Collab - add your own continuation to this story, though please number your thread so we know which part follows on from which. The beginning, the part I wrote, is THREAD 1, and so on. Enjoy. :)

As the forgiving evening rays of late summer bleed through the tired, already closed curtains, you remember how her eyes used to shine in the sunlight. Green-grey spheres of youth dyed a rich copper in the hotter months, aglow with the prospect of adventure, of sharing her thoughts with you. Sometimes, to her it seemed as if she were seeing the sky for the very first time when she was lying beside you at the lake, although she never did get around to telling you this. It was her secret, closely guarded by her bones. Sacrificial structure of her soul.

And, as the orange sky burns a fierce, competing shade of vibrant peach, you remember how she smelled, too. Like cinnamon oranges and vanilla cream. Like a cuddly blanket on a frosty day or a cup of tea and slice of toast to coax you from your morning slumber. Almost, it used to seem to you as though she smelt like the clouds in autumn. Fresh and crisp and lovely. You used to wonder if she would always be that way, or if, like a person’s soul, their scent matured along with them. You thought she might always smell like that, even when she was seventy and surrounded by family (or cats, however she ended up being).

Where is she now? – you wonder as her letter, once nervously, heartbreakingly new, sweats like a teenage boy in your hand. You remember her giving it to you, the smile desperate and sad upon her delicate face. “Don’t open it now,” she whispers in your memory, which has been hazed by the years but untouched by your heart, always caring and careful as it was. “Wait ten years,” and appropriately, you had thought as she had handed it to you, tears had swollen her eyes like waves in the sea. “Open it then.”

You hadn’t bothered to ask her why. Somehow, you’d known her answer and deep inside your body, you supposed you knew what the letter said, as well. It couldn’t have been hard to imagine, given what you had experienced together, the grief you’d shared, the love you could have – and part of you thinks should have -  shared. You’d needed to help each other at the time, needed to help one another heal. But it hadn’t ended that way, had it?

That would have been too simple.


The End

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