Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You Don't Know Me (FICTION)

It's strange that you can know a person so well for a given period of time, and then he becomes a complete stranger to you. That's what happened between me and her. I used to know her - man, I used to love her. No one knew her better than I, no one. I knew her smell, how she liked her coffee, when she was having a bad dream. I could tell from her eyes alone when she was mad at me. I could read her like an open book. Nothing remained a mystery. And she loved that I knew her in such an intimate way. I was the only one.

She came to me for answers, ones she couldn't herself provide. One time she looked me in the eyes and said, "Do you really think I can be happy?" I didn't tell her back then, but I vowed to myself that I would be the man to make her happy. I took on the mission to figure out what was missing in her life and to provide it for her.

After a few months, things somehow changed. It became apparent that I couldn't figure out what she needed, much less provide it for her. She left me, on good terms, and I got over it quicker than I thought I would. That was five years ago, and in the meantime, a number of girls have come and gone, but I've always thought about her. Like if she still has breakfast in bed every Sunday morning and shaves her legs only when she aims to impress. I'll admit, sometimes a jealous bitterness comes over me when I think about the man she is impressing now, but it doesn't take long to remember she is no longer mine.

Last week, I ran into her at the corner coffee shop. I didn't recognize her at first. She had a really short haircut. She looked amazing. I always told her to cut her hair short, but she claimed that a woman wasn't feminine enough without long hair. I guess someone finally convinced her otherwise.

She was excited to see me, I think. Perhaps a bit hesitant. She didn't know what to say. I offered to buy her an Iced Mocca, her favorite. She told me, with a bit of surprise in her voice, she doesn't drink coffee anymore. She ordered some fruity tea instead. Never had I seen her drink tea before.

We sat down in a booth, and I stared at this stranger before me. It was a surreal moment. She reminded me of my lost childhood, frozen in some distant memory. She was not a person I knew; in fact, she carried no resemblance to the woman who once possessed all of me. How could this be, I thought to myself. I had nothing to say to her. I longed to get back what we once had, for a moment to be with the old her again. The one who always wore nail polish and had blisters on her feet. She looked at me, with a strange unrecognition, and then we parted ways. You really don't know me, I thought. Not anymore.

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