I picked out the blue one with the gold flowers embroidered on it.
I held the dress over my chest.
“It looks good on you, señorita.” A familiar voice pierced through the jazz music the clothing store was playing.
And there you were.
You’re still wearing that same old air of mystery. Your eyes looked sadder but your lips still curl up ever so slightly whenever you smile.
I was startled.
I backed away from the mirror, bumping on to your chest.
You look older but you still dress up like you’re a man in your twenties.
How long has it been?
It has been 4 years.
I tried to open my mouth. I wanted to say something.
“Careful, princesa” you chuckled.
I studied your face but I abruptly turned away when I realised that I may have been staring at it for too long.
“How have you been?” You picked up the hanger I dropped on the floor.
“I’ve been well.” I was able to muster up the power to say something back to you.
“You should buy that. It looks very good on you, princesa.” You looked at me like I was still that same old girl you met 5 years ago.
I mindlessly dragged my feet towards the counter. I haven’t even tried the dress on. I realised I can always return it should it not fit me.
You followed me ever so closely; treading on my back like you went there with me.
I have no words yet inside my mouth but I have so many questions inside my heart.
“Coffee?” I accidentally blurted.
The moment I let that word slip out of my mouth I despised it.
You took my paper bag off of the counter.
“There’s a Starbucks near here.”
And there we were walking in silence.
Upon reaching the coffee shop you placed my paper bag on the desk.
You motioned your hand towards the counter.
I know that I won’t be able to eat anything with you. My stomach feels uneasy. I don’t even believe that we’re here– that you’re here.
I got myself a cold brew, and you got yourself an espresso.
Your taste still hasn’t changed.
You got our coffee and placed it on our table. I hurriedly dashed towards the restroom.
As I stood there in the dimly lit restroom, I tried to organise my thoughts, my questions.
I went out and I saw you reading through some texts. I sat down and you put your phone away.
I took a long sip off of my cold brew.
“How have you been?” I asked.
I raised my head. I tried looking at you but I couldn’t.
I focused on your tattooed arm. It still looks the same as before.
I know that you were answering my questions and maybe perhaps telling me the stories that has been stacked one after the other for the past 4 years that we kept each other at back of our minds.
We were each other’s ghosts.
I didn’t even took the straw off of my mouth.
I can barely make any sense out of the words that you’re saying.
And as I take another sip, I barely realised that I have already finished my coffee.
I wasn’t able to get anything out of what you said.
I raised my eyes until they met yours.
They’re still the same old hazel eyes I once fell in love with when I was 19.
Except now I’m turning 23 and you’re turning 38 in couple of days.
“You shouldn’t have come back.”
My words made you stop. I took my paper bag, thanked you for the coffee and walked away.
My coffee still tasted like coffee except now it’s more bitter. You still looked like you were 34, but you’re 38 now and you shouldn’t matter to me anymore but you still do.
It’s almost your birthday in a couple of days and so maybe that’s the reason as to why I thought of writing something about you, even if it’s not true.
Should this happen one of these days, I can assure you I still wouldn’t know what to do.