A Shattered Soul

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He came again that night. Just like any other.

Ch-shnk, ch-shnk, the bells of that shop never worked right. The rust on the metal just made it sound all wrong. He entered her shop with a stride so smooth; it was as if he was walking on water. His walk was one of the most precious things that she fell in love with.

She was in one of the aisles putting a toy back that a little boy had played with earlier in the day. She thought she knew those footsteps, so smooth, so soft. She slowly turned around back to the front of the shop to her customer.

…Only, it was not a customer.

The face was so familiar. Perhaps it was him. It had to be him. He had come back. His face was so beautiful and handsome with a thin layer of grime on his so perfect forehead and cheeks. His clothing was dusty, a bit worn, but not ragged; it had to be him coming back.

They both stood there, parallel of each other. She focused her eyes on him, to make sure he was real, to make sure that the moment was true--that he would always be there. He stepped a foot closer as each tap puzzled back together every part of her shattered soul.  He reached out and around and pulled thin strands of hair away from her face. His thumb briefly brushed across her cheek, so tenderly, it was as if a small piece of a damp cloth swept over her face.

His presence made her laugh and well up with tears for giving her the happiest memory of all her life. After all this time, she could not believe it was him. He had finally come back, after all those years of waiting.

"I'm sorry," she thought she heard him whisper in a stiffed tone from the military but pliable that he talked so softly when he slowly faded as so did her shop and everything else visible, and all that was left was nothing--nothing but pitch black.
~

She woke up gasping for air, flustering and sobbing furiously with the most perturbing tears ever cried. Rusted wind chimes rustled against the wind outside her window as violent howling winds blew in her drapery towards her room. All along, she knew he would never come back. That he was now gone and journeyed to go live with those lovely angels. His face was not real anymore, nor was his walk... only his voice was real, and only his words were real.





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