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She was porcelain white, thin and frail. She had long, fair hair that flowed down her back and swept across her face. She looked like she’d just stepped out of some twisted fairytale, and she had the name to match.
“Disney? As in Walt?” I didn’t want to be rude, especially when we’d only just met, it just came out before I could stop myself. But she just laughed, tossing her golden hair over her shoulder.
“Yes, but he’s no relative, as far as I know. And as for ‘Ophelia’… well, I have no excuse, except that my parents must have been mad.”
This was the first time I met Ophelia, the day after she moved in next door to me.
From then on, she was everywhere. She came over to my house almost every day, and when she didn’t I’d be at hers. Sometimes I’d wake up on a Saturday morning and she’d be already there, sitting by my bed.
“Helllooo… Helllooo…” At first I thought I was having a really strange dream. Then I looked up to see Ophelia, sitting still for a moment, and then cracking up laughing as I almost went into cardiac arrest.
“Could you not just wait to be invited?” I huffed in my early-morning grumpiness, and she just laughed even harder.
People always assumed that Ophelia and I were dating, and although we always just corrected them and laughed it off, I couldn’t help wondering. Sometimes I thought we might as well be; we spent all our time together and I was closer to her than anyone else. This crossed my mind one day, while she was sitting at her desk doing her Maths homework and I was lying on her bed, staring into space.
“What if we were going out?” I wondered aloud, because Ophelia was just one of those people I could say anything to.
“Then everything would be ruined.” She frowned.
“You’re right.” I said, and of course she was.
This was what was going through my mind as I watched her car drive away on that rainy, September evening. Freeze frame moments of our time together. She had come and moved in next door to me, and changed my life for a few years. And now, she was leaving again. I had her phone number on a folded piece of paper in my pocket, but deep down I knew it was all for a lost cause. Even if we did stay in contact, like we promised we would, things would never be the same. It was over.
The rain dripped off my hair and my clothes as I stood outside my gate and watched her drive away. I looked at the house next door to mine, now just an empty shell. The sign nailed to the fence said ‘SOLD’ in bold, black writing. A reminder that soon, someone else would move in and make their own history there. For now, though, it was the end.