I haven’t seen her in 15 years. Maybe even 20 years.
It’s fun to think that we are in the same city for a few hours. Let us breathe almost the same air.
Twenty years. A life. What has become of her? Does she have children, is she married? What job does she do? What is she like?
I know I’m going to tremble when I see her again. That my body will totter. A trouble. Chills. The cold, in all my muscles. It does something.
She has been away from her house for several days (business trip). Did she choose a special outfit for this lunch? Jewelry too? Is she going to look beautiful, or not, not even. It is not worth it, it is only an old acquaintance. No effort. What’s the point? One meeting among others. A line on an agenda. Some words. One hour to lose, nothing more.
I will be able to rekindle memories. Create new memories for me, too. Make peace with my souvenirs, on details of her body which I was not sure of: the shape of the nails of her hands, her ankles, the shape of her neck, the implantation of her hair. Her size, her silhouette (will it have changed?). Her smell.
Is she going to perfume herself differently, tomorrow, before going to join me for this meal? One more splash of perfume for me? One more drop on the forehead? Another one between the breasts?
Will she keep her wedding ring? Does she only have one? Flats or heels (her shoes)? Work bag or handbag? Sunglasses or just her dark eyes? Is she going to look in the mirror a little longer than usual? Will she put on this lipstick (which she never wears, but which she bought for the occasion in a fashion boutique at the station before going up to the city)?
Dare I kiss her, take her in my arms, touch her skin. Feel the volume of her body against mine. You know, this presence, this warmth of her that would envelop me. This feeling of fullness when she and I were intertwined, even fleetingly, even for a moment (but what an instant!), would be only one and only thing. This is what I miss. What I have never been able to do. Create that feeling, make it happen. This lack that eats away at me for 20 years. Like a void in me, a missing part. Failure.
My God, I’m going to tremble tomorrow morning. And even more at noon. And me, will I be myself or someone else? This woman is a part of me. Will I get lost? Or lose her completely again? Forever, this time. I will be dead in 20 years.
25 years. It was 25 years, actually. You did not change. When you got out of the taxi, I saw that you had the same facial expression, the same hairstyle too. Of course, there were a few white hairs, but three times nothing. How can we not change in 25 years? How is it possible?
And yes, my heart pounded, as expected. I was shaking ; it was not to have waited 30 minutes in the cold.
Shoes with very small heels, a skirt, a jacket, the same outfit as before. On your right hand, this Mesopotamian ring with which I saw you last time. “It’s important, a ring, a piece of jewelry. I thought about it before I put it on. I thought about everything.”
It’s fun, you turn your head the same way, you put your hands the same way, the shape of your mouth, your lips. Your way of laughing, shrugging, talking to others, being embarrassed (sometimes) – it’s so adorable -. I remembered the shape of your fingers, the shape of your nails. It had remained firmly in my memory. I loved your hands, it hasn’t changed. Even if your hands never landed on me, never caressed my face.
You have a lot of reproaches to do with your youth, do you hate your adolescence? Me too. We were made for each other, that’s clear. But we were too young. Too young, not ready enough. I too hate this youth who deprived me of a whole life with you. A life.
I reread your letters, looked at your photos, again. Your writing (inimitable).
You called your daughter the same name as my first child, it’s no coincidence. During this meal, behind our glasses of Chablis, could I tell you what I had on my heart for 25 years? How did you totally do me? How I am your thing, your creation. How did you open my eyes (and my heart), breathe something that is still alive now? I think I told you, distinctly. I think you heard it, understood. I hope so. I had this need to express it to you for so long. It seems to me that now I can die, disappear, melt into oblivion. Now you know. I can leave serenely.
Mr Hyde is a lost man in a lost world with lost words, trying, piece by piece, to reconstruct the puzzle of his life.