Welcome home, she says as I take my seat across from her, noting the lines of her forehead and cheeks as she smiles. She has a good smile. A smile that one likes instantly and then forgets once disarmed. These lines suit her though and don’t necessarily age her; they’re just the oil stains, dings and dents of a well and much used tool.
Thanks, I respond.
Thank you for keeping the appointment.
Yeah, well, you did insist didn’t you? You also called my mother when I tried to cancel, so here I am.
Why did you want to cancel? She asks me, smirking. More lines.
I feel good, why would I need to come if I feel good?
Silence. Should I say something? I heard no question. Why is she looking at me expectantly?
What do you mean when you say that you “feel good”? She says at last.
I mean what I say, mostly. To go deeper, or use different words I could say that I feel closure and peace and even joy at times.
Joy in memories?
Yeah, in memories, and in something more—something a bit more substantial—than memories.
Interesting. So You’re trip went well?
In a way.
Could you expand on that? She asks.
I could try, but I wont.
I don’t think you could understand. I don’t completely understand but it’s true and it’s enough for me.
Interesting, she says. Let’s come back to that later.
I tell her, okay, and cross my legs.
Last time we met together you didn’t want to talk much about
No, but I don’t mind so much.
No pressure at all, she tells me. Just talk as much as you feel comfortable.
Well, I think I kind of dreamt…—you know, it—before it happened.
Dreamt it? She asks, without shock or judgment. She writes something down in a notebook, then licks her finger and turns a page. I squirm uncomfortably as I watch. I’ve always found that practice disgusting.
Yes, I tell her.
All of it?
No—not exactly—just elements of the day I saw her for the last time. Or maybe the day just feels like a dream. I
Do you want to tell me what you remember about that day?
Not really, but I suppose that’s why I’m here isn’t it?
If you think so.