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He reminded her of the man who had left so long ago, and it hurt her.

It hurt her so bad her throat would seize up and her eyes would sting, and she would have to leave all flustered before she said something she would regret. She would rush back to her room next door, closing the door with a resounding thud. Slowly, silently, she would turn the lock. She could not leave it open, for the fear she would wander back out and she mustn’t do that. No, no, such a thing should never happen.

She would stand there for several seconds, staring at her mismatched socks, twitching her toes in that erratic way she does when she’s in deep thought. She would think back to the man from all those years ago who she missed every day and every night.

He was an essential part of her being, her very core that simply didn’t exist without him. And yet, she couldn’t bring herself to consider the similarities between them. She would choose to ignore the way they both had the same crooked smile, the same long, nervous fingers and that very same way of doing simply everything. From confessing forbidden feelings to anything as simple as saying goodbye at the end of a long day.

It made her want to curl up into a ball and cry. She had worked so hard to move on and forget, yet here he was. Back again. He had risen from the depths of that fast-flowing river, his broken body fixed and glued back together with her fragile hands. She had pulled him away from that dangerous bridge on that stormy December night and brought him back, hand in hand, into her life again.

But it still wasn’t him. She knew she would have to let him fall back down into the depths again.


Copyright © 2017 Rebecca Sherratt