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BEING CONTINUED: Lea
by AK Miller
2011-10-26

This article shared 2570 times since Wed Oct 26, 2011
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When she was a child she would say her heart "skipped a beat" when something scared her so badly that her chest ached momentarily. Now, in her adult life, she knows that feeling is actually just panic. She usually only feels it when she thinks she has lost her wallet, or that time when she left her iPhone on the subway and when her cat makes a run for the front door. Today she felt it when she saw him. She knew it was him from halfway down the street. There was no mistaking his gait and his trademark blue hat. It was him and there was only a shrinking downtown block between them. How long had it been since he left? It took her three years to get over him and she has been happy for three years now. So six years ago. So much has happened. This was the first time she has seen him face to face without a wedding or birthday or funeral in between them. Would he stop and say hello? Should she? Before she could decide he stopped about twenty feet in front of her and waited as she approached. Her only options were to talk to him, duck inside a Starbucks and lock herself in the ladies' room or throw herself in front of the next cab that passed. "Hello Jessica," he said with a broad smile and both arms outstretched, hug ready. Stretching out only one hand she shook one of his, and exhaled a sweet "hello." She was close enough to smell him. He smelled the same way he did when they got stoned, cooked dinner together and listened to Cat Stevens records a long time ago. She felt her face go flush, then drain of blood altogether. She thought he said she looked amazing, but she was distracted collecting herself. Not sure what he said, she whispered a "you too." He tried to start some small talk, but she was done looking at him. There is only so much one can take when facing the knife that cut you. "It's good you said hello," she lied, "but I'm rushed to get to an appointment. I hope you are well." He answered her with a quiet "you too." She wrapped herself tight inside her jacket and clomped her boots one before the other as fast as she could, casually, down the sidewalk. At the corner, she turned, leaned up against a skyscraper and closed her eyes tight. After a couple of deep breaths she moved on. She realized then that it's not other people's phantoms that you should fear. It's your own past that can appear without warning and haunt you. Your own ghosts. She realized that with time though, it's not panic she feels when it happens. She felt the love, hurt, happiness, anger and fear that she once felt wash over her again, all at once. And it wasn't panic. It was her heart actually skipping a beat.

This article shared 2570 times since Wed Oct 26, 2011
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