Carleen no longer grieved for, but often remembered Charlie. Almost two decades had passed since he was declared missing. Never to be seen again, yet his body never recovered, had instilled a great deal of confusion while she tried to move on with her life.
Walking along the chilled sidewalk, she passes concrete walls, wood and metal doors, clear and tinted windows. Initially caught by her own reflection, she looks through the floor-to-ceiling glass facade and notices a man sitting at a restaurant bar. Not a super-styled metro-handsome kinda-man, but more of a distinguished, confident, with a touch of rugged and real kinda-man. He instantly looks up and gazes back at her.
His unblinking eyes stay locked into hers as she gaits along the sidewalk. Caught by the wind, wisps of raven strands whisk along her cheekbone and lips. Still caught-up with him, his intense yet non-threatening mesmerizing stare slips through her like a strand of silken lining. A very pleasant sensation reminiscent of how she felt whenever close to Charlie, but unlike Charlie, whose eyes were green, this man’s eyes are pale blue.
Releasing memories of the past, she suddenly finds herself smiling at him. Albeit a Mona Lisa closed-lip smile, it’s an undeniably real and heartfelt one which he reacts to with an inquisitive squint and tilt of the head.
Their limited reaction is familiar to both of them. Harnessed and controlled emotions from two individuals’ protecting their innate core due to heartbreak and loss, is easily recognized without words being spoken.
Carleen, obliged to release the captivating moment in order to not trip and fall flat-faced on the sidewalk, struggles with multitudinous thoughts running through her head. Should I turn back? Should I attempt sign language through the glass? Or should I just keep walking? Her thoughts brought to an abrupt stop by two towering glass doors, she inhales cold air and exhales a massive cloud of condensed warm breath while paused by the open doors.
Their gaze broken as she disappeared beyond the street side windows, he turns back to the bar where a slight sigh escapes him. His thoughts, now becoming clearer, he tries to figure out where he remembers her from. Had they met before? She looked so familiar to him, yet at the same time, he couldn’t understand how he could ever forget someone as captivating as the woman who had just walked by.
Signaling the bartender for another glass of rye, a swaying motion catches his attention. His shoulders solidly anchored in place, he looks to his left. His eyes lock into hers again, he maintains his cool and appears unaffected while she stands just a couple of seats away from him.
Her smile sends a glitter to her eyes as she asks inquisitively, “I couldn’t help but notice you as I walked by. I wonder if we might’ve met before?”
Slightly stunned to hear his own thoughts uttered, his stalling response is broken by the pleasant cadence of her voice, “But then again, I’m quite certain I’d remember you if we had met before.”
Her playful demeanor sparks a smooth row of laughter to escaping him. Having yet to vocalize his thoughts, he finds himself intrigued and slightly bewildered. Who was this, and what were the chances of her standing here next to him? Lost in his thoughts, the pause extends without a word from him.
“I apologize. I didn’t mean to interrupt. I just thought I might know you.” Still smiling, she leans back slightly and prepares to turn away, “Enjoy the rest of the evening.”
Quickly awakened from his stupor, his back straightens but he remains in his seat and promptly stops her from walking away, “No, no, not at all. You weren’t interrupting me. Not from anything other than myself trying to figure out where I might know you from.”
Her smile gradually widens with relief as he moves the seat immediately next to his, “Please, won’t you join me for a drink while we try to resolve this shared conundrum?”
Moving back and forth in time, years together or apart, love keeps coming around for this couple. Over time and a time again, they keep on meeting once again.
Pieces and passages of Love Comes Around are added weekly.
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