Twice the First Encounter

July 28, 2011
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His humble heart shone through his actions as he voluntarily retrieved my sinking purse from the ice cold ocean. I searched frantically for him through the minute gaps between the wooden planks at my feet, anticipating his rise with my belongings. When he did, he nodded at me in sincerity, raising my bag above his head. I sighed in relief, losing all the tension within my shoulders as I ran gleefully like a child towards my saturated purse.

***

At first, I thought she would be taken by my incredibly tank-like body, scuplted by rigorous years serving for the US Army, but she didn’t seem intimidated at all by my size as I towered above her. Her young naive smile warmed my detached heart after years of a silent ban of allowing emotions to surface. Her simple gesture was no doubt a routine of hers, but she would never know how it was the first human gesture that I had received since leaving high school, and how it would more than likely be the only interaction I would engage in with the outside world for years to come.

“Savannah” she smiled, offering her soft, warm hand.

***

His coarse skin brushed against mine as he firmed my hand into a handshake with his own. Despite the rocky surface of his palm, his hand still had a smooth familiarity to it, as if our hands had been permanantly interlocked in a previous life.

I searched his hazel eyes for a sign of recognition or memory that would recall that I had met him before, but to my discouragement I saw bucketfuls of sand, and seas of shed blood transforming into violent guns. His chiselled jaw line emphasised the scars that ran across his face, resembling deep grooves and trenches that seemed to illustrate where he had travelled to in the world.

“John” he said, with an awkward smile that lasted only half a second, as he gently squeezed my hand.





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