-Prologue-

I'm not one for detail. In fact, I'd rather leave almost all details out of this. My name, his name, where I live. It's not important. Not really. And this is my story, my life. Or at least one part of my life. So I feel that I can tell it the way that I want. The way it was. And the way it should have been.

If it only happened in my mind, in my thoughts, does that still make it true? Perhaps not to the world, but to me, it was all real.

I'm going to tell my story the way I want to. You can choose to believe all of it. None of it. I won't mind. I will tell it true. Or I will lie to even myself.

That first day would always be difficult for me to describe. I remember the wind blowing, greying clouds above. I don't remember the cold, though I'm told it wasn't a warm day. I remember birds flying over, soundlessly. I remember traffic in the distance, a car starting in a close driveway. I remember the television playing just inside, I'd left the front door open as I sat on the steps of my home.

And then I saw him.

He didn't see me, not at first. Simply walked past the fenced front yard. Hands in his pockets. I wonder now if his hands were cold. He still hadn't seen me. He'd passed my house, crossed the street and paused. His hair was shorter then. A little scruffier, younger. Brushed with his hands. Even from my spot on the steps, with his back to me, I could see strength of his jawline. Tight with indecision. Hands remained in his pockets and he stared at the house across the road. Shoulders rose as he contemplated. He sighed and they fell.

I remember the wind blew forcefully, I had to move the hair from my eyes or risk a stolen moment. I didn't want to miss one second of him. I wanted to capture him, lock him in my memory. Keep him. The image of him, the dream, illusion. The fantasy. He was unreal then, a figment my imaginiation had construed. I should have left it at that. Walked away with those perfect seconds forever mine. It would have been enough. But I was selfish.

He took a step forward, just one. Then stopped.

I was going to stand up. Talk to him. Ask him why he was pained. What was beyond those doors that haunted him. I didn't. I could have been his resolution. I wasn't.

I was too weak to run away. Too cowardly to run to him.

I was haunted. Maybe more than he ever was.

Time was unkind, I waited too long. Mere minutes too long.

I saw her. I saw her see him. Her feet changed paths, her lips curved, smirked in the way of victory, and she walked until they were side by side. She'd won. In that exact second she looked at him.

They talked. His shoulders relaxed. He laughed. Hands leaving pockets.

She'd won. Always did.