Dante sits on the stairs watching the sun climb the steps. The warmth of the rays brings blood back to his cold feet. Looking through the windows of the stairwell, he can see the world move around him. Time blurs by hour by hour. He watches the trees sway, and the people sing on their cell phones. Their words blur with the wind.
A couple outside, drinking coffee at the local Starbucks catches his attention through an older window. The window must be a couple years old, not broken but fogged with years of changes. It brings a feeling to Dante. The nervous yet comfortable mixture of emotions he was torn with on their first date. She came into his life years ago and he brought her to a Starbucks. Immediately they became friends and had been ever since.
Another couple walks by the two sitting at Starbucks. Laughing and talking as they skip along the road so happy together. Dante remembers how happy he was when he was with her. Nothing could break his joy. He remembers smiling, all the time, even when it rained. Everyday was the greatest day of his life.
Looking down through another window, clearer now, he can see a man on the phone, smiling as he sits under willow tree. The man is unaffected by the karma of the weeping wooden body blocking the sun from his skin. He laughed and listened intently to the voice on the other end.
Dante could hear her voice in his ears. Her gentle soothing voice explaining the day in her most graceful summary of events. A nurturer, Dante thought, that must be her gift in life. She brings this comfort with her words and atmosphere, unmatched by anyone.
He could remember their long conversations about life and choices they made. Or his thoughts on consequences with his future actions. He learned what faith and love were. Dante could talk to her about anything, at anytime, and his love for her only grew. Even the short conversations could bring a smile to his face. Even after he would get off the phone with her, he would laugh to himself, thinking about how much he cared about her.
Regret filled the emptiness that was once full of hope a long time ago. He never used the ‘L’ word with her because they were just friends. It would have made things too awkward, he thought. Memories of him lying in bed alone, thinking about her, flowed into his conscious. The unmistakable feeling of his chest swelling, the knot in his throat and the idea of him telling her how he felt took over. I can’t. Besides she already knows, right? Oh, I miss her so much already.
He quickly regained composure and let his eyes travel to another window. A new window, probably just replaced within the past year or so. He can see the crisp air blow around two people kissing. The cold breeze not even aware of them embracing as their lips touch.
A flashback of her and her sweet soft lips took over Dante’s sight. Her dark shimmering hair so gentle in his hands. Her unforgettable kiss and her compatibility with the movements of her tongue. He could kiss her forever. Some nights, Dante would just lie there holding her. He didn’t even need to sleep. It was the greatest feeling he had ever had.
A horn honked and Dante hears it loud and clear. It brings him back to his uncomfortable viewing spot in the small stairwell.. He sees a man wave goodbye to a woman as she drives away in her car.
A fierce cold blows over Dante’s body. He knew this feeling too well. The melancholy emptiness that sucks all the joy left in his life away. He cries with his hands covering his face. The tears billow out, pouring into his hands. His heart aches for her.
She left Dante’s life and her own on a beautiful day, just like the one he sees through the window. Dante was a broken man for such a long time. Nothing could ever fill that void of unlimited sadness that seemed to expand even farther into the center of his heart. If only I could hold her again. The pain was unbearable. His whole body became a cold, crushed heart.
He sits on those steps of remorse, remembering all of her and her sweetness. Even her fragrance engulfs his olfactory. So real she smells. A soft familiar kiss surprises Dante while he sits. Her hair grazes his cheek as he turns to face her silhouette. Her beauty unaltered by time. Dante could feel his heart beat again.
“Come on Dante. I’ve been waiting for you,” she says to him.
“I’ve missed you so much Mary Jane,” he whispers as he stands up. He takes her hand and looks deep into her eyes. Nothing I have ever seen in my life has ever been this beautiful. He closed his eyes and put his lips out. She reached up, and gently let them touch. This must be heaven.