“Wow. That long, huh?”
Once again, his eyes traced the curves of my fat old body. “You haven’t changed a bit,” he said with that crooked smile I fell in love with all those years ago.
“That’s a lie,” I said. “But thanks for saying it.”
“Either way…I’m glad you made it. I know time’s weird around here but I…I’ve missed you,” he replied, gently placing his left hand on my knee. I placed my right hand on top of his, and we sat there for a moment, just the two of us, surrounded by Eternity.
Then I asked him: “So who’s this new girl you’re seeing?” This took him by surprise; back when we were together, I was hardly ever the jealous type.
“Wow, okay. I was gonna ask, you know, what you’ve been up to and that, but okay, we can go there. She, um, I met her in my Softball league. We’ve just gone out a few times. Nothing serious. It’s just nice to have some company when you’re waiting around eternity for the love of your life to join you. It gets kind of lonely, even here.” He looked at my hand, still holding his that rested on my knee. He stared at the ring for a moment before looking back up at me. “How about you? Who’d you marry?”
I was flustered, but tried to respond. “He…it wasn’t til later…after you’d died, it was…I needed someone, and…”
“Relax,” he said. “I’m not mad. In fact, I’m happy that you found someone to take care of you, since, well, since I couldn’t.”
“We had kids,” I told him. “They have kids.”
“Well that’s a little weird but…”
Then I showed him my other hand, where the engagement ring he’d given me still rested on my finger. “I never took it off. As hard as it was, I never could. I loved Michael, don’t get me wrong. He treated me well. He understood. We loved our children, our grandchildren. But I…you were the One, Kevin. I watched you die, right in front of me, and…and you were the One. And I couldn’t do anything to stop it.”
I didn’t mean to breakdown like that in the middle of the bar, but everything just came flooding back all at once. Kevin just held me and let me cry into his chest. He still smelled exactly as I remembered. He held my hand, and it felt like I was 26 again, and we were looking forward to a long and loving life together, and that his asthma was just some minor inconvenience when he was playing sports with his friends.
A few moments later — or maybe a lifetime — Kevin’s friend returned from the bathroom. “Hey Steve,” he said. “I want you to meet someone. This is Lisa. She was the love of my life.”