A gentle autumn breeze passed through the street, causing the shriveling leaves to rat-tat-tat their way along the cobblestone, and three stories up, a white curtain billowed up in the air, rustling papers within the room. A photograph, browned with age and the touch of gentle fingertips through the years, fluttered in the wind.
In the photograph: a parking lot on a sunny day, two figures standing by a car, their shoes only a few feet apart and facing each other, one in a long black coat, with hand outstretched to hold the other's face. Though there were no other telltale signs, the concrete nearly trembled with the sorrowful force of "goodbye". Never before had the start of summer signalled an end to anything; it was always the beginning of long days at the beach, of hours spent in air-conditioned cafes and libraries and museums, of fruit trees bearing gifts for weeks, and yet, this parking lot was drenched in sunlight and "goodbye", the end of something that would forever stick out like a thumbtack in time. All the words in the world were not enough, but one word was already too much.
And many years later, only a photograph pinned on a wall to remember the sunny, murky, breathless June day in the parking lot, and a woman with a hand held up to her own cheek, remembering where another hand had been long ago, with so much to say but no words to say it with.