I saw her sitting there, like in a dream, behind the big house, at a table for two, surrounded by everything green and vibrant and alive. There was no shade, unless one walked under the rose garden arbor, and I sensed more than saw the small beads of sweat tickle the back of her neck. Her eyes closed when she laughed, not unlike mine, and her lips parted in a familiar way when she spoke. He was telling her stories, of what, I’m not sure, but the time was passing and he never asked a question. I read it on her face, marked the moment with a sigh. That malleable expression, teetering on interest and boredom. The thin gasps of air, it was a lifetime too long. She slowly tugged on her tight braids until they erupted, wild and free. She removed her white gloves and dabbed at the sweat I could feel, that pervasive heat all around. Was she dreaming of another time, another place, where her own stories were composed – jotted down on small scraps of paper to fly away with a cool breeze. He talked two minutes too long and the look in her eyes begged me to come get her.
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