She carefully opened the door, not sure what to expect. It had been a while since she has visited. Nothing was the way she remembered and when her eyes finally got adjusted to the dark, what she saw made her shiver. She reached out into the darkness searching for something to hold onto as she felt her knees begin to buckle.
“It can’t be,” she said, barely above a whisper.
“Hello beautiful. It’s been a long time,” he said.
She blinked several times, shaking her head no.
He reached for her, gently pulling her into that once familiar embrace. “It’s me.”
Her first instinct was to break free and run away, but the aroma of his aftershave, and the security she felt in his arms intoxicated her.
They hadn’t seen each other in thirty years, but at this very moment, time had rewound, and she was twelve years old again – the first time she’d laid eyes on the boy, now man, she knew as “Cowboy”.
“I’m either dreaming or I’m dead, because there’s no way that you’re here with me,” she said.
There were times in the past when she frustrated him so, that he could scream. “What can I do to prove to you that this isn’t a dream, and that we’re not dead?”
She shrugged, unconvinced.
“You always had a stubborn streak, but that was one of the things that was endearing about you all those years ago,” he said, smiling. “Wait here. I want to show you something.”
He returned to her side, a small box in his hand. “Open it.”
Inside the box, she found the gold-plated pin he had given her when they were boyfriend and girlfriend in seventh grade. She fingered the curves of the pin, as tears slid down her cheeks.
Slowly, the veil of fog from the anesthesia began to lift. She had no idea how many hours she’d been unconscious. As she opened her eyes a little, in the palm of her hand lay the pin that “Cowboy” had given her so long ago.
“Hello beautiful…..It’s been a long time.”