washed on shore in the foam of wave left stuck in the wet sand. Left stuck like a moment we might never forget.
"I never forgot you", she said putting her hand on mine. Her hand felt cold and I drew it away subconsciously. She reached further and held onto my hand tight and her grip felt like a hug without pats on the back. Our skin so close made me nervous and jaded with a wish that might have come true. I was speechless and licked my dry lips trying to muster a sound.
"You have always been with me, I keep up with you by reading your stuff." She smiled and let go of my hand moving it to her belly and the baby inside her.
My upper lip quivered and I could taste leftover booze on my breath. I couldn't know what to say because I was thinking of the times we let our fingertips touch and how the grooves of our tips fit just like ridged spoons. I swallowed like I had a hairball in my coffee and I wanted to tell her that I missed her, but the alarm woke me up. I hit the snooze button and tried desperately to fall back asleep and grip onto the fading dream. I couldn't, my heart was beating too hard and I had to take a leak. I tossed and turned and found the cold spot on the bed and crunched the pillows under my cheek and tucked my feet under the errant edge of sheet. No dice.
I lay there under cover and examined my estranged life. How could it be that my abandoned self could be found in a simple dream?
My bladder was full and I had a sleepy, pubescent hard on. I didn't want to move, I only wanted to go back to the dream to be near her. Pitiful self loathing subconscious. I rolled out of bed with defiance as the blind tapped the windowsill with wind as I shuffled to the bathroom down the long hall. I felt like a teenager, trying to angle my hard on piss into the bowl. This brought great internal laughter as I bent my knees and leaned forward. The piss shot out sideways and I laughed out loud. I washed my hands under cold water and cupped them, I stayed close to scoop water into my dry mouth and then soaked my face in the terry cloth towel. I felt fresh and new until I looked in the mirror.
My face was red and haggard, little bumps lived in the bags under my eyes and I delicately put a finger there and the skin felt soft. I pulled at the skin to reveal a bit of red under the ball and I felt yellow for not living my life.