Remember me? - Lily Couchman

The orange glow of midday light made me think of you. Of sun drenched summers perfumed with the sickly sting of botanic gardens.

But also the wild places. We would run, damp with dew, through ryegrass that tickled our knees. The listless breeze would tousle our hair as we idled on a bed of grass clippings, relieving our bruised feet. An orchestra of whirring crickets was all we needed to be satisfied.

The view outside my window is now fully saturated in sun. It’s as if you were smiling at me. You’re not so different now. More wise, perhaps. Ageing with everyone else. But somewhere, I’ll be scraping my knees and climbing ancient trees and you’ll be convincing me to let go, allow the rope swing to take me over the edge.

We were forever searching for a secret den- do you remember? Laughing from place to place; crawling with the undergrowth, worming our way through hollows so we could sit, full of the day, in dank soil.

We’ve relived these memories so many times over the years- even now. But it’s never the same. I open the window. It’s much colder than I expected so I close it again and turn on the heating. I could never resist a cloudless sky; we used to swim in it and when the blue turned white, we’d dry ourselves on the clouds and, shivering to my house, drink smoothies through straws.

The colours are too bright now; they make me feel sick. I close the curtains.

Every winter, it gets harder to reach that place. Siberian winds bustle away all the warmth, jamming nostalgia down my throat. But, when you smile back at me, I know our eyes share the same orange glow of our childhood.

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