Echo of Hope

©Luis Royo

  She looked out the window and barely noticed the sun trying to break through the clouds. The flowers seemed faded in spite of their bright, full blooms. She stood staring, not really seeing anything, arms wrapped around herself in a subconscious gesture. A week and more had passed since last they'd spoken for more than a minute, years since she'd seen other than a faded old picture. She wished she didn't miss him, but wishing never changed it. Her arms were crossed in front of her, hands just below her shoulders. She noticed vaguely their warmth, poor substitute for his. She wondered what he was doing and searched her soul for the link that sometimes told her when he was thinking of her. It lay silent, but still a smile played at the corners of her mouth, an echo of hope.

  A waterfall of memories mingled with dreams washed over her for a moment, showering her with the sensation of his touch, the sound of his voice, and visions of words passed between them in the small hours of the night. These things supported her through busy days and an otherwise mundane life. They kept her link to some kind of spark that ran deep inside her. But she knew it was where her real life lay, the part where her imagination thrived, the place where her dreams lived, the fire that kept her warm enough to feel. It was burning low now, reaching out to torment her with its hunger. She tried to think back to a time before it mattered, but the memory was faded and hazy, like a dream forgotten in the sunrise.

  Faded and hazy...that seemed a good description of how she felt whenever too much time passed between their talks. He had a way of saying things that always made her laugh, or at least made her think; the way he could play with words and their meanings, or skew the perceptions of ordinary things or phrases into new and unusual toys that she never tired of holding up and turning, like a child seeing something for the first time. And she missed how he always made her feel sexy and beautiful. She knew he played at it, but he played at most things. At least his lust was sincere and hers easily matched it. She shied at guessing about his heart, for she knew too much about it already. That was both a blessing and burden, but she had chosen it and she understood it made her unique among his friends, and sometimes valuable. She found that acceptable, but still, at the moment, she missed him deeply and regretted all the things that separated them, much more than mere miles.

  But wishing never changed it and it would take much more than miles to silence the echo of hope. Somewhere inside her, she felt a tug at the link. Outside her window, the sun broke though the clouds and lit her face. Or was it the sudden smile that lit it?

© 2002 Sonja Torres

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