He was already there when I came in, sitting on a chair in the darker corner of the room. I didn’t see him at first.
That smell of old tobacco…
Suddenly his deep laugh rang out in the room. It was a cold laugh that resounds in the light-less night. I switch the light on and turn towards him. His face is illuminated by the faint light of the lamp. Or is it his smile which glows across the living room? I know this smile, and every single line of his face. Wait, I don’t know these wrinkles. Soft laugh lines around his eyes and his mouth.
“Did I scare you?”
His voice isn’t frightening any-more, quite the contrary, it calms me. He came back, finally.
“ You just surprised me.”
Years passed, but I never forgot. “You haven’t changed”, I tell him.
No, you did not change. Not even your clothes, the suit that went through years with you and the years have gone through it too. The leather shoes that I bought you for your birthday, deformed, holed, lacerated.
“I’ve changed just like you but you can’t see it. You look different.”
“I’m not twenty any-more”
His eyes… Your eyes, which in the past greedily looked at me, admired me, loved me and now seem dull. And yet…
“Why did you come back?”
“I missed you.”
You left me, without even looking back, not a look, not a kiss. You who said you loved me.
“You want a coffee? Short, two sugar, right?”
“No sugar, I have to be careful with my health.”
This smile again. You are right, you look older. Your skin which had the colour and the softness of chocolate seems to be as rough as leather. But it is still you.
“You know, I started a new life after you left. I am with someone now. I have been for several years.”
Why does your face cloud? Your ink black eyes pierce into me. I forgot how scary you could be.
“I also have two cats, and only one fish. I had another but it disappeared.”
His loud laugh fills me up, possesses me then vanishes.
“In our apartment.”
Slowly he stands up and comes closer to me. So close that I can hear his breath and smell his smell. That distinctive mix of blond tobacco and honey candy.
“There is only sugar in candies, you know that?”
He goes round me and delicately takes the cup I just served.
“It’s the only sweetness left in my life.”
The coffee starts shaking in his hands. The soft and powerful hands which had caressed me before are shrivelled up and feeble now.
“You have aged”
“It’s been ten years”
10 years, 2 months, 3 days, 8 hours .And now you are here with your smile and a couple more white hairs.
“What do you want?”