His surroundings were a flurry of people and hustle and bustle without really focusing on anything until his vision crossed and centered onto her, and then everything became clear. She was beautiful. And she looked familiar to him. Then she turned and he remembered. He would always remember that face. His mind swept back to years ago, when his heart was still on fire and his hands were filled with her. A time when everything was beautiful and nothing hurt and before the realities of living came crashing down upon them. His breath caught when he caught her eye. Momentarily, a flicker of recognition, a slight smile, and she went on her way. He felt an emptiness in himself that he wasn’t acutely aware of until the encounter.
They were high school sweethearts. At 16 years of age they conquered the world together. The swing they sat as they pushed higher and higher like the many risks one is able to take when young. Their love was innocent and pure, untainted by the realities of adulthood. She was the class clown, and he had been that nerdy kid on the block who pretty much was only concerned with his academic pursuits and girls, the latter a case with all teenage boys. He didn’t really know what she saw in him or how he had the balls to ask her out but he did and here they were, holding hands and making out behind the parking lot at the grocery store.
The first sign he felt things weren’t as good as they seemed was when they were 18 and she told him she wanted a short break out of the blue. Confused he looked to her for an answer but didn’t know what to say so he had let her be. A short break grew into a long one and one day he saw her with him in school, his hands wrapped around her butt.
But that was 20 years ago. He got his shit together and even made a name out of himself. He wouldn’t call himself successful, but he managed to put food on his plate from his writing. Some of his books were flops but two of them managed to become sort of popular. Not really John Green popular, but enough for a good number of bookstores to offer his books for sale. That came with a bit of effort from extensive promotion and help from his PR.
And being 20 years ago he got over her pretty quickly, for the world had so much tantalising things to offer to an impressionable youth of 18 years of age. He had a couple of relationships and his fair share of flings after her. But they were not quite as electric as what he had with her. At the back of his head he knew that that sort of electric only came with youth and from the purest sort of love where both parties pour their hearts out into each other, the sort of loving that would soon become tainted by time and experiences. But he couldn’t really convince himself and was always looking for that same electricity. Even now, at 35 years of age.