Eric walked into a bar, unsuspecting of what was about to happen. He just came for an ordinary friday drink with friends, a simple celebration of the beginning of another weekend.
Eric greeted Frank and Tom, taking his usual place at the table.
“Alex’s not here yet?” he asked, just to start a conversation.
“He’ll be here soon, I guess,” Tom replied.
“There he comes!” Frank interjected.
Eric involuntarily glanced at the entrance. And then, peripherally, he caught an image that drew his attention. He looked closer, and he felt as if his heart fell to his feet. At the table in the corner of the bar, sat Heather Locke. He hadn’t seen her for many years, but he recognized her right away.
Eric and Heather were deeply in love once. They were high school sweethearts, a perfect couple, until she moved to another town and distance destroyed their relationship. They hadn’t been together for more than two months, but it was the kind of love that you never forget. If fate didn’t interfere, they would probably still be together.
Eric observed Heather for a while, as if he feared that she would disappear from his sight. She hadn’t changed much. She moved in the same way as before, a way he couldn’t describe but could easily identify. Her hair was still frisky, as she often described it, and she probably hated it for being that way even today. Eric, however, liked the way it framed her small face, and made her expression seem fresh and energetic. He felt that her hair described perfectly the hidden part of her character. On the outside, Heather was a serious, ambitious person. She always had good grades and she knew exactly what she wanted in life. But, at the same time, she was a passionate dancer. Even though she had many school responsibilities, she always found time for her dance practices.
“When I dance, I feel like I’m outside of my own mind. I’m completely free,” she used to say. “I love to feel free, to forget about everything.” It was these words that made him fall in love with her.
He once attended one of Heather’s dance performances. He never forgot the image of her, in a light blue dress, floating through air. It seemed as if her feet never touched the ground. She was a bird, escaping from the cage of habitude. Feather Heather.
Eric, the grown-up one, who was sitting in his usual place in his regular bar, mentally prepared to approach the grown-up Heather. He never dared to dream he would see her again, his Heather, the one that got away. With all his strength, he got up from his chair and walked towards her table. He was painfully nervous. This was to be their fairytale moment, a big renunion. This might change their lives.
“Hi, Heather!” his voice sounded strange to him.
She smiled with that familiar smile of hers, the smile that cheered him up so many times before. Her pupils constricted.
Finally, she spoke:
“Excuse me, do I know you?”
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