Ten Years

I was seventeen when he promised he’d come back to me. We’re both pushing thirty before he calls. We sit across from each other on my screened porch and talk about good times and old friends. We watch our daughters play fairy-princess dress-up though the sliding glass door. I remark at how well they get along. I can’t believe it’s been ten years. His face is the same, just a few pounds fuller. His smile is the same. His eyes are deeper. He holds my stare. He is saying something I am not really listening to, and he moves his knee over one inch to rest it against the inside of mine. For three seconds I can see nothing beyond his pupils and can only hear the sound of the hot blood rushing beneath my skin. I think I feel the porch catch fire, and everything melts. “I have to get something out of the way,” he says and he kisses me with a mouth as soft as I remembered in a hundred dreams. His left hand is in my hair and he brings it to his face and breathes in deep. “You still smell like you,” he says. My heavy eyelids blink only twice before I am called inside to make dinner for the princesses. Over-easy free-range eggs, straight from the hens in my backyard, fried lightly in coconut oil and smothered in organic catsup. He laughs, “I can’t believe I’m in love with a hippie!” I ask if it was the armpit hair that tipped him off. I smiled so much that night that my cheeks were sore the next morning. He never called again.

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