he looked across the bus; she was sitting, knees hugged close, back to the window. she tilted her head slightly and a smile flitted across her face; the sunlight
caught her hair, tracing golden lines of fire
. he closed his eyes for a time, and when he re-opened them, she was gone.
she was there a little the next day. at his desk, he felt a grazing warmth on his shoulder; it was her. he looked up to a co-worker; he sank a little and answered her questions with bloodless cheer.
he opened his eyes during the night and she was still gone. the realization hit him hard; he held himself against the chill air; his dreams were quiet and cold.
“someday this will fade,” he told himself. “some day will be golden. she wasn't mine to keep; i couldn’t show myself, even for her.”
one day she showed up again; she said, “What happened to you? You have not seen the dawn for many days.” he was tremulous. a tear slipped from him and she smiled, wistful and warm. wordlessly, she held him.
She was still there. Her warmth of spirit made him desperate - he couldn't breath. She brushed the hair from his eyes and pulled him closer, looking deeply; “You must let go,” she said. he shuddered with the effort of restraint; she held him for some time, running her fingers through his hair.
he was able to look her in the eyes once more; he said to her, “but what will you do? what will I do? how are we to be?”
she smiled at him; they looked at one another, and she kissed him. his eyes had closed; she softly ran her fingers across his face and walked away, hand trailing behind, lost and longing.
he opened his eyes and it was as if she had never been. the night air whispered across his feet; he rubbed his eyes and cried a little and, inexplicably, the press of days lifted from him.