Familiar Stranger

By: Kathy

I look at this stranger before me and I wonder who he is. There's something familiar about him, something that tells me I should know him. His blue eyes, warm, soft, caring and open, stare at me. Silently pleading for me to acknowledge him. Eyes that hide nothing as they beg me to recognize, to know, to remember. Remember who he is and what he meant to me.

As I stand there, silently contemplating him, memories whisper in the back of my mind. Hesitantly images come forward only to hastily retreat back into the dark recesses where they had been held captive for so long. Briefly, oh so briefly, I catch a glimpse of those memories. I see the man before me laughing, full of life, full of happiness and joy. I grasp at those memories and try to hold onto them. Struggling with myself in an attempt to retain some knowledge of this man.

For an instant, I know him. I remember him. The joy of that moment almost causes me to weep. But again, the memories fade into black and there is only a stranger standing before me. Those vibrant eyes lose their light and I want to scream out in denial. But I only stand there and watch as he withdraws from me. In that instance, the moment that he disappears from sight, there is such an ache. It reverberates throughout my body, my heart, my mind and my soul. I feel as if I am being torn apart piece by piece.

I want to go search for him, track him down and make him return. Somehow, I know that I need him, that he's vital to me. But before I can find him, there's a voice calling to me, telling me that it's time to go.

As I turn to leave, I'm almost positive that I catch sight of him once more. He's further away now and I can barely make him out. He's beckoning for me to return, to search until I find him and embrace him again. Until I can be reunited with him again. Instead, I turn and walk away. At the doorway, I pause and look back. I hold my breath as I raise my eyes, hoping to get one final look at him. But this time, he's not there. He's gone.

As I look into the mirror, I hear Jim calling out to me again. Eyes never wavering from my own cold, hard, unemotional gaze that's being reflected back at me, I adjust my gun in its holster. Then I switch off the light and turn to walk away, memories of that familiar stranger fading with each step.

The End


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