In Another Life…

“In another life, I would be your girl
We’d keep all the promises, be us against the world!
In another life, I would make you stay,
So I don’t have to say you were the one that got away.”
The One that got Away, Katy Perry

She stood there waiting.
Her feet were so sore. She had been on them all day.
That’s what happens when you save all your errands until the end of the week.
If only she had done them earlier, there’d be no line ups.
Suddenly, there was a commotion a few people in front of her.
A little girl, probably two or three years old, curly blond locks the kind that only Disney characters are made with, was jumping up and down.
She was trying to get her father’s attention.
He finally gave her a candy. She took it gleefully and sat down by his feet.
The woman looked at him.
From the back he seemed familiar, tall, dark wavy brown hair. He was wearing a plaid blue shirt and worn jeans. She liked the way they sat on him. His boots were weathered.

And then…he turned his head.

He began to survey the room, trying to distract himself away from the mind-numbing delay.
That’s when he saw her.
She looked into his eyes. He looked into hers.
Without warning, they both froze.
She couldn’t move. She couldn’t think.
Her eyes were fixed on him.
She wanted to smile but her lips wouldn’t take the shape.
Like a hurricane, she was overwhelmed by a tremendous flood of emotions wrapped in flashbacks…

He kissed her at the front door of her childhood home after their first date and that kiss seemed to go on for hours…
He took her hand as they walked lovingly along the beach at sunset…
Her heart ached as she couldn’t control the images, like a slideshow, now moving before her eyes.
She surprised him at work with balloons and a cake on his 19th birthday even though his supervisor was not pleased with the interruptions…
He bought her tickets to a concert she never dreamed she could attend only to have to find another partner as he had taken ill. She called him from the venue letting him hear it with her phone…
She cried to him in the rain devastated by a family tragedy, his embrace, those arms, the only thing holding her together…
He called late one night, waking her, to apologize for his foolishness. She never wanted him more…
She stuffed pink cotton candy into his mouth as he laughed trying to smear his ice cream all over her face at the local fair…
And then… it was goodbye.
He was moving across the country. She was staying nearby.
They made promises in earnest but… none of them came true.
She dated. He dated.
They would never speak again.

“I can help you down here,” she heard someone call out.
Ripped from her daydream, she was forced to look up.
He was gone… again.
She whipped around, wildly searching the crowd, the room, the exit, for one last glance.
There he was holding the door open for his beautiful young one.
He turned his head and looked into her eyes one last time.
And there was that smile, that incredible, melting smile that she had loved, that knocked her out every time.
He offered it kindly and she warmly accepted, offering as well a slight raising of her hand.
For a second she thought she saw sadness in his eyes too…but she wasn’t sure.
Then… the glass door closed and… the teller took her card.

peekiequeen c.2013