A Short Short Storyby Anna Besh
You have always seemed important to me. Always the tall one, the quiet tall one. The thoughtful tall one. Eyes honest and blue, sometimes overwhelming like the stormy Pacific; hair disheveled, honey-gold, like the light that comes just before sunset; freckles spattered across face and shoulders like stars that have been carefully counted and then forgotten, left to their own rambunctious devices to build constellations. These were not the things I first noticed about you.
Rather, I took notice of the way you talked. An almost Southern accent that you reined in just before a remnant of Georgia or Alabama slid off the tongue; the way you never seemed to feel the need to fill the empty space with meaningless conversation; the way you sometimes leaned forward onto countertops, propping your chin on the heel of your hand, level with whoever had provoked your slight side smile.
I took notice of how it felt to be near you, of the way that you drove, the music you played in your car, how you took your coffee. I noticed the books that you read, the stories with which you chose to fill your mind. You made me remember the smell of damp moss and Robin Hood. The little lost prince, and sunlit trees.
I liked remembering these things. Somehow I felt like I’d known you before. I still feel like I’ve known you before—somewhere in the distant past, fifty years or eons ago. Your soul feels old and familiar like a book that opens to my favorite pages.