“It only felt like yesterday,” was how both sides of their stories began.
Only yesterday, he said, that he had seen her from across the room, learned her name by eavesdropping, and dug deep for the courage to approach her.
Only yesterday, she said, that she was interrupted mid story, by a total stranger, no less, who asked her to dance and wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Only yesterday that dancing turned into breakfast, that playing house turned into actually buying one, that the desk in the spare room was sold to make more room for the bunk beds.
But what didn’t feel like yesterday was that crack in the ceiling that he tried repeatedly to repair and paint over. That crack in the ceiling that, no matter his efforts, she always claimed she was still able to see.
And it didn’t feel like yesterday when he yelled at her for the crease in his shirt. She never could iron his shirts correctly. Sleeves first, collar last. It really is not this is so difficult, he would reiterate like a broken record.
And he stopped bringing home flowers as frequently as he once had. And she quit getting up early to start the coffee and take the colder shower.
No. Some things, these things, seem like a million years ago. A different lifetime. A lifetime that neither of them had actually lived, or even witnessed, really. One they had only heard about so many times that it began to fade and bleed into what seemed like the edge of a real life.
And maybe their good memories are remembered in such detail because of how often they have been replayed. That happens, you know, when the present is so miserable. Replayed so many times that eventually even they are no longer pure in form, but romanticized to represent something that never really was that way to ever begin with.
They never could explain why the beginning only felt like yesterday.
Well, yesterday it felt like yesterday, because today, things had started to change. A small shift, imperceptible to an outsider. But one that those who felt it could no longer ignore.