A Friend From Back Then

by David James

That afternoon she met me in the lobby of my hotel and we simply smiled at each other in the elevator going up to my room where we sat on the couch for about three hours and told of our lives, of being apart, for so many years, then sensing our time was nearly used up, I tried to kiss her, not as a prelude to coupling, but as recognition of our being together once again, but she pulled back, misreading my intent, and said, “No, I can't risk my settled life this way. I just can't. I'd never forgive myself ”, and her saying this told us it was time for her to go, so helping her with her coat, as we left my room, walked back through the lobby and went outside, briefly kissed, then the February chill came in fast as she walked away.