I watched her from across the bar not knowing if I wanted her to take notice of me or not. The passing years were written on her face and the light she once radiated had dimmed to where it no longer seemed present.

It had always been a strange thought to me, one in which I continuously revisited. The thought that through my entire life, so far and to come, people will always be coming and going. Like revolving doors, they appear and disappear, many of which whose presences I will never think about again. Then they go on, and I go on, and it is going to fluctuate like that continuously for the remainder of my life.

But she will always be there. Trapped in a cold dark corner in the back of my mind, chained to the interior of my being, never knowing how to escape. I see all the people I have known and will ever know, moving quickly through my mind, in and out and in and out, and she stands in the middle of them all looking at me with those pale grey eyes while the rest move in a jumbled blur; still only she remains, the only I can truly see, every detail, everyday.

I just wished I had locked her away before that day, the day where I saw her left with only the pieces I did not want, the pieces I abandoned, having already took the rest. The way the light in her eyes dimmed in a moment as I muttered, “I don’t want you to come with me.”

She never spoke a word, never made a noise. Just stared into my eyes, piercing me. She took a step back and continued to stare even as the bus doors shut, and I never even considered looking back.

I continued to stare at her, watching as she walked from table to table with a forced smile on her face, the girl of my nightmares, the one I wish I could just shake away.

I think of all the pieces, the ones missing from her puzzle, the ones I plucked one by one, demanded and robbed, wishing that if only, if only, I could give them back.