I saw her. Still beautiful. Long curls tucked into a boys baseball cap. Wide brown eyes taking in the world like no one else sees it. Still happy. She was laughing. I don’t know what she was laughing at but I’m sure whoever made her laugh is brilliant and beautiful and full of life. Still alive. She could have moved to India or Paris, where she would fit into her surroundings, where she could meet new people like she always wanted. But she was here. My hometown. Our hometown. Our worlds were separate now though. She did not recognize the freckled four eyed girl she once knew. But she is still there. Somewhere, she is in me. Which is probably why I still love her with all my heart. The little girl inside me cannot let her go. So I stopped; taken aback by her beauty like people always were with her. Frozen. But my heart was melting, my body burning with embarrassment. Why was it that i was so dumbfounded? After all the images I had concurred up in my mind of when this day would come, when we would finally reunite. Under these circumstances I had never imagined it. Maybe on a rooftop in Paris, or a lit restaurant along a lake; two strangers passing by on a busy street. But we were not strangers. She then turned to me and smiled, her eyes lighting up with an unknown curiosity. I held my breath as she reached over and touched my arm. Her skin was warm and electric against mine. Even after all these years it still seemed familiar. I could smell the flowers we picked on Sunday afternoons and the special brownies she made for desserts when my father slept. I could hear the laughter of the child in me and the sun streaming down on our faces; a backyard beach. She had come back. After all these years she had come back to me. So many tears...so many lost photos and letters....the phone rang and I wished it were her but it never was. For the past five years I had seen her in every face, every set of brown eyes. But now I was looking at her and if I told somebody I had seen her they would have never believed me. They would have said I was foolish, that she had never belonged in a place like this; that she was probably discovering pyramids in Egypt or sleeping with fancy men in Rome. But it was her. It was. I was snapped out of my thoughts too soon by her voice. “Where could I find the paint?” She asked. Paint? It made sense why she would ask for paint. She had always loved to paint. Walls...canvases...she painted my life. “Paint?” My heart was sinking like a slow moving elevator. One floor at a time. “You work here don’t you?” She asked. The realisation that she didn’t know who I was almost brought me to my knees. I looked down at my saggy work uniform feeling the floor cave beneath me. “Yes. Right. Paint.” I led her to the paint. I left her in the aisle. I quit my job.