It had only been a few months but he still took the left turn on Booker Street then a right on West Cottonwood to get to the apartment. The only difference now was he no longer lived there. Eventually, he would break the habit, but not today.
He missed her. He told her that the last time they talked. The response she offered only broke his heart more, something he didn't think was possible.
Why hadn't he noticed the divide that was growing between them? Maybe if he had noticed it sooner he could have done something about it. Was it something she had mentioned and he had ignored? Water under the bridge. Spilled milk.
He knocked on the door. His excuse this time was that he needed to get his mail. She answered looking more beautiful than the last time he came by to get the mail.
They exchanged brief pleasantries. It was awkward, not because they were strangers, but because of how intimately they had once known each other.
She let him in and as he walked behind her to the antique table in the front hallway where they used to keep the mail, her fragrance trailed behind her and swirled around him. He breathed in deeply, hoping to hold on to and store her scent in his mind, his soul.
Their relationship was over. Period. Both hearts had been too damaged to repair. He knew. She said it. But that didn't mean he still couldn't remember the good times. And he did.
Her laugh. Her passion. Her incredible intellect and crazy sense of humor. The way she liked to sing when she cooked. That wasn't all. Every night when he closed his eyes he remembered her touch, her kisses, and the curve of her hips, her thighs, and the little birthmark between her breasts.
He remembered how he wanted to occupy the spaces she occupied, and how empty every space felt now without her.
He took the mail she had bundled so nicely with a small rubber band and thanked her. They said goodbye, awkwardly.
Down the stairs and back out on the street, each step took him further away from her and the life they once shared. His friends assured him that there would be other relationships, other women. They were right. Time heals all wounds, right? Perhaps, but there would never be another her. That was probably a good thing because he would never be the same him.
Photo credit - Ric Rodrigues