Kimberly Gould’s Picture Choice: Both
Title: Time after Time
I remember this place.
“You picked me up, right over there,” I tell him.
We drive a little farther down the road and find a turnoff to park in. Then, hand in hand, we walk back to the barrier I had rested my bag on while I stood, thumb extended.
“I’m so glad you ran away that day,” he says, sitting heavily on the same ledge. His legs haven’t been good for the last few years, knees and hips arthritic. One day, he will be gone, and I’ll be on my own again. I haven’t been alone since that day.
“What were those blue flowers in your hair?” he asked, still holding my hand and pulling me near. I sit next to him and lean on his shoulder. It’s still warm and strong, a familiar place.
“I just remember them falling out when you jumped in. You left ten or twenty on the floor of my car.”
I chuckle, remembering with him. My laughter dies as I remember the reason I was running, the horrible man who put the flowers in my hair just before...
“Shh,” John says, rubbing my arm. “He can’t touch you anymore.”
He can’t touch anyone. He died years ago, but he still haunts me sometimes.
Closing my eyes, I pull off my sunglasses and stare up into the sun, letting the warmth and light burn away the cold and dark. John holds steady, letting me lean on him.
“You will always be here, right?” I ask, knowing that’s impossible.
“Absolutely, Mer. Even when I’m gone, I’ll be right beside you.”
I turn and open my eyes, my mind remembering the man with dark brown hair and warm eyes that opened his car to me, giving me a lift out of the pit I’d fallen into. His hair was grey now, his eyes lined with wrinkles. He hadn’t changed. His eyes were as warm as ever, and he was still ready and willing to give me a lift.
“I love you, Meredith,” he says, stroking my cheek.
“I love you, too, John. Always.”
Kimberly Gould is the author of Cargon: Honour and Privilege and the upcoming Thickness of Blood. She can be found most places as Kimmydonn, including Kimmydonn.com