The Reminiscer

You haven’t forgotten, have you? That evening in November, when everything became so clear.

I was killing time by listening to the sounds coming from the other side of the wall. Running water. The rustle of a hand towel. A cabinet being opened and closed with a thud.

At last, you appeared in the doorway. I freed myself from the wrinkled, soiled sheets, and shuffled towards the foot of the bed.

There you are.’

My usual snappy claptrap must have ceased when our clothes hit the floor, for out came a hush, its saccharine overtone dumbfounding me. And while there was no ‘we’ — not yet, anyway — I played with the thought that there could be.

Like long-separated refugees finally reunited, the two of us fell into an embrace. I pulled you closer, absorbing the scent of your skin; soft, safe … home. We stood so awhile. Me with my chin resting on your shoulder, you with your arms pressed tightly against my back.

‘Why does this feel so right?’ you wondered.

Round and round went the thoughts in my head, spinning and colliding. I wanted to express that you spoke for us both, that your brief absence had felt like a lifetime. But all I could give you was a meek reply.

‘I don’t know.’